Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tournament Review - 8/22/2015 - River Hills Country Club (Lake Wylie, SC)

Last week, I wrote about how not touching a club for a few weeks can have a negative impact on my game.  I fully expected to go into this week with things clicking a little better and then posting a good number.  What I didn't plan on was putting so poorly and hitting as many poor shots as I did.  

Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse as I ended up posting a ridiculous 102 that was dropped down to a club score of 98.  Read below for the details.

Game Golf Link


Hole #14 - Par 4 - 344 Yards

On the range, I wasn't overly consistent with my driver.  One shot would go right, another left, another straight... and it left me feeling like I needed to be conservative.  So, opening with a 344 yard hole, I figured I'd play smart and hit a 4 iron off the tee.  I didn't catch all of it, but it left me in the neighborhood of 160 yards to the pin from the first cut of rough on the left.  My 6 iron from there found the front of the green.  My birdie attempt from nearly 45 feet was almost 10 feet short, but I managed to make the putt from there to open with a par.

Hole #15 - Par 4 - 368 Yards

I guess because I started with a par, I decided that I could 'risk' hitting my driver off this tee.  It was a straight shot, but I pulled it and the ball hit a tree.  I hit a provisional, but we found my original ball in a bad spot beneath the tree.  I didn't have a shot at the green, so I punched a 4 iron under the tree but over the fairway bunker.  That found the right side of the fairway and left me 82 yards from the pin.  I nipped a 3/4 gap wedge perfectly and it landed pin high, about 15 feet to the right of the pin... but I watched as the ball sucked back quickly and rolled off the green and down the hill.  My pitch from there left me about 12 feet and I missed the bogey putt and tapped in for a double bogey.

Hole #16 - Par 4 - 393 Yards

I wasn't comfortable hitting my 4 iron from this tee because it would have left me entirely too far from the green, so I elected to hit my driver.  I didn't make a good swing, but I got away with it as my ball found the fairway... but still left me almost 190 yards up the hill to the pin.  I hit my 4 iron from there and watched as it started left and stayed there, eventually hitting the cart path about pin high and bouncing up the hill and seemingly out of bounds.  My provisional found the front of the green, but when we got to my original ball... it was still in play (by a hair).  I hit an almost perfect pitch shot from a horrible lie, through some tree branches, landing it in the rough to kill the speed and watching it funnel down towards the hole.  It left me a very quick downhill putt for par from 5 feet, and I was unable to make it... so I tapped in for a bogey.

Hole #17 - Par 3 - 184 Yards

Even though this hole was 184 yards from the tee, it played downhill.  I hit a good 6 iron from the tee that didn't quite fade back enough and I watched as it hit the sand and rolled to the bottom of the bunker.  It left me a short-side shot from the trap and I bladed the ball over the green and out of bounds.  I dropped back in the sand and splashed out perfectly, watching the ball roll slowly towards the hole and drop in for an extremely unlikely bogey.  It's the first hole-out from a bunker I can remember in a long, long time (the last I can remember happened on my first ever birdie in high school).

Hole #18 - Par 4 - 347 Yards

I got to this tee feeling good.  I felt like I got away with something the last 2 holes and I wanted to make it pay off with a good hole here.  I hit my intended club (4 iron) and made a good swing, watching the ball start at the left side of the fairway and fade slightly back towards the center.  It left me with about 160 down a hill, so I played it about 150 and hit a good 7 iron that faded a little more than intended, but found the green and left me with only about 11 feet for birdie.  My putt died off to the right at the last second and I settled for a tap-in par.

River Hills Country Club - 18th Green

Hole #1 - Par 4 - 360 Yards

At this point in the round, I had a feeling that I was going to post a good score somewhere in mid 80's.  The front nine didn't start out so hot though.  I hit a good drive just left and short of the fairway bunker on the right side.  It left me about 135 to the hole, up the hill a bit.  My 8 iron was tugged slightly and found the rough just left of the green.  I tried to play a 'perfect' chip and the ball got caught up in the fringe, leaving me a putt from off the green, down a hill.  I blew the ball well beyond the hole and needed 2 putts from about 16 feet to post a double bogey.  

