Two Partial Rounds: A Rainy Afternoon and MLK, Jr. Day

Over the Christmas holiday, I took a lot of time off work. The week before Christmas was pretty fraught: I had a cold. My girls had colds. To top it all off, my in-laws (both vaccinated) caught Covid and that canceled our Christmas Eve plans.

So I wasn’t able to play at all the week before Christmas. The week after Christmas, I could play, but it was raining a TON. After playing on Monday and using the Arrcos Caddie, I was anxious to play again. I had to play just 5 more rounds before it could give me tips!

Wednesday the rain was supposed to let up. My in-laws, freed from quarantine, were game to play. My kids were game to play. But since they were coming, a kid-friendly course was optimal. 

And since it was raining, a nice course with lots of grass was … better.

So then, the Lawrence Welk Resort’s Oaks Course, a 1,000 yard par 3 course. It’s easy, my in-laws like it, and it’s relatively inexpensive.

We showed up without a tee time but the course was pretty deserted. The rain had not gotten the memo that it was supposed to stop at this point in the day.

Which was nice because it meant we could play but not nice in that it was wet and cold. My girls were excited to walk around in the rain but my in-laws were not. They watched the first hole instead of playing and then skedaddled.

The rain and herding my children precluded any warm up. I just took a couple swings on the first tee.

Hole 1 is a 100 yard hole. The challenge is that it’s: 1 the first tee and 2: the green is pretty sloped back to front.

It’s a par 3 course: what do you want?

With my daughters and in-laws watching, I hit a lovely pitching wedge to about 5 yards from the hole. I two-putted in the par. I remember hoping for birdie but not expecting nor trying for it.

Hole 2 is a little longer than hole 1 but has a bunker in front of the hole.

I hit pitching wedge again and, sans gallery other than my kids, I chunked it. I reteed, since I’d paid for two tee times (older daughter decided that no, she was not going to play after all), and put it on the green.

I trudged up to my chunked shot and hit a lob wedge a little short of the green. Putted it onto the green poorly, leaving myself a 7 footer, which I missed close.

That’s a double bogey on a 105 yard hole.

Hole 3 is EVEN longer at 110 yards! I hit pitching wedge, again a little chunky and short. And again, my second tee shot held the green.

The ball was pretty stuck and I felt clever, so I tried 20 yard bump and run from the rough. Unfortunately, it was a sodden mess from the rain (which had now stopped) so the ball just stuck.

That meant it was a putt chip onto the green again leaving a 7 footer, which I missed and then finally made for another double. Hooray.

Hole 4 is about 80 yards to the center of the green (which is enormous), so I hit my sand wedge. And I naturally chunked my sand wedge which was embarrassing. The second sand wedge was on the green.

Since was about 40 yards from the hole (and that’s my sand wedge pitching shot distance) I hit a SW about 37 yards, which left me in the rough about 10 yards from the hole. That is the golf you are reading this blog for.

I putted excellently, from 10 yards to 2 feet and got off the double bogey train.

Hole 5 is about 90 yards and slightly uphill, so I hit a pitching wedge. It was not the best stroke, a little short of the hole, but it was in play. Again, my second ball was on the green.

I had another excellent chip putt on, 16 yards which left me an easy tap-in par.

Hole 6 is fairly long (like 120 yards), over a water hazard to a green framed by large trees and bunkers long.

I hit a PW good shot but hooked it. My second shot, once again, held the green.

I actually couldn’t find the ball, mostly because i thought I was short. After looking for a bit, I dejectedly started to walk to my ball on the green to try for a bogey putt, I found the ball, in the rough, but with what I thought was a fairly accessible shot.

I didn’t look at the ball through my swing and skulled it over the green. So I went and chipped the ball on … and off the green again. I then had third chip onto the green. I never got myself in a position where I could putt successfully.

Once I got on the green, I had a 17 footer that I got close enough to make a triple bogey.

