Saturday, March 26, 2016

Charlotte Area Golfweek Amateur Tournament - 3/26/2016 - Country Club of Salisbury (Salisbury, NC)

As golfers, we all have courses we just seem to play better at than others.  Sometimes, there's an apparent reason... other times, it doesn't really make sense.  This was one of those courses for me that I played pretty well at... but I could not figure out why.  It's a tight course that requires a lot of well thought out shots and absolutely demands that you keep the ball in play off the tee, which is not exactly a strength of mine (as you know if you've been following along at all).

Anyway... because I had posted a pair of decent scores there last season... I was really looking forward to heading back to The Country Club of Salisbury and hopefully posting something respectable to get me some points in the standings.

Details of the round are below.

Hole #15 - Par 5 - 475 Yards

I really enjoy this hole.  At 475 yards, you would think it would be reachable... but in the 3 times I've played it (including this time), I've never even had a remote shot at getting there.  My drive was struck well, but just didn't have enough to carry the bunker up the left side.  This meant I had no play but to hack a 7 iron out of the bunker (from an up-slope) and back to the fairway.  I was left with about 190, so I hit a solid 4 iron that finished just left of the hole.  My pitch finished about 12 feet short.  I was unable to convert from there for par, so I settled for a bogey from 3 feet.

Hole #16 - Par 4 - 359 Yards

Unlike the previous hole... I really dislike this one.  I got in trouble early in my round, starting here.  My tee shot was slightly left and must have kicked hard off a bare area because when we got up to where we all thought my ball was... it was nowhere to be found.  It must have kicked out of bounds to the left.  I went back to the tee (drive of shame) and hit another ball, this time up the right side in the right rough.  I was left with about 140 yards... so I hit my 8 iron.  I pulled it badly and watched as it went out of bounds again.  At that point... I just picked up and took the triple bogey maximum on the hole to save myself from getting angrier than I already was.

Hole #17 - Par 3 - 172 Yards

My 6 iron from the tee was pulled and hooked... into a backyard... out of bounds.  My next shot was fat and right.  I hit a sand wedge on from there and then needed 2 putts from 21 feet for a second consecutive triple bogey.

Hole #18 - Par 4 - 360 Yards

I hit a big drive up the right side, but where the ball finished... I had no real play as I was blocked out by some trees.  I tried to get cute and hit a low 9 iron... but it got up too high too quickly and hit one of the tree branches, knocking it down next to the fairway bunker.  That left me about 55 yards from the hole.  I hit a decent sand wedge on the green but slightly deep.  Where the pin was cut, if I missed my putt even a few inches long, it was going to roll forever... and that's just what happened.  From about 25 feet, my putt went 26 feet... and then rolled down into the fairway, 35 yards from the hole.  It took me 2 strokes to get the ball to stay on the green... and then I made a 3 foot putt for another triple bogey.

Hole #1 - Par 4 - 348 Yards

Again, I hit a strong drive... but it was up the right side.  The ball actually finished on the 9th tee.  Between where my ball was and the green was a set of very large trees.  I basically had only 1 option, and that was to try and fly over the trees to the green.  I hit a pure pitching wedge from there, up over the trees and on to the green to about 14 feet.  It was a great feeling to execute that shot and I hoped it was going to spark my round.  Unfortunately, I three-putted from 14 feet for a bogey... but it was still better than the triple bogeys on the previous few holes!

Hole #2 - Par 4 - 354 Yards

This is a short little hole... and I wanted to make sure I didn't go out of bounds because it's fairly tight, so I hit a 4 iron from the tee.  I absolutely pured it and it put me in a good position up the left side of the hole.  I had about 145 to the flag... my 8 iron was a little left and a little deep, but I was on the green.  From 75 feet, I missed by about 7 feet to the right of the hole, but I was able to make that coming back up the slope for my first par of the round.

Hole #3 - Par 5 - 520 Yards

It got back to being ugly here.  My drive was up the right side.  I thought it was fine... but one of my playing competitors said they saw it kick to the right.  I hit a provisional, just to be safe... but that one went even further right and I KNEW that one was gone.  When we got up to where the original should have been... none of us saw a thing.  At that point, it wasn't worth making the trek back to try and make a natural triple bogey, so I picked up for the second time in the round and took a triple bogey maximum score again.

Hole #4 - Par 4 - 386 Yards

At this point, I was back to being angry.  Things got worse on this hole, however.  I tried to be safe, but I pull-hooked a 4 iron into the trees and then played hockey with the ball and my 4 iron up the left side.  By the time I finally got up to the ball and was able to put the ball into the hole... it was ANOTHER triple bogey on my scorecard.

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 358 Yards

Another short par 4... another 'safe' attempt with a 4 iron.  I pulled this one left, but I had a look at the green from where I was.  I was going to have to go high again... and I hit a solid 7 iron from where I was, but it came up just short.  I was left with a little pitch from in front of the green which I got to about 10 feet... but I could not get the par putt to fall, so I settled for a bogey.  At that junction in the round... I was just glad it wasn't another triple bogey.

