Earnest Words

An Impromptu Round at Emerald Isle

Written in


I had this plan of posting all of these blog posts over the next week but … I didn’t get to it on Monday night. I am also terrible at taking interesting photos when I’m golfing. I’m too in the moment, man.


I realized that I have 4 rounds and a lesson that I’ve taken since I last posted and I have neglected to post about them.

Impromptu Round at Emerald Isle

This round happened very quickly with a free morning. I was able to hit a few balls on the range but it was a warm, sunny day. No putts though!

Hole 1: perfect tee shot. I hit 9 iron since it was playing about 140 and these new clubs are going longer – and I’m hitting them better.

9 iron middle of the green, maybe 7 yards long. (Checked Arccos: 21 feet!). Chason, my playing partner, was a little longer and putted way out right. So I lined it up (definitely thinking birdie) and missed to 1 foot or 2 feet right. Good two-putt and an easy par to start the round.

Hole 2 I hit 6 iron because I had a feeling things were going long today. I hit it over the green, nearly 200 yards. I was very, very excited since I couldn’t see my ball on the green – but less excited to see it long and in the rough. I chipped it on (kind of shanked it a bit) and left myself a long, 24 foot putt – which I promptly missed.

Arccos continues to reset putting distances so I … don’t really remember how long the putt was that I missed. But I was not 7 feet. Maybe 4 feet? I burned the lip and tapped in for a 3-putt bogey.

Hole 3 was the first hole where I realized that wind was a problem. I lined up, middle of the green, and decided to hit 9 iron since the previous 9 iron had gone 145 yards.

Unfortunately, I forgot that this green is sloped down toward the water, so, if anything, you want to be long.

I hit a great 9 iron that the wind held up and pushed from the left center of the green all the way right, to the right fringe. Then the backspin on the ball pulled it down the hill, down a drainage ditch and into the water hazard.

I clubbed up and reteed an 8 iron and, would you know it, it was pin high and on the right side of the green.

Unfortunately, that left me something like 32 feet for a bogey putt. I aimed out right and didn’t aim out right enough: pace was good but I missed low and the ball rolled out to, apparently, 7 feet. It was much longer than that and I’m not really sure what I could have done.

Missed the second putt so a three-putt 6 it was on a very hard hole.

So chalk up 2 strokes being lost due to not thinking it through.

Hole 4 tends to be really hard for me: it’s a short, narrow par three, that’s up hill with a HUGE green. I always seem to shank it into the OB right.

This time, I put that all out of my head and teed the ball up on the dead, hard grass. I then promptly topped my tee shot right up middle, about 100 yards. So it was chippable to the green but … I don’t know if I will play at this course during the winter. The dormant grass is too hard to hit from.

This left me about 30 yards from the pin, with a lot of green in front of me. I hit gap wedge from back in my stance and that was an error. Mid stance or front stance would have been better: the ball hit exactly at 10 yards but then rolled out like 5 extra yards. Nearly went in for birdie.

Good lag putt to apparently 7 feet (I missed on a misread: played out WAY too far right and a good paced putt was 3 feet out). Then I missed that putt with an around the world rimmer. Hooray.

It’s okay: on to the next hole! 

Tee shot on 5 was another pitching wedge and another top. I realized that I wasn’t transferring my weight properly which meant I wasn’t contacting the ball on the downswing. However, they were super spinny tops, so they definitely made it a long distance. This one ended up pin high on the right fringe.

In contrast, dear Chason put his first ball OB and his second into a tree short left of the green. It was a rough day for him and not getting better. Afterward he said he couldn’t get his swing thoughts out of his head. That is a rough day. He was not having very much fun.

I putted the ball from the fringe since it was a horrid lie. Unfortunately, I ended up 5 feet from the pin, missed the putt and tapped in for bogey. This was a missed read; it was a good putt.

Hole 6 I was finally able to hit a good tee shot: I was able to transfer my weight and get the pitching wedge up in the air. However, I think it caught wind or a lot of backspin because it was very short from the back pin position.

I had a very good lag putt from 22 yards out to about 6 feet. Naturally, I missed the 6 footer close for another bogey.

