Earnest Words

Details on my 9 most recent rounds

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So I haven’t written up my golf rounds in a while. My last round on the blog was 2/18 and I’ve played 7 rounds since then (now 12). I don’t think I’m going to be able to reconstruct what happened but I can try.

I’ve also taken 4 lessons (6 lessons now) in the meantime which has … kind of helped. I decided to take the lessons after a challenging round on March 19th, when I started the round par, birdie, par, and then shot 29 over through the next 15 holes… on an executive course.

Since that round and since these lessons, my swing has improved but my scoring has not improved as much as I would like. Yes, I set a new record at Arrowood with a 106, despite losing 16 strokes to hazards and penalty areas (I had 82 through 15 — so an epic collapse on the last 3 holes: a 6, a 7, and an 11.).

However, I have had some good strokes and have done some good work on adjusting my expectations, I think. So we will see how that goes. 

And here are the details on each round:

2/26 at Welk

Terrible screenshot from Arcoss. Not pictured is the double-bogey on 1.

The first two holes are here.

Played the Par 3 course with children in tow. Birdied the second hole and other than that, played pretty poorly with a 78 (+24) with 33 putts. Only hit 2 greens.

Of 78 strokes, 14 were genuinely good and what I’d want to replicate again. That’s 18%. Ew.

Note that sometimes my barometer changes based on how the round is going. Long-two putts and good two-putts sometimes count. Sometimes they don’t because … well, usually I don’t remember them as well. Obviously, there is at least 1 shot on every hole I’d want to replicate. But I don’t really count those unless they’re an exceptional result: a longer-hole out or just ending a terrible string of failure. 

  1. SW on 2 to the green.
  2. 15-foot birdie putt on 2
  3. Putter chip on 5 to 2 feet for a tap-in bogey.
  4. Lag putt on 6 to finish at double-bogey.
  5. SW on 7: finally a good tee shot.
  6. Putter chip on 7 to prep par save.
  7. PW chip on 8 to prep par save.
  8. 8-foot par putt on 8.
  9. LW chip from under and behind a tree to get on the green on 10. Like, considering the difficulty, this was amazing.
  10. 5-footer make on hole 10 for bogey.
  11. Good chip on from the rough on 11 to leave 8-feet when the ball could have easily been off the green.
  12. Good putter chip on 12 to 4 feet after nearly injuring someone.
  13. LW on Hole 16 for a GIR
  14. Good PW on hole 18 for a final tee shot

2/28 at Oceanside Muni

Not pictured: the bogey on hole 1, with a hooked 6 iron, a punch-out PW and a 100 yard 60 degree shot leading to a 2-putt from 33 feet.

Decided to play after getting up at 430 in the morning. 30 good shots that I would want again. 24% of shots. It was the fastest I’d ever played Oceanside Muni too.

Story of this round was that I had 47 putts for a 116. I think I had 9 putts lip out, including a 5-putt after 2 lip outs on 17.

  1. PW out of the hardpan to the fairway on 1
  2. PW onto the green on 1
  3. Lag putt on 1 for an easy tap-in bogey
  4. PW punchout on a completely buried ball in the hazard on 2
  5. PW onto green on 2 from 120 out
  6. Good lag putt on 2 for an easy tap-in bogey
  7. LW pitch onto green from the rough on 3
  8. LW shot from hazard onto the green on 4
  9. Good 50 foot lag putt to 4 feet on 4 (4-footer lipped out)
  10. Great 40 foot lag putt chip to 4-feet on 5
  11. Made the 4-footer for bogey on 5
  12. Great tee shot on 6, middle of the fairway, 100 yards out
  13. Great chip putt on on 7 to leave a 4-footer (which lipped out)
  14. Good tee shot on 8
  15. Good 50-foot lag putt on 8 to 4 feet (followed by a lipout 3-putt)
  16. Good 50 yard pitch shot on 9 to lead to …
  17. A good 14 foot-lag putt to lead to …
  18. 2-foot bogey putt on 9
  19. Good 30-foot putt for a tap-in bogey on 11
  20. Good uphill LW to hit green on 12
  21. Good lag-putt on 12, leaving a 4-footer that lipped out
  22. Good 8 iron from hardpan on 14
  23. Good 8 iron from terrible rough on 14
  24. Great LW pitch shot on 14 to leave 8-feet (which I two-putted)
  25. Great 6 iron off the tee on 15 (218 yards!)
  26. Good pitch on on 15
  27. Good lag putt on 15
  28. Good tee shot on 16
  29. Good tee shot on 18
  30. Good putter chip on 18 from 70-feet to 8-feet (missed but made bogey)

3/19 at St. Mark’s Exec

Not pictured is the terrible terrible 3-putt 9 on hole 18.

Played with the boys in the afternoon. 29% good strokes. Started par, birdie, par hitting, 3 greens. I hit 3 greens after that and shot an 86 for +28 with 39 putts.

  1. SW off the tee for GIR on 1
  2. Lag putt on 1 for a tap-in par
  3. Par putt on 1
  4. PW off tee for a GIR on 2 (may be the best shot I’ve ever hit)
  5. 2-foot birdie putt on 2
  6. SW off tee for a GIR on 3
  7. Lag putt from 30-feet on 3 for a par make
  8. Par putt on 3
  9. Tee shot on 4
  10. Putter chip on 4 to lead to a double-bogey
  11. 40+ foot putt on 5 that just lipped out
  12. Tee shot on 7 that I apparently hit thin to the front of the green
  13. 30-foot putter chip on 7 to 4 feet
  14. 4-footer on 7 for par
  15. 50-foot putt on 8 to 5 feet (missed the 5-footer cause of aeration)
  16. LW pitch on 10 that nearly hit the pin
  17. 24-foot lag putt to a tap-in bogey on 10
  18. 27-yard SW from bunker to 4 yards on green on 11
  19. 16-foot putt for a tap-on on 12. Just a little bit luckier…
  20. Good SW for GIR on 13
  21. Good SW for GIR on 14
  22. Good 10-foot par putt on 14 that hit pin and didn’t drop.
  23. Good 60-foot lag putt on 15
  24. Good 50-foot lag putt on 16
  25. Good 30-foot lag putt on 18 (but missed the 4-footer).

4/1 at Marine Memorial

Our tracking scorecard for the scramble. Would you believe I played nearly 30 strokes better than my handicap?

Tough one cause it’s a scramble. But I played pretty well. It looks like I had 32 good shots; I was the best putter in the group which was pretty embarrassing (especially for our group).

This was also after my first lesson with Natalie. My swing was still a work in progress; I was working on pausing at the top of my backswing to give me a smoother downswing transition. Which was honestly pretty silly.

The only other thing was that this was advertised to me as a best ball tournament. So i was fully expecting to only contribute net scores based on my handicap. When I arrived, it was a scramble.

We shot 4 over (76) and I hit no good par 3 tee shots. Across didn’t know what do with the round. Would you believe that my scoring was about 17 strokes better than a 20 handicap?

Oh, and we started on 18.

  1. Second shot 7 iron on 18 to fringe: we had duff, a shot into the sand, and a second shot into the rough down the hill. I left us the most room to work with and just failed to hold the green.
  2. 6 iron on hole 1 to the fringe. Similar story to hole 18. We also used my drive on this hole which was … honestly pretty funny.
  3. 45-foot putt from the fringe on hole 1 for a par save (which I also holed)
  4. 8 iron approach on 2 (blocked right of the green, uphill chip)
  5. Lag putt on 2 (I missed par putt the best after some terrible chips)
  6. LW pitch shot on 3 for par save (really good shot but we had one better)
  7. 5-foot putt to save par on 3.
  8. 15-foot lag putt on 4 to save bogey (made the bogey putt)
  9. 7 iron for GIR on 5 
  10. 2-putt on 5 for a par
  11. 2-putt on 5 for a par
  12. 45-foot putt to lead to an easy bogey on 6
  13. PW to the green for GIR on 7 (great stroke, but the team had a better one)
  14. 2-putt on 7 for a par
  15. 2-putt for 7 for a par
  16. Lag putt close on 8 to lead to a par (missed the tap-in)
  17. Driver off the tee on 9 to FIR
  18. Lag putt on 9 (would have led to an easy par, teammate birdied)
  19. LW approach on 10, hit the green but team used another shot
  20. Lag putt for par on 10
  21. Made the par putt on 10
  22. Made a 5-footer for par on 11
  23. Long 2-putt for par on 12
  24. Long 2-putt for par on 12
  25. 7-foot putt for par on 14
  26. Driver off tee on 15
  27. Lag putt on 15
  28. 2-putt for par on 16
  29. 2-putt for par on 16
  30. SW from the sand on 17 (used a different, much better stroke)
  31. 2-putt for bogey on 17
  32. 2-putt for bogey on 17

5/6 at St. Mark’s Exec

This misses the first two holes: a 6 on hole 1 and a 5 on hole 2.

Impromptu round at the end of the day with 29% of my shots being good. +24 for an 82 with 36 putts and 4 greens hit.

Story of this round was that I birdied the last hole after nearly driving the green with a 7 iron after forgetting how to play on the front 9.

  1. 15-foot putt on 1 to two-putt
  2. Putt chip on hole 2 that nearly holed out
  3. Made 9-foot putt on hole 3 for … double bogey.
  4. 6 iron off tee on hole 4 right to the middle of the fairway
  5. 8 iron to the green for GIR on 4 (followed by a 3 putt)
  6. SW to green for GIR on 5 (followed by a 3-putt)
  7. LW off tee on hole 8 (backspin rolled it off the green)
  8. Putt chip on hole 8 that hit pin
  9. Made the par on hole 8
  10. Downhill LW chip on hole 9 to 4 yards (really the best I could have done; this ran out so long)
  11. 7 iron off tee on hole 11 (to the middle of the fairway)
  12. LW pitch on 11 over a sand trap
  13. SW on hole 12 for a GIR 
  14. 40-foot lag putt to 4-feet on 12 (but then a 2-putt)
  15. 22-foot lag putt on 13 for a tap-in bogey
  16. 24-foot putt on 14 for a …
  17. 4-foot make on hole 14 (For bogey)
  18. LW chip over moonscape on 15 to 5 feet
  19. 5-foot make on 15 for par
  20. Super-punch shot on 16 from under a tree
  21. LW pitch over a bunker on 17
  22. 7 iron off tee on 18, nearly to the green.
  23. LW pitch for GIR on 18
  24. 16-foot birdie putt on 18

5/18 at Arrowood

Went bogey, par on holes 1 and 2. Into the water 3 times on hole 18. Oof.

Took the day off to play on my birthday. 45 good shots that I would for sure want again. That’s 42% of shots being actually good!

I shot a new record at arrowood for a 106 – but I was on pace to do better. Major collapse on Hole 18. I made par on hole 2, nearly holing out for birdie from 90 yards out. And then made a birdie on hole 6 after a great putt.

Collapsed on hole 18 after putting 3 in the water. Shot a 106. A bogey on 18 gives me a 101.

  1. Tee shot on 1: great shot to the middle of the fairway. M
  2. LW pitch to center of green on 1 after a lucky and bad approach shot
  3. 27-foot lag putt for a tap-in bogey on 1
  4. 7 iron approach from rough on 2 after a mediocre tee shot.
  5. 8 iron layup on 2 to the fairway
  6. 77 yard LW to 1-yard.
  7. 1-yard putt for par on 2.
  8. 50-foot putt chip to 4 feet on 3 (then 2 putted)
  9. 6 iron off tee on 4 to the fairway
  10. 8 iron to fairway on 4
  11. LW pitch to green on 4
  12. 2-putt for bogey on 4
  13. 2-putt for bogey on 4
  14. 8 iron away from trouble on 5
  15. 35-foot 2-putt for bogey on 5
  16. 35-foot 2-putt for bogey on 5
  17. 8 iron tee shot on 6 to the fairway
  18. Easy LW pitch for GIR on 6
  19. 21-foot birdie putt on 6
  20. 8 iron to fairway after dropping 4 shots off the tee on hole 7
  21. Blind SW to elevated green on 7
  22. 4-foot make on 7 after a 80-foot 2-putt to 4 feet
  23. 50-foot 2-putt on 8
  24. 50-foot 2-putt on 8
  25. 8 iron from rough to fairway on 9 after a top off the tee
  26. Blasted 6 iron to fairway on 9 leaving 100 yards
  27. PW to green on 9
  28. 9-foot make on 9 to save double bogey
  29. 6 iron tee shot on 10 (right to the middle of the fairway)
  30. Putt chip on 10 to 1 yard (which I 2-putted)
  31. 50-foot putt nearly dropped on 11
  32. 6 iron tee shot on 12 (middle of fairway)
  33. Putt chip to the green on 12 from a hard lie (best result from a buried lie)
  34. 6 iron tee shot on 14 to the middle of the fairway
  35. 27-foot putt chip nearly holed on 14 
  36. 16-foot par putt save on 15
  37. LW shot over water to green on 16 to 15 feet.
  38. 2-putt on hole 16
  39. 2-putt on hole 16
  40. LW chip to green on 17 from a tough lie on an approach miss.
  41. 2-putt on hole 17
  42. 2-putt on hole 17
  43. 6 iron tee shot on 18
  44. PW layup on 18 to a percect distance
  45. 60-yard putt chip on 18 to about a foot.