Hole #2 - Par 4 - 335 Yards

Again, trying to play safe, I hit a 4 iron from this tee.  I caught it slightly fat and it didn't quite get out there very far... but it did find the fairway.  It left me a long way back, up the hill... so I hit my 4 iron again.  I struck it well, but it didn't fade for me and ended up a little long and left.  My putt from the fringe left me about 10 feet for par... and then I looked like a 2 year old on a miniature golf course.  I took 3 putts from 10 feet for a second consecutive double bogey.

Hole #3 - Par 3 - 163 Yards

My 7 iron from the tee was pin high, but just left of the green.  I hit a good chip from there to just about 7 feet but I could not convert the up and down attempt as my putt was pulled slightly, so I tapped in for a bogey...

Hole #4 - Par 5 - 491 Yards

... and then things got REALLY ugly.  I actually hit a really, really good drive on this hole, but because of the severity of the dogleg, I was blocked out by the trees on the left.  I decided to lay back and try to leave myself a full sand wedge, but I pushed my 4 iron and it found the fairway bunker up the right side.  I had about 90 yards from there and I caught too much ball from the bunker with my gap wedge and it sailed over the green into some tall, wispy grass.  The ball was sitting up REALLY high and I made a poor swing at the ball and sailed it over the front of the green into the bunker there... then back over the green... then 2 flubbed chips and a putt from the fringe, and finally... 2 more putts from 9 feet away for a 10 (which would be club adjusted down to an 8).  

Hole #5 - Par 3 - 160 Yards

Truthfully, I don't remember this hole.  I was in kind of a haze by this point because of the previous hole, but... I hit the green with a 6 iron and two-putted for par from about 25 feet, so... it temporarily plugged the leaks I had sprung.

Hole #6 - Par 5 - 531 Yards

Of all the holes I had played up to this point... this would go down as the most frustrating for me.  This was another dogleg left par 5.  My intent from the tee was to play a shot up over the trees on the left that would have hopefully put me in position to go for the green from about 230 with a 3 wood.  I hit a slight draw, but I wasn't sure if it was going to be good or not.  Nobody heard it hit anything, but... to be safe, I hit a provisional.  This one was slightly further left, and it definitely hit the trees.  I was set to take a triple bogey max score, but as we rounded the corner, we saw a ball in the middle of the fairway.  It was my original, and when I stood over the ball and measured to the pin, I had 194 to the hole.  Pulling out a club I had hit well almost all day (my 4 iron), I was looking to start the ball just left of the green and let it fade back towards the pin... but I hit it fat and it ended up about 40 yards short and left.  From the rough, my wedge went COMPLETELY under the ball and advanced it only about 5 yards.  I then pitched up to around 11 feet and missed my par putt, settling for a bogey.  

I wasn't upset about the score (in most cases, a bogey is not a horrible score for me).  Instead, I was upset about the fact that I had put myself in a PERFECT position from the tee, and I choked away the opportunity for an easy birdie or par.  It put me in a poor mood and that carried over and put a damper on the rest of my round.

Hole #7 - Par 4 - 352 Yards

There was nothing about this hole that looked good to my eye.  It was a dogleg left (again)... but the landing area for my 4 iron was right on the corner where there was a thick tree on the left, and a bunker on the right.  I decided to try to hit my driver... and if it faded on me, it would at least carry that bunker.  I actually got a perfect swing on the ball and I drew it around that corner.  It hit the fairway and kicked hard right, but just into the primary rough.  It left me with nothing more than a full sand wedge to the hole.  Of course, I blew that by hitting it fat and left into a greenside bunker.  I hit a decent shot out of there to 9 feet... and proceeded to three-putt for a double bogey.