Hole 7 I hit a great 6 iron off the tee toward the middle of the fairway. Unfortunately, the wind held it up and took it. Not out of bounds (I was shouting for it to stay there!) but it died, completely.

It left me in dirt, 65 yards from the green, without the possibility of relief. I used my putter and got the ball very nearly onto the green which was a good choice: I don’t think I could have hit anything that would have been better. Just missed the green, about 9 yards short of the pin. 

But once again: not a good lag putt to apparently 7 feet which I then missed for another bogey. Ugh.

Hole 8: I couldn’t figure out how to hit this one. I decided to hit a gap wedge and topped it again, right into the sand trap guarding the green. This was also another hole where the tee boxes were very, very dormant grass.

The sand shot was pretty good considering that I was on the lip of the hole. Got it out in one but got stuck on the single tuft of rough. Missed a long uphill putt which meant my short downhill put ran away…

This one I’m not too sure what happened. Apparently I had putts of 25, 27 and 30 feet and made the 30 footer. I know that I had a downhill putt that I missed but I’m not sure I had to putt on: I thought I managed to make it onto the green.

Good work, Arccos.

I mean, I definitely struggled but i am not sure what the issue was here. The recap of the hole ain’t helping.

Hole 9

Over the water and into a stiff breeze so I clubbed up from a PW to a 9 iron. I hit a good shot but pulled it a bit (or was misaligned). I realize in retrospect that my preshot routine on holes 1 through 3 kind of went out the window which continued here.

I was deliberate on hole 1, hole 2, hole 3, hole 6, hole 7. I was less deliberate on the holes with bad tee shots – or at least I seem to remember being left deliberate…

Anyway, the ball was pin high on grass, but needed a chip on. I tried to get it on the green, succeeded, and left a LONG downhill breaker. I missed by a ball right and the ball barely stayed on the green. Missed short but close and tapped in for a double.

Hole 10 there was a bit of a delay as we finally caught up to the groups in front of us, specifically an elderly couple held up by another elderly two-some that was really really taking a long time.

I hit another topped gap wedge that managed to make it over the water hazard but left me in a bad lie, short of the green by about 43 yards. That’s my half sand wedge which I delivered to perfection: onto the green, excellent shot that rolled up the bank behind the green and back on.

Long, downhill putt that just missed the hole but I made the comebacker for bogey! At this point, that was with celebrating.

Hole 11 I hit a great sand wedge but I aimed at the wrong pin unconsciously; that is to say, I aimed at the bathroom right of the pin. That put my spinny ball on the right fringe, where it spun back, off the green, off the fringe and … into the environmental hazard.

Next shot was much closer to the left side of the green, but clipped the tree that guards that shot. Oh, and there was a huge gust at this time. That meant I missed the green and was barely on grass for the second shot.

Hit a perfect flop shot that left me 5 feet to the hole, a shot I promptly missed for a 6.

Hole 12 was into a stiff, left to right breeze. So I hit a low punch shot with my pitching wedge that found the green and rolled off to the fringe. I tried for a birdie with the chip putt, missed it, and left myself a lot of work to do. Missed the 8 foot comebacker and finally made a bogey.

On 13 I was intimidated: it was right into the breeze and that would mean that my sand wedge wouldn’t make the green. I tried to hit a low shot with my gap wedge and made good contact – but aimed wrong and hit it right into the bunker. 

However, it was a good lie in the middle of the bunker and I hit a great shot out to about 1 foot. The best bunker shot I’ve ever hit and a lovely sandy par.

Hole 14 was much more shielded and i hit a great tee shot that didn’t hold the green. 9 iron into the wind which I think let up a bit when the ball descended.

After two terrible tee shots, Chason quit the round. He kept walking with me but was done which was I think a wise choice for his personal mental health.

Just off the green and a terrible lie. Unfortunately, I didn’t putt (which I could have done) and instead skulled my lob wedge onto the green and off the front. Hit my gap wedge poorly coming back leaving me a 23 foot 2 putt for double bogey. At least it was a 23 foot two putt.

I joked that Chason caused problems by stopping playing. All the bad play was caused by me.

