Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tournament Review - 9/10/2015 - Rock Barn Golf & Spa Jackson Course (Conover, NC)

Last week, I played with the ClickIt Golf group and managed to win $35 in the team portion of the contest.  Because of that, I decided that I wanted to play with them again... so I made the 90 minute trek up to Conover, NC to play at the Rock Barn Golf & Spa club.  There are 36 holes there... one 18 hole layout designed by Tom Jackson and the other 18 hole layout designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

We were going to be playing the Jackson course, which is the easier of the 2 layouts.  With a rating/slope of 71.3/133, it was not an overly difficult layout, but... at 6419 yards, it was one of the longer layouts I've played this season.  It meant that my game from the tee was going to need to be on point to be able to post a decent score.

After a brief warmup session on the range and practice green, we headed to the first tee for our 10:30am tee time.

Game Golf Link


Hole #1 - Par 5 - 550 Yards

This isn't necessarily the easiest of starting holes.  A long par 5 with a decent forced carry of about 200 yards off the tee and then uphill and turning to the left.  My tee shot was straight, but not very long.  From the fairway, I topped my hybrid and it rolled into the rough up the left side.  With the green way uphill and a tree in my way, I had no shot at the green, so I punched a 6 iron out of the very thick rough into the fairway and left myself about 110 to the flag.  My approach wedge looked really good from where I was, but it ended up just over the green.  I chipped on to about 3 feet and tapped in to open with a bogey.

Hole #2 - Par 4 - 343 Yards

After that opening hole, this one looked nice and simple.  My drive was solid, but it was slightly pulled and ended up in the rough along the left side.  My 9 iron from about 120 was nearly perfect and left me a 9 footer for birdie.  It died at the low side of the cup, so I tapped in for a par.

Hole #3 - Par 3 - 207 Yards

A lot of the distance on the scorecard was on par 3 holes.  This one, luckily, was moved up quite a bit.  It was at about 175 and playing downhill.  My 6 iron wasn't hit well and faded off, but cleared the greenside bunker and nestled into the rough.  My chip from there was a little sticky and the ball was well short.  From about 23 feet, I needed 2 putts for a bogey.

Hole #4 - Par 4 - 361 Yards

I hit an okay shot from the tee here, but again, it was slightly pulled, so it ended up in the rough.  If it had caught the fairway, it would have rolled quite a bit, but, still... it left me just about 115 to the flag.  Being in the rough, I didn't get a lot on it, but my pitching wedge had enough to reach the green.  2 putts from 39 feet and I had another par.

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 424 Yards

This was a beautiful hole... but I made it ugly.  My drive was WAY right, but it was open over that way, so my ball stayed in play.  I didn't have a shot at the green, so I decided to hit a 6 iron up over the trees and back into the fairway... but it faded on me and ended up in the rough.  It took us a few minutes to find the ball, but when we did... the lie was ugly.  I only saw the ball because I was right on top of it.  I tried to hack a wedge out of there onto the green from only about 70 yards away, but it didn't come close.  I left myself short-sided with a trap between the hole and my ball.  I ended up in that trap, blasted out to about 11 feet and needed 2 putts from there for a triple bogey.

Hole #6 - Par 3 - 200 Yards

I don't even want to recap this hole.  I hit a 6 iron from the tee and watched the ball slice and land in the water.  I asked if there was a drop area up there, and one of my playing competitors said no... so I hit another 6 iron.  This time, it was fat and came up about 10 yards short of clearing the water.  I got down to the area where the ball went in and dropped, which is what I should have done to begin with.  The thick rough kept my ball short... but it landed on the green.  I then three-putted from 36 feet for a snowman... on a par 3.  Just ugly.  

Hole #7 - Par 4 - 327 Yards

I was kinda angry at this point and I hit a really good drive that landed right where I was looking.  I was left with about 75 yards to the flag, and then I sh*nked a sand wedge from the fairway into the bunker short and right of the green.  I BARELY got the ball out of there and was left with a tricky downhill pitch from the rough.  I managed to sneak that to about 5 feet, and then I pulled the putt, so I tapped in for a double bogey... from the middle of the fairway... only 75 yards away.  

Hole #8 - Par 5 - 504 Yards

I typically use TaylorMade Project (a) balls... but because I had none left, I was alternating between Srixon Tri-Speed Tour and Titleist Pro-V1 balls.  I have never liked the Pro-V1... but because I had received a dozen awhile back, I use them when I'm out of the TaylorMade balls.  Anyway, this hole showed me why I dislike those balls... they're too soft.  From the tee, I took a line over the fairway bunker up the right side.  It should have been a 225 yard carry, and I figured that I had been pulling a lot of my tee shots, so... if I aimed there and hit it well and it went straight, it should clear the bunker with no issues.  If I pulled it, the ball would find the fairway anyway.  Well... I smashed my drive, right at the bunker.  When we got up there, my ball landed at the lip of the trap and rolled back in.  With the TaylorMade balls, I wouldn't have had an issue clearing that trap with how I hit the ball... but, something about the Pro-V1 and my swing don't mesh.  

Anyway... I hit a 5 iron out of the trap and left myself about 140 from the rough just off the right side of the fairway.  My 8 iron was weak, but stayed short of the trap and left me about 23 yards to the hole.  My pitch from there peeked in the hole from the left lip, but didn't drop... so I tapped in for a par.

Hole #9 - Par 3 - 219 Yards

This was a very long, WAY downhill par 3.  I hit a very good hybrid from the tee, and the wind pushed it just right of the pin.  It was a little long and left me a downhill chip that I managed to leave about 7 feet short.  My par putt stopped on the lip but would not drop, so I tapped in to close that side with a bogey.