6/5 at Fountains

Not pictured: the 6 on hole 1 (where I had trouble in the sand) and the 6 on hole 18 (where I went to the beach again).

28 good shots which was 29% of all shots. I was at the beach an awful lot on this round and really struggled to get out. Went to the beach 9 times on 6 holes.

Overall, a 95 for 33 over. Took a lesson with Natalie afterward because it was rough.

  1. 17-yard putt chip on hole 1 to leave 5 feet (which I missed)
  2. LW chip on 4 to 4 feet (to 2-putt :()
  3. 9 iron recovery shot on hole 5. This was, perhaps, my best ever scramble shot. I had to hit under a tree and over a rock. I was pin high and just off the right fringe. Good tee shot too, but one that ran out unlucky.
  4. Putt chip on 5 to set up easy par save
  5. Par save on 5
  6. PW chip on 6 to 6 feet.
  7. 6-foot par save on 6
  8. 7 iron off tee on 7 to the middle of the fairway
  9. LW flop shot that nearly dunked on 7
  10. 45-foot lag putt on 7
  11. 4-foot make to save bogey on 7
  12. 30-foot lag putt on hole 9
  13. 4-foot make on 9
  14. 19-foot hole-out for bogey on 11. My note is: “lol”
  15. 8 iron recovery shot to fairway on 12
  16. 15-foot lipout on 12 for an easy-tap in.
  17. 6 iron tee shot on 13 to fringe
  18. 80-foot chip putt on 13
  19. 9-foot lipout for par on 13
  20. 14-foot hole out on 15
  21. Tee shot on 16 (nearly drove the green)
  22. 2-putt for par (nearly a birdie) 16 – stopped 1 ball from the hole.
  23. 2-putt for par (nearly a birdie) 16
  24. Great sand out from a nearly impossible lie on 17. It was buried in the side wall of a deep greenside bunker. I popped it up and otu.
  25. Nearly holed out from 50-feet for par on 17
  26. Tee shot on 18: right down the middle.
  27. 2-putt on 18
  28. 2-putt on 18

6/17 at Native Oaks

Bogey on hole 1 which could have easily been a par with a less strong draw. Also not pictured: the 10 on hole 18.

41 shots were good, which were 36% of all shots. First time playing this course which had slippery, slippery greens. 113 for a +33 which ain’t too bad for a new course where I hit into hazards and had 16 penalties/shots from hazards.

Putted well, considering the green speed. This was also a round that featured a 20 minute wait to get to the tee box on hole 3. But I did go bogey-par to start … and then the wheels fell off on hole 4 with a 9, lying 3 off the tee box.

Really struggled hitting the ball this round. I’d had some success at swinging earlier in the week but my range session before the round was really bad. I realized afterward that I was trying to do it all with my arms: no body rotation, no weight transfer. Oops.

This was after my lesson on 6/8.

  1. 7 iron tee shot on 1. Didn’t feel good but I hit it 171 apparently?
  2. 2-putt bogey on 1
  3. 2-putt bogey on 1
  4. 7 iron tee shot on 2
  5. 9 iron third shot after a top on 2
  6. LW to green on 2
  7. 15-foot putt to save par
  8. Sand out on on 3
  9. 14-footer par save that just missed on 3 (2-putt afterward)
  10. 2-putt on 4 (after hacking down the fairway)
  11. 2-putt on 4
  12. 8 iron away from trouble on 5
  13. Sand shot on a downhill green on 5 to 7 feet (then a 2 putt)
  14. 8 iron tee shot on 6 middle of the fairway
  15. 2-putt on 6
  16. 2-putt on 6
  17. PW recovery shot from the rough on 7
  18. Great LW chip on 7 to 5-feet (2-putted the 5-footer)
  19. Amazing out on 8 from the fringe of the hazard
  20. 2-putt on 8
  21. 2-putt on 8
  22. 7 iron approach shot on 9. Perfect shot in the middle of the fairway.
  23. 2-putt on 9
  24. 2-putt on 9
  25. Tee shot on 10. A great shot to the middle of the green.
  26. 2-putt on 10
  27. 2-putt on 10
  28. Tee shot on 11 – another good tee shot.
  29. LW chip from behind rock on 11 to 1 foot
  30. 1-footer putt on 11
  31. PW to green on 12 (after 3 previous terrible shots)
  32. 2-putt on 12
  33. 2-putt on 12
  34. 16-yard putt chip on 13 to 4-feet (promptly missed the 4 footer)
  35. Tee shot on 14 to the middle of the fairway
  36. Putt chip on 14 to 4-feet (promptly missed)
  37. Tee shot on 15 to the middle of the fairway
  38. LW from dirt on 15 to 2 yards out (promptly missed)
  39. 9 iron second tee shot on 16 to the fringe.
  40. 9-yard chip putt on 16 to 2 feet.
  41. Second chip from hazard boundary on 18 – got it to 7 feet from a shot that was in the hazard (did not make it)

