Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Round Review - 3/22/2016 - Spring Lake Country Club (York, SC)

I knew I wanted to get back out on to the course at some point this week to ensure that I had some practice leading in to the next tournament on Saturday.  I woke up and it was a little cold, but I decided instead of heading to Tega Cay where I get most of my practice in, I'd head to Spring Lake Country Club.  I was there a few days ago and, although it's not in the greatest shape, it still offers a pretty decent test and requires a bunch of different shots to make it around.

I didn't figure it would be the best round of golf I've played so far in my life... but that's exactly what it turned out to be.  Read on below for all the details.

Hole #1 - Par 5 - 423 Yards

I got rushed out a little earlier than I had planned.  An older couple had pulled up while I was sitting in my cart and told me that the gentleman in the pro shop informed them that I could either go out ahead of them, join them, or play behind them.  They asked that I go out ahead because they didn't want to hold me up.

I put a tee in the ground and proceeded to blow one way right.  I never found it and played my provisional out of the woods on the right side with a 4 iron about 60 yards shy of the hole.  I hit a sand wedge a little shorter than I would have liked and came up on the front of the green.  From 25 feet, my putt didn't really scare the hole so I tapped in from about a foot right for a double bogey to open up.

Hole #2 - Par 3 - 202 Yards

I hit a very solid, very straight 4 iron from this tee.  Still, with the breeze and the cool air, I only managed to get on to the front of the green.  This left me a long, uphill putt for birdie from 39 feet.  I lagged it up nicely to about 2 feet and tapped in for a par on a fairly difficult hole.

Hole #3 - Par 4 - 385 Yards

This hole is a test for me.  It doesn't look like much, but the dogleg to the left means that I usually try and bail out right, which leaves a longer shot up a slight hill to the green.  That's exactly what happened here.  I hit a nice, drawing shot from the tee but it ran through the fairway up the right.  I was left with about 160 yards, but up a slight hill with the ball above my feet.  I hit a 5 iron that was right on target, but came up well short.  My pitch from the rough short of the green was poor, leaving me a 30 foot attempt at par which never got close and then another 2 footer which I made for bogey.

Hole #4 - Par 4 - 349 Yards

This is a wide open hole with the only real danger being the road down the left side.  Because a storm took down the net bordering the road, they cut this down to a par 3 of about 140 yards.  I played my ball from the fairway rather than a tee, for authenticity.  My 8 iron was directly on the pin, but another shot that was short on me.  My chip from shy of the green nearly went in, but left me yet another 2 footer.  I was able to make that for a par.

Hole #5 - Par 3 - 137 Yards

With the rangefinder, I pegged the pin at about 125 yards... and it was slightly downhill.  Because my previous few shots had come up shy, I decided to be safe and play the 9 iron instead of a pitching wedge.  I hit it right at the pin, but deep.  The ball settled on the fringe at the back of the green.  I had a fairly straightforward putt from there which settled to, you guessed it, 2 feet.  I made that for a second consecutive par.

Hole #6 - Par 5 - 462 Yards

This is a fun, reachable hole.  I hit a good, solid drive that found the middle of the fairway and left me 199 yards to the flag.  My ball was sitting down a bit in a bare spot on the fairway and I didn't get a solid shot at it with my hybrid.  I ended up topping the ball and watching it run to just shy of the green.  I was now in a muddy area short of the green, but I hit a good pitch shot that finished about 9 feet short of the hole.  I had a solid birdie opportunity, which I pulled left and long... and then I made my 5th consecutive 2 footer for a third consecutive par.

Hole #7 - Par 4 - 436 Yards

Ordinarily, this hole is a beast.  Today, there was a bit of a helping breeze.  Although I didn't hit the shot where I wanted, it ended up in a good spot.  A little bit of an over-draw on the ball had it click off the overhanging tree on the left.  I thought it dropped straight down below the tree, but it actually advanced a bit and left me about 185 to the hole.  My ball was in an old divot here, so I tried to stay down on the ball and I managed to hit a good shot that found the front of the green and then rolled off to the right side.  From the fringe, I putted up to about 5 feet.  This left me a testy little par attempt, but I was able to make it for a 4th straight par.

Hole #8 - Par 4 - 384 Yards

I hammered my drive off the tee here and it ran down in the fairway just shy of the drop off that would have rolled to within 80 yards.  I had about 105 to the pin and hit my approach wedge, but I caught it high on the face and it didn't get close.  I was left with a pitch about 20 yards shy of the green.  I got that to about 6 feet but couldn't convert the par attempt from there and tapped in for a bogey instead.

Hole #9 - Par 4 - 341 Yards

I knew that this hole required an iron from the tee, and I debated between a 4 iron and a 5 iron.  Ultimately, I went with the 5 iron.  I was looking for a shot that was going to land just beyond the tree on the right and settle into the fairway shy of the hazard.  I got really unlucky as I hit the shot I wanted, but the ball nipped a branch on that tree and kicked way right and into a hazard down the right side of the fairway.  I dropped from there and then hit a really poor, really thin 7 iron that finished up in the hazard in front of the green.  I took a drop that left me about 70 yards to the hole and hit a sand wedge to about 13 feet.  I couldn't make that and tapped in for a triple bogey.

** NOTE - I had posted a front side score of 43 that included a double to open and a triple to close.  I was extremely happy with that score and was hoping to be able to keep it going on the back.