Hole #8 - Par 4 - 367 Yards

Now I was kinda ticked off.  I completely yanked my drive here, but it stayed in bounds.  I had an opening to try and punch the ball low and run it up to the green, but I pulled it JUST a bit and it hit a tree and kicked right back at me.  Now the only opening was to punch it into the fairway, which I did.  My wedge from there was about 30 feet wide, and I two-putted for another double bogey.

Hole #9 - Par 4 - 385 Yards

One of my playing partners mentioned that if I hit my driver, I'd probably put it through the fairway... but being another dogleg left, I needed to at least get around the corner.  I haven't had any faith in my 3 wood all year... but I decided to give it a shot anyway.  This one turned out pretty well... a nice, low trajectory right at my target, and I found my 5th of 7 fairways on the front side.  It left me about 164 down the hill to the pin, and my 7 iron was weak and well right.  I pitched up to about 21 feet and couldn't make the par putt, so I settled for bogey.

** NOTE - At this point, despite the couple of bad holes I had on that side, I really didn't feel like I played too poorly.  When we got to the 10th tee, we added up scores to compare scorecards.  It was at that point that I felt really discouraged.  I had posted an abysmal 52 (adjusted to 50), while one of my playing partners who had been throwing clubs, kicking out of bounds posts and cursing after every swing (good, bad or otherwise), posted a 45.  I sincerely thought that, even with my 10, I was going to be in the 40's.  Still... I headed to the final 4 holes thinking that if I could find a way to par out, I'd post a club score of 90, which would at least be SOMEWHAT close to being in the money.  

Hole #10 - Par 5 - 493 Yards

My swing from this tee pretty much said it all.  I blew my shot well right, into the woods.  Luckily, it was open over there and we saw my ball come down.  When I got to it, I had a good sized opening and I punched a 4 iron through there down into the fairway, in good position.  I gave myself a pep talk when I got to my ball, and although I didn't hit the greatest shot it the world, my 8 iron found the green.  From 40 feet, however, my birdie attempt was about 12 feet short and I three-putted for the 3rd time that round and took a bogey.

Hole #11 - Par 3 - 158 Yards

We had a short wait on the tee here, and I took a walk to the opposite side of the tee to look in the water, where I saw a bunch of turtles.  I took a few minutes to relax and focus on the final few holes.  That didn't work at all.  I hit the worst 6 iron I could have hit from this tee... fat and slicing into the rough well short of the green.  I pretty much shanked my pitch from there and ended up long and right, chipping down to about 20 feet and two-putting for a double bogey.

Hole #12 - Par 5 - 519 Yards

Another 10.  Just an ugly hole.  Driver into someone's backyard.  3rd shot into the middle of the fairway.  Fat 6 iron.  8 iron into the greenside bunker.  2 swings to get out of there.  An ugly putt from the fringe.  2 putts from 9 feet.  Club adjusted triple bogey max.

Hole #13 - Par 4 - 339 Yards

I was done.  My drive was struck fairly well, but pushed and kept fading right into a hazard.  I dropped and put my 8 iron on the green to about 18 feet before finishing with my 4th three-putt of the round to close with a double bogey.

** NOTE - My 52 - 50 = 102 was adjusted to a 50 - 48 = 98.  A day that had begun with a ton of promise had finished with a ton of disappointment.  I didn't manage to make even a single birdie.  In fact, other than the 18th hole, I hadn't really given myself even a hint of an opportunity at a birdie.  I finished well back (20th out of 31) and didn't make a move up the standings.  I have 2 tournaments left to ensure that I punch my ticket to Hilton Head in October... and there are 4 weeks until the next tournament round.

Round Stats

  • Score - 102 (Club Adjusted to 98)
  • Penalty Strokes - 3
  • Putts - 38
  • Fairways - 7 of 14
  • Greens in Regulation - 4 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 0 of 7
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 3

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