Hole #6 - Par 3 - 165 Yards

The tee was moved up to about 135 yards, but the wind was strong into our faces... so I went with a 7 iron.  It was on the green, but at the back of it.  I was left with about 50 feet for my birdie attempt.  I didn't even get close and ultimately, I three-putted from 50 feet for a bogey.  Ugh.

Hole #7 - Par 4 - 400 Yards

Again, directly into the wind.  Luckily, the tees were moved up about 40 yards.  I absolutely smashed my drive from the tee... but it only went 239 yards.  I was still left with 130 or so to the hole.  I hit a solid 9 iron that finished in the fringe to the left of the green.  I putted from there and rolled the ball nicely to about 9 feet and I was finally able to convert a decent length putt for a par!

Hole #8 - Par 4 - 341 Yards

You'd have thought that I would have figured out how to stop being 'safe' by this point... but, I was still trying to make the smart plays.  My 4 iron was left (again) and ended up in a hazard.  I dropped within 2 club-lengths and was left with about 200 yards to go.  I needed to keep the ball low and have it run... so I hit a punched 3 wood that ran low and left.  I pitched on from about 35 yards left of the green and then needed 2 putts from 20 feet for a double bogey.

Hole #9 - Par 3 - 156 Yards

I hit an okay 6 iron from the tee that got hit by the wind and finished a bit off the right side.  Since I was in the short grass to the right of the hole, I figured I'd try to putt on... but I didn't do a very good job and left the ball in the fringe.  Again, I putted from there... this time to about 3 feet and then I tapped in for a bogey to close out the front side.

** NOTE - Despite the tough holes where I tripled... it wasn't all that bad on the front side.  I ended up posting a 47 for that side.  I knew that I had struggled so much early on that the remaining 5 holes on the back side were going to have to be special to have any shot at finishing inside the top 10... but that was still the goal.

Hole #10 - Par 4 - 350 Yards

I got away from being 'safe' and decided to be aggressive... and suddenly, I started bombing the ball with my driver.  From this tee, I hit as pure a drive as I'd hit all season.  It ended up in the center of the fairway, 291 yards from where it started.  I was left with a little wedge to the green.  Unfortunately, I hit it a little short of where I wanted to, but it was on the green.  From 54 feet, I needed 2 putts and I had myself a par.

Hole #11 - Par 4 - 385 Yards

Another bomb from this tee, this one a 302 yarder, left me about 80 yards or so to the flag.  I hit a gap wedge that was just a little too strong, but finished on the green.  My birdie attempt from 45 feet was left woefully short, and then I couldn't make the 9 footer for par... so I settled for an extremely disappointing tap-in bogey.

Hole #12 - Par 4 - 372 Yards

The third straight hole running in the same direction and another great drive.  This one wasn't quite as long (266 yards), but it left me in a good position up the left side.  Of course, I managed to make a mess of it from there.  My pitching wedge out of the rough from about 115 was slightly long.  I watched, with dismay, as my ball kicked off a mound at the back of the green and into a creek behind the green.  I had to drop from there and then it took me 2 shots to get on the green.  I ended up with a momentum killing triple bogey.

Hole #13 - Par 5 - 473 Yards

I hit another good drive, but because this one was into the wind a bit, it didn't give me an all-too-realistic shot at going for the green.  Still... I had about 220 left and I figured if I hit my 3 wood solidly... I could run it up there.  Instead, I pulled it left and into the river running down that side of the hole.  After my drop, I was left with a 7 iron into the wind from about 150.  I hammered the ball and it flew over the back of the green.  I pitched to about 15 feet... but couldn't make the bogey putt and wound up with a double bogey.

Hole #14 - Par 3 - 150 Yards

My final hole of the day, and it finished like it started.  I hit a solid 7 iron off the tee, but it was deep.  I then flubbed a chip that barely got onto the green.  From 27 feet, I didn't really get close at my par, and then I tapped in from about 3 feet for a bogey to close out my round.

** NOTE - The way I played the 10th and 11th holes... I had a little bit of hope... but once I hit that pitching wedge deep on the 12th... I knew it was over.  All momentum was gone.  My back nine score of 53 meant I posted a total of an even 100.  It put me in 14th place out of 20 entrants in C Flight and earned me an additional 80 points towards the season standings.  

The next tournament is next weekend at a course I missed playing last season, but I'm very much looking forward to.  Following that... I'm going away on vacation with my family for a week... so, between now and next weekend... I'll be working myself into vacation mode!

Until then!

Round Stats

  * Score - 103 (AGT Score of 100)

  * Course Handicap - 20
  * Net Score - 83 (AGT Net Score of 80)
  * Penalty Strokes - 8
  * Putts - 37
  * Fairways - 4 of 14
  * Greens in Regulation - 5 of 18
  * Up and Downs - 1 of 4
  * Sand Saves - 0 of 0

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