Hole #10 - Par 3 - 125 Yards

I had a bit of a wait here, so I took my time and got my yardage.  It was saying about 135, but it was slightly uphill... so I decided to go with an 8 iron.  I hit that well, but pulled it slightly left.  It stayed out of the bunker, but left me a tough downhill chip to the hole.  I hit that well and got the ball to within 7 feet.  I made that putt for par to start the back.

Hole #11 - Par 4 - 336 Yards

Again, I had to wait for the group ahead of me to clear from the fairway before I could take my shot.  When I did, I hit the ball really well, but I pulled it slightly.  The ball finished just off the fairway, 78 yards from the hole.  Since it was into the wind, I figured that a sand wedge wouldn't be enough, so I went with the gap wedge instead.  I hit a really good shot that stopped 9 feet behind the hole.  I then had my worst putting bout of the day as I three-putted from 9 feet, including a missed 2 footer, and I settled for a bogey after playing it well tee-to-green.

Hole #12 - Par 4 - 395 Yards

Another hole straight into the wind.  The group ahead of me was waving me through, so I kind of rushed my process.  I hit a high, hooking drive that looked like it was going to go OB, but I got a good kick off the tree and my ball landed in the left rough.  I had 212 to the hole from the rough and into the wind.  I just wanted to get something that might get close.  I decided on a hybrid which stayed low and then managed to run up into the mouth of the green and on.  When I got up there, I had about 29 feet for birdie.  I lagged that well and finished 3 feet away, making that for an unlikely, but welcome par.

Hole #13 - Par 5 - 567 Yards

This is a very long, but fairly benign par 5.  I had the wind at my back and I hammered my best drive of the day, 282 yards up into the right side of the fairway.  I was still miles from the hole and I just wanted to get myself in a short iron or wedge range, so I hit a 4 iron that worked around the fairway bunker and left me 115 to the pin.  My pitching wedge started left but worked right and then hit the green and worked further right.  I was left with 27 feet for my birdie, which was unrealistic.  I lagged it to 3 feet again and made another par putt.

Hole #14 - Par 4 - 404 Yards

I was back into the wind on this hole.  From the tee, all I told myself was to stay away from the right side where the trouble was.  I hit a solid drive and left myself 140 yards to the flag.  With it being into the wind, I decided to club up to the 7 iron and take a smoother swing.  I hit what turned out to be an almost perfect shot.  The ball grabbed the green on the left side, spun back and funneled down towards the hole.  I was left with a nearly straight 10 footer for birdie, which I managed to drain!

Hole #15 - Par 4 - 379 Yards

I warned myself to stay left because of the OB on the right.  This time, I overcompensated and pull-hooked the ball into the rough on the 14th hole.  I had no look at the green and had to settle for a punch-out 6 iron which left me in the fairway shy of the green.  My sand wedge from there hit the green but rolled off the back edge.  I nearly sank the putt from the fringe, but settled for a tap-in bogey instead.

Hole #16 - Par 3 - 194 Yards

Another perfectly straight iron shot from the tee here, but it came up short.  I was left with a long, 54 foot putt up a steep slope.  My first putt was woefully short and right, leaving me 8 feet from the hole.  My par attempt from there missed low and I had another tap-in bogey.

Hole #17 - Par 4 - 387 Yards

From this tee, it's kind of visually intimidating.  There are 2 creeks which cross the fairway.  To clear the second, it is about a 250 yard carry.  The clear the first, it's about 175 yards.  I don't have a lot of faith in clubs between 175 and 250 yards, and I had the wind at my back, so I decided to try and clear the second creek.  I hit the drive well, and it looked like it would easily clear... but then the wind stopped.  My ball managed to clear, but just barely.  It started to roll back towards the creek, but it got held up by some longer grass.  I was left with 118 yards up the hill to a pin on the right.  I went with a 9 iron that was low and ran through the green.  This left me with an almost impossible chip.  I had to land the ball on the top tier and then it would run down the slope and could very easily go off the front of the green.  Somehow, I managed to land the ball perfectly, it took the slope at almost a stop, and then rolled towards the pin.  Luckily, it slammed into the pin or it would have run off the green.  Instead, it stopped within a foot and I tapped in for par.

Hole #18 - Par 5 - 520 Yards

The final hole is a dogleg right.  It's open enough with the drive, so I hit a decent drive into the fairway.  I was still a long way from the hole and I wanted to leave myself a full wedge or short iron.  I hit a low, leaking 4 iron that finished in the rough up the right side leaving me 115 up the slope.  My pitching wedge was the wrong club and I finished just off the front of the green in the fringe.  I hit a pretty good lag putt from there to 4 feet and, although I was nervous, I managed to sink it for a par to close out my round.

** NOTE - I had managed to shoot a 38 on the back side.  This led to an 81 total on my scorecard.  I was ridiculously happy with this score and wish that I could find a way to maintain that type of play as I head into a tournament heavy few weeks.


Outside of the bad kick on the 9th hole and the poor start with the bad drive on the 1st hole... I had nothing to complain about.  The bad kick evened out with a good kick on the 12th hole, so... in the end, it was what it was.  The back nine 38 was a new career best for 9 holes for me... and the overall 81 was also a new personal best.  As I head into the busy part of my week, I know I'm going to be itching and dreaming about getting back out there prior to Saturday... but I'll have to leave it alone and take the good thoughts with me to Salisbury this weekend.

Until then...

Round Stats

  • Score - 81
  • Penalty Strokes - 3
  • Putts - 30
  • Fairways - 7 of 13
  • Greens in Regulation - 7 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 6 of 8
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 0

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