Maybe I should have taken the lost ball on the green…

I gotta admit, I was pretty sad on hole 7’s tee box. I was encouraged by a decent sand wedge shot off the tee. It left me short of the green, but I was able to chip on close with my lob wedge. Then I made the putt for a par.

Hole 8 is uphill to a wide pancake of a green, about 80 yards. I hit a great SW to the green, leaving myself 15 feet for birdie.

Not thinking birdie, I putted up and in for the birdie.

Hole 9 is decently long, some 130 yards plus, so I hit my 9 iron. I faded it into a tree right of the green which actually deflected the ball to the back of the green.

It was a long putt onto the green and then I surprised myself by leaving it 2 feet short, which was another par.

So that felt good: birdie sandwiched by up-and-down pars.

Hole 10 is a long, uphill hole to a long green. I hit 9 iron again and hit a tree again – but this time it was a bad bounce. The ball died and fell the mulch, down the hill, left of the green.

I decided to hit a pitching wedge from the mulch and hit it a bit too cleanly. The ball didn’t stop on the green: it rolled up, past the green, and onto the downslope bank above the hole.

Thinking about this, hitting long into that bank was a better choice than what I did. Next time I play, I’ll remember that.

Instead, I had to carry the cart path and some rough to get to the green. I hit a decent lob wedge that ran out very long on the green, leaving 30 feet to the hole. I missed short, uphill in the rain, and then missed again, leaving me with my second triple bogey.

At this point, it began raining lightly again. But my kids were still having fun.

Hole 11 saw another chunk off the tee and another second ball holding the green.

I had 40 yards or so to the pin, hit it 50 with my sand wedge, and then left myself a 12 yard putt chip. That I put in close (i actually shouted for the ball to go in the hole) and made for a improbable up-and-down bogey.

Hole 12 was about 110 yards. I hit a slight draw with my pitching wedge, left of the green. I was chipping uphill to a downsloping green (I think), so I just barely chipped on with my lob wedge ( a little too tentative). But I two-putted from 26 feet away, so that was a good feeling.

Hole 13 was the last hole. It was getting really wet (I almost lost the club swinging) and, most importantly, my kids decided that they had stopped having fun in the rain. I think it was because the snacks ran out.

I hit another good pitching wedge, again slightly left of the green. I was a bit further, but an excellent lob wedge left me just 1 and a half feet from the hole, a distance which I promptly missed.

All in all, I finished with a 52 for +13 through 13. That was pretty good.

No pictures because they’re all pictures of my kids, rolling down hills and filling divots. That’s for me, not you.

Also Arcoss has trouble with the shortness of this course. Frequently, I was putting in the parking lot.

Oceanside Muni on MLK Jr. Day

This was an impromptu round. My goal was to get in 9 before sundown. Got to the course at about 230 and walked on.

I could have joined up with a few random players on the front but chose to take my time. The practice green appeared to be closed so I hit 5 tees on the first green. Then the players behind me asked if I was up: and so that was how the round started.

I hit an excellent 6 iron off the tee: it drew and went a nice distance. Then I checked the distance to the green and it was about 150 to the center of the green. I hit a 7 iron that hit the green and rolled just off.

I was thrilled. This is exactly how I had hoped this hole would go. I was slightly amused that my 6 iron had gone 177 yards – and my  7 iron went … 175 yards, apparently.

That left me pretty long of the pin, but it was a pretty level putt. I putted really well, consciously not trying to make it, and ended up just about a foot from the pin on 27-foot putt. Easy make for a … par?

I was patient walking over to hole 2 – although I could have easily caught up to and joined the group in front of me. But I took my time and teed off with a 7 iron – which I drew again. This was problematic because I’d been expecting a fade and so aimed at the left side of the fairway.

My ball was in the mulch and dirt left of the rough – it was a decent lie, if slightly tree obscured) and I hit what I thought was a punch shot.

Instead, it was a laser beam – the ball would just not stop rolling. I was 100 yards from the middle of the green. The ball hit on the little swale left of the green and Just. Kept. rolling.