Round on 6/30

Not pictured: the 7 on hole 17 and the 6 on hole 18.

Secondary thoughts

After a chance to sleep, I am feeling better about the round. Yes, it was frustrating, but I also miscounted many penalty strokes. That did not help my score.

However, it was a rough round. I was expecting to play fast and experiment and instead I had to play with 3 other people who played so … slow.

So I need to practice how to reset before each shot… Maybe a preshot routine? I also had way, way too many swing thoughts. I’d worry about the pause, worry about standing up, worry about my hand position.

Next time I will frame it as an experiment and try to practice a growth mindset. I was not discouraged on hole 1, when my first tee shot went into a  tree. The hooked 6 iron, also into a tree, was playable.

Problem was keeping it in play and getting discouraged when literally the worst that could happen would happen.

If I kept it on the course, that’s a 108 and that’s with terrible putting and literally whacking it around the course.

Pre-secondary thoughts.

I also tried to frame this as an experiment: what happens if I use my driver?

I will try to have this growth mindset approach next time.

This was a bad score, but I also managed to have the most penalties and hazards I have ever hit. Which is impressive.

Initial Thoughts

I hit my driver successfully on a few holes and had a chance up until hole 9. That was when I had a 14: I hit the ball out of play 3 times, including on safe shots. Actually an 11.

I had a lot of trouble with my putter and really struggled to keep the ball in play.

When I lost a ball on a hole, I couldn’t stop losing balls. On the 11 on hole 9, I lost one off the tee and had a terrible lie so my punch shot into the fairway went into a trap. Then the trap shot was good but … I lost the ball in the hazard again. Finally, my play from that drop, I hooked the ball out of play again.

So if I’d kept it in play, I’d have had, you know, an 8.

I also had a 12, which was similar: lost the ball off the tee, then had to punch back into the fairway. Chunked it into the fairway and then chunked into the hazard. Then a 3 putt.

Oh, I also had a wonderful experience of driving the ball a ton and then being unable to find it…

It was really frustrating. I played really well through 6 holes: +6. Then I was plus +42 through 12. So a 118 with 39 putts, hitting 47% of fairways and 0 greens.

  1. Putter chip on 1 to 1 foot short.
  2. Putter make on 1 for bogey.
  3. Tee shot on 2. My best tee shot on Arcoss: straight as a rope, right down the middle, 264 yards.
  4. LW chip on 2 – over a sand trap
  5. Lag putt on 2 to 1 foot
  6. Make on 2 for a bogey.
  7. 67 foot putt make to save par on hole 3
  8. PW on 4, good shot to the ball into the fairway
  9. Lag putt on 4 to make an …
  10. Easy double bogey.
  11. Getting the ball out on hole 6. It was buried in the hazard.
  12. Excellent bunker shot on 8 to get out in 1
  13. Putt on 8 from 21 feet to easy tap in
  14. LW chip on 9 that nearly holed out
  15. Lag putt on 10 to 2 feet
  16. 16-foot lag putt on 11 that just missed 1 foot short
  17. 9 iron on hole 12, a good stroke after repeated bad ones
  18. Downhill putt on 12 to leave 4 feet and … prompt missed the 4 footer.
  19. Putt on hole 13 to lead to an easy tap in
  20. Driver on 14 – beautiful drive that I managed to lose
  21. Rescue shot on 15: behind a tree and hit it through to the green
  22. 10 yard putt for a 2-putt on 15
  23. PW third swing on hole 16, perfect layup to an easy shot that I promptly chunked into the hazard
  24. Tee shot on 18 – pounded 250 yards
  25. Sand out on 18 – out in one from a buried lie

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