Saturday, February 6, 2016

Charlotte Area Golfweek Amateur Tournament - 2/6/2016 - Carolina Lakes Golf Club (Indian Land, SC)

I've been playing golf now for about 23 years... with a handful of seasons missed here and there for various reasons.  I'd estimate that I've played somewhere in the neighborhood of about 300 rounds throughout that time period.  Some 9 holes... most 18 holes.  I know that's not a 'lot' compared to some people... but it's enough for me to be able to make the statement I'm about to make:

I have NEVER played a worse round of golf in my life than I did on February 6, 2016.

Sure... I've posted worse scores, but I have never felt so disconnected from the club in my life.  From the first swing on the range that morning right on through to when the last putt mercifully dropped that afternoon... I had zero control of the club, the ball and anything in between.  I apologized to my playing competitors for making them watch that throughout the day... and even then, I still felt like I needed to apologize again when we were done.  It was bad, and I'm not sure it could have been any worse.  The details, unfortunately, are below.  Read on at your own risk.

Hole #17 - Par 5 - 472 Yards

One thing I knew for certain was that I had what should have been an easy opening hole.  It's an uphill par 5 that doglegs to the left from the tee.  On the range, I was slicing my driver pretty badly, but this hole is so wide open that as long as I didn't go left... I would have been fine.  I aimed to the left of the tree in the middle of the landing area and hit a poor shot.  It was slightly topped... but had enough to clear the hazard in front of the tee and find the fairway.  I just wanted to lay up to about a 7 iron distance from there, but I almost sh**ked my 4 iron.  It rolled up into the rough along the right side, leaving me about 175 yards or so to the hole.  That was actually a good 4 iron distance for me, so I went with that club again and I wildly sliced that into the rough again.  I topped a gap wedge short of the bunker... slid my sand wedge beneath the ball entirely and advanced it about 5 yards into the bunker... blasted out just short of the green... pitched on to about 2 feet and tapped in for a triple bogey to open my competitive season.

Hole #18 - Par 4 - 387 Yards

If you've read my past reviews from this course, you'll know I really like this hole.  That didn't help me though.  I hit a fading drive that didn't eclipse 200 yards... topped a 4 iron that ran to about 75 yards shy of the green... sh**ked a gap wedge... pitched well shy to about 20 feet and two-putted from there for a double bogey.  I was not feeling overly confident at that point, but I had hopes that I was going to be able to 'figure it out' early enough in the round that I could still post a low-to-mid 90's score.

Hole #1 - Par 4 - 370 Yards

My poor start continued here.  I aimed at the fairway bunker up the left side, playing for a fade, and then proceeded to slice it all the way across the fairway into the bunker up the right side.  I got my 7 iron out, but hit it heavy, so it didn't really go anywhere.  I had around 100 yards to the flag... and my wedge from there found the greenside bunker.  It took me 2 swings to get it out of there, and I needed 2 putts from 15 feet for another triple bogey.

Hole #2 - Par 4 - 368 Yards

This hole was where I hit my ONLY 'passable' drive all day long.  There is a fairway bunker up the left side that I figured I would start my ball left of and let the slice I'd been playing with all day carry the ball short of the bunker up the right side.  I hit the ball well enough that it was only a slight fade, and it was long enough that it carried that bunker.  Still, I was in the rough with about 105 to go, up a hill.  I decided to take an easy swing with a 9 iron, but I didn't get the ball there.  It found the fairway just shy of the green.  I pitched to about 15 feet and took 2 putts from there for a bogey.  It was better than the last few holes, so... I was hoping it was some progress.

Hole #3 - Par 5 - 563 Yards

Another 'okay' drive up the left side left me a long way to go, and I was just trying to give myself about 120 yards or so to the hole.  I topped a hybrid that ALMOST ran into a hazard, but stayed up... and then I kinda punched a 4 iron into the rough next to the fairway bunker, leaving me about 60 yards or so to the pin.  My wedge from there wasn't horrible, leaving me about 15 feet short... but then I three-putted for the first time this season and posted another double bogey.

Hole #4 - Par 3 - 150 Yards

This is another hole that I really like on the course.  I've played it fairly well the few times I've played the course, posting a pair of birdies here on this hole.  Today was no my day to post another decent score.  Instead... I wiped a 7 iron short and right and then hit a very, very poor pitch that left me 42 or so feet for par.  I left that putt 9 feet short, but was lucky to have made the bogey attempt from there.  

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 389 Yards

As bad as things had been through the first 6 holes I played... they got REALLY bad starting here.  My tee shot on this hole started well down the left side of the fairway and then made an abrupt turn towards the right before disappearing into a hazard.  Where I was able to drop didn't really leave me any shot at the green, so I punched a 9 iron to the flat area short of the hazard crossing in front of the green.  My gap wedge from about 85 yards was disgustingly short, and my pitch from there still left me almost 50 feet from the hole.  A two-putt from there and I was writing another triple bogey on my card.

Hole #6 - Par 5 - 512 Yards

This was another hole where my drive wasn't horrible, but it still had a big slice to it.  I hit it well enough, though, and it found the fairway.  I still had a long way to the hole and I was trying to get as close as possible, but I topped my 3 wood.  Luckily, it cleared the creek crossing the fairway... but I only advanced it about 70 yards.  I sliced another 4 iron across the fairway and into the rough, then I pushed my sand wedge from the rough just to the right of the green.  My chip from there settled to about 4 feet... and then my brain went to sleep and I three-putted for another triple bogey.

Hole #7 - Par 3 - 154 Yards

The one and only green I hit in regulation came here.  I took an extra club (6 iron) and still managed to slice the ball, but it caught a piece of the green.  I was 35 feet or so from the hole... left that 7 feet short... missed that and three-putted my 2nd consecutive green for a bogey.

Hole #8 - Par 4 - 363 Yards

I kinda like this hole... usually.  From the tee, it's WIDE OPEN to start the ball left and have it come back to the right... and I certainly started it well left, but it worked its way entirely across the fairway and into the trees.  I had no play from there, so I punched a 4 iron low and out of the trees, leaving me about 50 yards from the hole.  I sh**ked ANOTHER sand wedge... then pitched to about 15 feet... and three-putted my 3rd straight green... and had to put another triple bogey on my card.  This would begin a streak of 6 consecutive holes at triple bogey or worse.

Hole #9 - Par 4 - 392 Yards

Nope.  I don't want to write about this one.  I'll summarize it this way.  Drive... right.  Whiff from a hazard.  Hardly advanced the ball on the next swing.  Stuck in a clump of tall grass.  Hacked an 8 iron short of the green.  Bladed the chip.  2 putts from 51 feet.  Triple bogey.

** NOTE - The front side was bad... but it was going to get worse.  I carded a 56 on the front... and I felt that even THAT was a kind of low score considering how I was playing.  

Hole #10 - Par 4 - 396 Yards

This hole was set up PERFECTLY for how badly I was slicing the ball today... but I still managed to blow it WAY right and into the hazard.  A drop left me an awkward stance and no shot at the green, so I hit the straightest iron all day... a 5 iron into the fairway that left me about 55 yards to the hole.  I tried to hit a low pitching wedge into the green, but it got caught in the fringe.  I putted on to about 11 feet... missed the double bogey attempt and tapped in for a triple.

Hole #11 - Par 4 - 290 Yards

As far as positioning for an approach shot, this was one of my best positions all day.  My drive found the fairway and left me only 80 yards to the hole.  I freakin' sh**ked ANOTHER wedge into the bunker... bladed it out of there and over the green, where it rolled into a hazard... dropped... pitched on and two-putted from 35 feet for another triple bogey.

Hole #12 - Par 3 - 145 Yards

I was the recipient of some bad luck on this hole.  I finally hit a solid iron... an 8 iron from about 130 yards... and the wind picked up as soon as I hit it, knocking my ball down and into a hazard.  Seeing as moving forward 5 yards or so wasn't really going to benefit me... I hit the same club again.  It looked perfect, but I never saw it hit the green.  When I got to the ball... it was COMPLETELY buried in the lip of the bunker.  I could hardly see the top of the ball.  I did my best to hack it out, but it rolled down into the bottom of the bunker.  It took 2 more swings to get it out... and a two-putt for an amazing 8 on a par 3.  For tour scoring purposes, it was reduced to a triple bogey.

Hole #13 - Par 5 - 498 Yards

All the real estate in the world to work with on the left, and I still found the right side and a fairway bunker.  My 4 iron advanced me MAYBE 60 yards.  Another 4 iron from the fairway that was topped, sliced and ugly.  A gap wedge off the hosel short and right of the green.  A pitch to around 32 feet from the hole... and finally... a three-putt for, you guessed it... a TRIPLE BOGEY!

Hole #14 - Par 4 - 373 Yards

Uphill the entire way... dead into the wind.  This hole had the makings of getting REALLY ugly, REALLY fast.  I hit an okay drive here... finding the fairway and leaving me about 160 up the hill to the pin.  I started my 4 iron to the left of the bunker at the left side of the green and watched as it worked its way to the bunker at the right side of the green.  I positively HACKED my sand wedge from there and watched it slam into the lip and bounce up to the green where my playing competitors groaned when it slammed into the pin and didn't drop for a birdie.  Instead, it settled a few inches away and I tapped in for my only par of the day.  It was not deserved, but I wasn't going to complain at some good fortune.

Hole #15 - Par 4 - 341 Yards

I found another fairway.  That should be where I leave it, but... nope.  Wedge off the hosel into the bunker.  Shot from there caught the right edge of the green and rolled into the hazard.  Dropped there... pitched to 10 feet... two-putted... triple bogey.

Hole #16 - Par 3 - 158 Yards

A big part of me just wanted to take the max score triple bogey and save myself the embarrassment of playing this hole... but I didn't.  My 7 iron sliced... no shock there.  It was short... no shock there either.  It landed in the HUGE bunker fronting the green... no shock still.  First shot hit the lip and it rolled in to my footprint... still not shocked.  Second shot was long, but caught the green and started to spin back towards the hole... and then caught a ridge that funneled the ball ALL THE WAY across to the left side of the green.  It took 3 putts from 40 feet to close out my historically poor round with another triple bogey.

** NOTE - An abysmal 61 which was reduced to a 59 for tour scoring... and a posted score of 115, which was good enough for ALMOST dead last.  Somehow, someone came in with a worse score than I did... so I placed 24th out of 25 entrants in C Flight.

There is a 3 week break until the next tournament.  I don't intend to touch the clubs for the next week (except to clean them).  I'll hit the range the week after and HOPE that I can figure out what was going wrong.  If not... it's going to be another extremely long tournament in a few weeks.

Until next time!

Round Stats

  * Score - 117 (AGT Score of 115)

  * Course Handicap - 20
  * Net Score - 97 (AGT Net Score of 95)
  * Penalty Strokes - 5
  * Putts - 40
  * Fairways - 6 of 14
  * Greens in Regulation - 1 of 18
  * Up and Downs - 1 of 4
  * Sand Saves - 1 of 7

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