Hole 15 I topped the first tee shot into the water. Second tee shot was a long, weak 7 iron fade to the right side of the green. Decent putt chip to about 7 feet from a tough rough lie and of course I missed the 7 footer close left for a 6.

However, I realized at this point that I had been trying to be technically perfect while putting, instead of just trying to get it close. My putting stroke needs a lot of work but that’s for practice, not for playing. Warming up more would have helped for sure. 

Tee shot on 16 was good, deliberate – and really short. That was surprising but what else is new?

I tried to chip my lob wedge up onto the green and ended up skulling it again. Had to putt downhill, missed it long, and then 2 putted from 5 feet because this was a day of poor play.

Hole 17: hit a great tee shot, pin high, to the right edge of the green. Yay! A GIR!

Unfortunately, my putting woes continued and I managed to hit the ball really long past the hole, making any return putt an unlikely make. Ugh.

Hole 18: Tee shot pushed right, maybe into the driving range. I hit a provisional that was on the green but my previous shot was in play – bordering the driving rang fence.

It meant I couldn’t take a backswing and I think the driving range fence/net is considered an immovable obstruction. But I forgot the rule which means I could have taken free relief.

But I managed to get the ball to the fringe long of the green which was pretty impressive I have to say. Unfortunately, the pin placement on 18 was a greenskeepers revenge location which meant that my fringe putt ran out to 15 feet when I missed the hole.

I did manage to 2-putt the 15 footer on a terrible slope (previous players had some automatic ball return) which was a winning double bogey.

Overall, that was a bad round, first four shots notwithstanding. But, once again, it is nice to feel like I can play poorly but still have fun – and that I kind of was at what I hope is a ceiling.

Clearly putting and chipping need work, which makes sense since I’ve been ill/dealing with household illness for the past month or so.

Overall, my tee shots were pretty good: I had 21 tee shots and 5 were tops (4,5,8,10,15). I didn’t chunk it and the playing conditions were very rough. 4 of the 5 tops were in play and useful shots. So the full swing appears okay.

I had 41 putts and an additional 10 putts from the fringe. That’s uncharacteristically terrible. While I did double chip on 4 holes, only 1 was the dreaded double chip of doom, the rest got me putting, if terribly.

I had 6 3-putts (no 4 putts, thank goodness) and averaged 15 feet from the pin. Ideally, I would have had 37 to 40 putter strokes (hole 6, hole 7, hole 8, hole 15, hole 18 were holes where I’d really expect a 3-putt based on the pin location, length of chip, etc) which would be 11 strokes better – or a 74. If had a bit more luck on holes 3 and hole 10, that’d be a 70 which would tie my best result.

So it’s time to work on the short game! Even though I played badly, I had a great time.

  1. Tee shot on 1
  2. 21-foot 2 putt on 1
  3. 21-foot 2 putt on 1
  4. Tee shot on 2
  5. Chip on 2 (GIR is good!)
  6. Second tee shot on 3
  7. Hole 6 lag putt from 22 yards to 6 feet.
  8. Hole 10 pitch shot to the green from the crap
  9. 6 footer for bogey save on 10
  10. Flop shot on 11
  11. Tee shot on 12
  12. Bunker short on 13
  13. 1 foot sandy par save
  14. Tee shot on 14
  15. 23-foot 2 putt for double bogey on 14
  16. 23-foot 2 putt for double bogey on 14
  17. Tee shot on 17
  18. Shot from the net on 18
  19. 15-foot 2 putt on 18 considering the difficulty.
  20. 15-foot 2 putt on 18 considering the difficulty.

Bad strokes

  1. Par putt on 2
  2. Tee shot on 3: bad judgement
  3. Lag putt on 3: not sure what I should have done.
  4. Tee shot on 4: better lucky than good I suppose
  5. Top on hole 5
  6. 2 putt from 5 feet
  7. 3-putt on 8
  8. 3 putt on 9
  9. 5 foot 2 putt
  10. Tee shot on 11 into the drink
  11. First chip on 14
  12. Hole 15 into the water
  13. 3-putt on 17
  14. Not knowing the rules on 18

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: