Earnest Words

Quick Round at Emerald Isle on 10/17

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So this was an impromptu golf round. I booked the tee time an hour before play and showed up with about 20 minutes to warm up. I putted a bit, chipped a bit, and made some swings at tees on the first tee.

Then the rest of the tee time showed up. They were three, friendly, White guys. A father and son and the son’s friend. I was just about to tee off from the blue tees when they arrived.

I should have just played.

Goals for the round were:

  • pray before the round (did this!)
  • Smooth swing; don’t over swing
  • Make a birdie
  • No triple bogies
  • Have fun

An unofficial goal was “no three putts” but I didn’t articulate it. The other goal was that this was an impromptu tune up before I played on 10/22.

First hole, I didn’t play well. I hit a top hook to the tee box of 18, which runs parallel to the hole. Then I hit my sand wedge into the net that protects the tee box from hole 1. Then I hit a 6 iron chip under some trees which ran WAY too long. I thought about 8 iron and went with six to that I’d have more roll.

I should have done 8. 

Fourth shot was from a little hillock down onto the green, which I putted to 3 yards out. I missed the 3 yarder to 6 inches and tapped in for a … triple.

Goal 1, in the books.

Second hole, I hit a better tee shot, actually the best of our group. Into the fairway, about 110 yards, which is bad for an 8 iron but pretty good for a chunk.

That left me 70 yards to the pin so I hit a full LW, and that was a good shot! I had 10 yards or so left to putt … and i left it 3 yards short. I then got the 3 yard putt to be short of the hole, but I at least tapped it in for bogey.

Goal 2: Don’t three putt, in the books.

Hole 3, i chunked my 7 iron into the water. Then I played my PW from where the ball had entered the water and hit it perfectly, 97 yards to the green. That left me a 5 yard uphill putt that I missed to 1.75 yards short. I then missed the 1.75 yard putt long and made it for a 6. Another triple! And this time with a 3-putt! Double goal.

At least this one I had a hazard to excuse my poor score.

I also abandoned my playing partners at this point. It had been 40 minutes and we were … on hole 3. With no one in front of us. When I left them, they were looking for balls in the water of hole 3.

I couldn’t handle it.

Hole 4, I hit an excellent pitching wedge about 100 yards, to the green. I think it was 10 yards short (so a 9 iron would have been the perfect choice) but I was on the green, an easy two putt for par.

I missed the 10y putt right to 1.5 yards high – and promptly missed the 1.5 yard putt. So tapped it in for a bogey.

Still, another bogey is okay.

Hole 5 I chunked my 8 iron into the cart path, where it ran down the cart path to well long of the hole. The lie I had was … okay. The cart path is made of dirt and relief from the cart path would put me in line for a bunker or in line for a tree.

So I hit a pretty good pitching wedge from the cart path that I hit a little too hard. It ran over the green and under a tree just inside of OB.

I had a lot of green to work with and my lob wedge was working on the practice green so I bladed my lob wedge over the green, right back to the spot i was in previously.

That was stupid. I should have putted: it wasn’t like I needed to go over anything. But a good sand wedge got me back to the green, leaving me 5 yards out and putting. I missed the 5 yarder long and right, leaving me a yard left. Another triple bogey.

Hole 6 is a hole that I have historically done well on. It’s my best on the front nine, with an average score of a bogey.

This time, I hit a 9 iron right at the spot I was aiming for, a tree left of the green to keep the ball from going OB. Hit my spot exactly, leaving a 4y putt for birdie.

I marked it, looked at the putt. It was straight. Annoyed as I was having left my putter cover somewhere on the course, I lined it up and made the 12 footer for birdie.

Unironic goal achieved!

Hole 7 is a somehow challenging very short par 4. I hit my 8 iron off the tee and it was a big, sweeping slice that stayed inbounds because I missed well.

I contemplated chipping with my 8 iron from the spot in the rough but I didn’t for a reason I don’t understand. Well, I was concerned about the ball going off the back of the green, but my PW chip died on the fringe, so … I was not at risk at going off the back of the green.

Another PW chip left me 4 yards short of the green (another instance where the 8 iron would have been a better choice). So I promptly putted the 4 yarder to within 1 yard, missed the 1 yard putt, and then made it for  a double bogey.


8 is an uphill par 3 with nothing behind it and to the right and a huge bunker short left. So the only misses are long left and short right — but short right is OB.

I hit a good PW that didn’t have enough backspin to get out of the rough above the hole. I missed the downhill chip from the rough to 7y long, but honestly it’s such a challenging putt that I was happy that it stayed on the green.

I then lagged it up to 2 feet and made the putt for a bogey. Happy with that.

9 is also uphill, over a water hazard. So, knowing how this round is going so far, I chunked my 8 iron into the hazard. Then I reteed and hit it onto the green. Putted to within a foot and made for a double bogey.

So that was a pretty atrocious front 9: I shot a 44, which is my worst in … two rounds? Well, I also had 21 putts so that was nice.

What were the good parts of the front 9: well, the birdie was exceptional. And I hit both my 9 iron and pitching wedge pretty well…

Anyway, onto the back 9.

Hole 10 was set pretty far back so I hit my 8 iron. It was a good choice although I faded it right of the green. That left me 35 yards right of the pin. I hit my SW short of the destination, leaving 15 yards to the pin. I chose to chip again instead of putting since I was on the fringe and that was dumb. I missed my chip short, missed the putt close, missed the other putt, and then finally made it for a 6. Blegh.

Hole 11 I chunked my SW again, after the players in front of me let me play through. One of the old guys was strangely aggressive about it. That was weird.

So I chunked it into the water hazard, so I reteed and hit it onto the green.Then I rushed my putts, but managed to make a double bogey. That’s par number 2 if I could have just hit it onto the green to begin with.

Hole 12 I hit a pitching wedge since short was better than long. Then the guys behind me, who had let me play through, hit up on me, bizarrely, so I rushed my putts and 3-putted after putt chipping onto the green. Double.

Hole 13 has been a bug-bear for me in the past. This time, I hit a great SW to the green and then made a terrible uphill putt, leaving 3 yards remaining. I missed the 3 yard putt, missed the 1 yard remaining putt, and then finally finished the 4 putt for another double.

Hole 14 i hit a 7 iron which faded OB. Then I reteed and hit another fade, but aimed further left, so the ball landed pin high over the green. A wonderful 9 iron chip left me 1 yard from the green — which I promptly missed. Another 6.

At this point, I stopped taking notes. I was frustrated and backed up again, behind a family two-some. But I was frustrated so I might as well stop keeping such careful track.

I hit an okay 8 iron short of the hole hole 15. It left a long chip that i left very short, since I hit to the opposite side of the green. After leaving the SW chip short, I putted onto the green, again short. I then putted short, putted close,and finally put it in for another 3-putt.

Hole 16 I hit my 9 iron long of the green but I was able to get on with a good putt chip, especially since it was downhill. Then the putting woes returned: I putted it short, missed it again, and then made a 5. Great.

Hole 17 i finally had a good shot. I hit the green with a shot, but the backspin on the ball took it off the green. Surprise suprise, I had an okay chip on then missed a few times for another 3-putt 5.

Hole 18, I was a bit irresponsible. I didn’t call fore, and hit on the left side of the green with a pitching wedge. The ball rolled onto the green and I made a wonderful second putt that finished 4 inches from the hole. Then I missed the 4 inch putt for par and made a bogey.

So in this godforsaken round, I made 1 birdie, 1 bogey, and then everything else was a 5 or a 6. Which is what I had hoped to do on Friday, 10/22, and promptly didn’t do.

My putting was the biggest thing that held me back. It was atrocious. I missed 10 of 27 putts from within 2 yards which was atrocious. Taking those 10 putts out, I would have had just 37 putts, which would have been bad, but that also would have been the difference between an 81 and a 91.

My tee shots were not good but I tended to recover well. Really, my putting was atrocious.

I went back and practiced my putting later in the week and was able to make the same putts in 35 putts, including removing the 4-putt. So that was a good feeling. It was a putting anomaly.

Best shots

  1. Lob Wedge on Hole 2
  2. Pitching Wedge on Hole 3
  3. Pitching wedge on hole 4
  4. Tee shot on 6
  5. Birdie putt on 6
  6. SW retee on Hole 11
  7. SW on hole 13
  8. 9 iron chip on 14
  9. Tee shot on 18
  10. Lag putt on 18

That’s … not a lot of good shots. Which is appropriate because it was not a good round.


One response to “Quick Round at Emerald Isle on 10/17”

  1. […] Quick Round at Emerald Isle on 10/17 […]

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