** NOTE - Other than the stretch through holes 5, 6 and 7... I had played pretty well.  I posted a 48, including an 8 on a par 3.  I was hoping for similar success on the back nine.

Hole #10 - Par 5 - 516 Yards

On this tee, I made one of my way-too-quick swings and pulled it out of bounds.  My provisional was perfect and left me about 235 to the hole.  There was a pond that I had to carry from there to the green (about 215 carry), but having already blown a ball OB off the tee, I played it smart and punched a 5 iron into the fairway, leaving about 95 yards to the hole.  It started to thunder at this point and clouds were rolling in, but I didn't let that bother me.  I tried to hit a low approach wedge, but I didn't get enough of it and my ball landed on the slope in the middle of the green.  I watched my ball zip back about 20 feet.  My 45 foot bogey attempt missed by less than a foot, so I tapped in for a 'second ball par'... otherwise known as a double bogey.

Hole #11 - Par 4 - 357 Yards

I made a very poor swing from this tee, but luckily it didn't hurt me.  My drive was very weak and found the rough up the left side.  I only had about 152 to the hole, but because of the rough, I hit a 6 iron, which was a good choice.  My ball found the back of the green.  My birdie attempt from 25 feet ran a few feet past the hole, and I made the 5 footer coming back for my par.  It started to rain as we were leaving this green.

Hole #12 - Par 4 - 403 Yards

By the time I got to the tee here, it was raining pretty hard.  It was a refreshing rain, though.  Still... it messed with my grip a little bit and I snap-hooked my tee shot off a house and out of bounds.  My provisional was my best drive of the day and split the fairway.  I had around 120 from there to the pin.  It was an absolute downpour by the time I got to my ball.  My pitching wedge looked good, but ended up on the front of the green, almost 20 feet away.  My putt from there just missed and sat off the right lip, so I tapped in for another 'second ball par'... which means another double bogey.

Hole #13 - Par 3 - 180 Yards

My playing competitors, both older gentlemen, decided they didn't want to play through the rain, even though the radar showed it was going to be ending momentarily.  I waited out the rain beneath some trees.  When it stopped (about 5 minutes later), I joined up with the threesome behind me to finish out the round.  

Once I was on the tee, my hybrid was horribly topped and I watched it roll into the hazard.  I dropped behind the hazard and hit a 9 iron very heavy.  It bounced off the rock wall around the hazard and kicked up onto the bank.  I got a break there.  I then pitched to about 4 feet and made that putt for a double bogey.

Hole #14 - Par 4 - 387 Yards

I did not hit an overly good tee shot here.  I hit it well, but the ball leaked a little right on me.  From that rough, I had almost no shot at the green.  Still... I tried to muscle a 6 iron out of there.  It went well right and short of the green.  I had about 65 yards to the hole from there.  I hit a good wedge out of the rough, but I left it above the hole.  My par putt from about 18 feet barely missed and I tapped in for a bogey.

Hole #15 - Par 4 - 392 Yards

This was one of my best played holes of the year so far.  I hit a solid drive right where I was looking.  It cleared the slope and settled on a somewhat flat part of the fairway.  I had about 170 to the hole and I hit an absolutely pure 6 iron.  It got way up in the air, started on line and stayed there.  I thought it was going to wind up right next to the hole, but it was just a big long, catching the back of the green.  My birdie attempt from 32 feet curled right up to the cup, but didn't drop... so I tapped in for a par.

Hole #16 - Par 3 - 145 Yards

This hole played uphill the entire way, and the tees were back a bit... so it was playing a little longer than the card stated.  My 6 iron was weak and right the entire time.  It ended up just off the cart path, so I took relief and dropped into the rough about 25 yards from the pin.  I hit an okay pitch from there that left me about 15 feet for my par.  Again, I hit a good putt, but it didn't drop... so I tapped in for bogey.

By the time we reached the green here, the skies were blue again... and it was HUMID!

Hole #17 - Par 5 - 503 Yards

I had hopes of getting home in 2 on this hole, but my tee shot wasn't hit very well.  It left me about 263 yards to the pin, so I decided to hit a 4 iron into the fairway and leave myself a wedge to the pin.  The first part was executed perfectly... but, from 75 yards, I chunked a gap wedge that I tried to flight the ball with and I ended up in the trap fronting the green.  My shot out of there got caught up in the fringe.  I elected to putt from there, but the ball never had the right line.  I tapped in from 2 feet for a bogey.

Hole #18 - Par 4 - 401 Yards

Downhill from the tee... uphill from the fairway.  I hit a decent drive which left me 157 to the pin.  Because it was uphill, I went with my 6 iron.  I kept the ball low and watched it fade perfectly to the back-right pin position.  I only had about 12 feet... but, as had been the case all day, I just didn't have the right speed.  My birdie putt ended up 2 feet short.  I tapped in for a closing par.

** NOTE - So, despite 2 balls out of bounds and 1 ball in the hazard on this side, I managed to post a 45 for a total of 93.  I wasn't overly thrilled with my score because I felt like I had played much better, but... it also could have been much worse.  Heading into my last 2 tournaments with the Golfweek Amateur Tour, I feel pretty confident.  

Round Stats

  • Score - 93
  • Penalty Strokes - 5
  • Putts - 33
  • Fairways - 4 of 13
  • Greens in Regulation - 5 of 18
  • nGreens in Regulation - 10 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 1 of 5
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 3

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