When i finally found it, i’d gone 35 yards long of the green and my ball was resting against the edge of the cart path. It was on grass but it was a very tough location to hit from. I didn’t have a good sense of the shot I wanted to hit and .. well, that always goes well for golf.

I hit my lob wedge first and didn’t give myself enough power. That meant my ball rolled back down the hill. Then I ditched my lob wedge for my putter and tried putting it up the hill. That took me about two putts to get up the hill. Then I finally putted from the fringe, down the hill, to leave myself 7 feet. Which I missed but at least got it close enough to make an 8.

What went wrong here? Well, I lost focus and was trying to minimize the damage after the missed chip. But – and this is a big butt – I followed an unlucky shot with a bad shot, and then a bad shot with two more stupid shots.

What I should have done was tried to go long of the front of the green – then I would be putting up the green. So that would have given me an extra chip (maybe) – as opposed to 3 extra chips.

After this hole, I had a long delay. I joined up with the group in front of me: a civil engineer, a man in a cart with a bum leg, and a retiree who played the gold tees (whoopee!).

After this long delay, I hit a 6 iron to the green, about 4 yards from the hole. I had a decent putt to leave me a yard out (okay, that’s not the best putt) and then my 1 yard putt lipped out for a bogey on a GIR.

But a Par, and then a GIR was a good result. Heck, even the terrible punch shot was a good shot that just … didn’t work.

Hole 4 things opened up a little bit; we were able to tee off pretty quickly.

I hit an excellent 6 iron off the tee and while i wasn’t intending to cut the corner, I did and did so successfully. I hit a 186 yard 6 iron shot, perfectly in the middle of the fairway. Then I hit a 6 iron draw up toward the green, but, unfortunately, I didn’t really aim my second shot. As it was, I maybe could have given myself an easier shot.

But I had 50 yards left on a par 5, hitting from the rough. I was definitely thinking birdie at this point.

I went a bit long with my pitching wedge, leaving me an 11-yard chip, which I left short. I missed the short 2 yard putt and was in for another bogey.

8 notwithstanding, I was playing pretty well.

There was another long delay on hole 5 and I … oh brother. I shanked my tee shot OB. Then my second shot with the 7 iron I hit a fade. And since every long shot had drawn, I was aiming at the right side of the green.

That wasn’t too bad: I was on the fringe and 14 yards away. I putted on, okay, leaving myself a lot of meat on the bone – about a 7 footer. I don’t know how I missed but I definitely missed poorly and left myself a 4-foot putt – that I missed horribly. I think I paid no attention to my playing partners putts and missed the easy, short putt. So that’s a 7 on a par 3. Oof.

Hole 6 is pretty easy and I’ve certainly underestimated it before.

This time, I hit a 6 iron off the tee, accounted for my draw and gave myself an excellent lie about 80 yards from the pin.

80 yards is an uncomfortable distance for me but I decided to hit SW since that’s supposed to go 80 yards. Really, I should have hit lob wedge since that won’t go too long.

Unfortunately, I had the same issue I had on hole 2: I blasted it. My SW was thinly hit and would not stop rolling. It finally stopped on hole 7’s tee box about 50 yards from the green.

Now, you will remember, gentle reader, that I had had a similar issue on hole 4 where I hit a pitching wedge from 50 yards. For whatever reason, that result (slightly long) was unacceptable and I decided to hit a lob wedge.

That lob wedge went about half the distance I had intended it to go – about 24 yards. Then I hit another lob wedge and missed very long. That left me a 15 yard chip shot that I decided to use my putter.

It was not the best chip and it left me 5 yards long. I almost made the 5-yarder for double-bogey and had an easy tap-in for another 7. Hooray.

Hole 7 I remembered my folly from the last time. I was not going to get a 10 today. 6 was a goal score.

I had a great tee shot – absoutely lovely. It was so so good. 9 iron, right down the middle with a slight draw to roll out and leave my 170 yards from the middle of the green.

I hit my 6 iron and was not fixated on a specific aiming point. That meant my draw ran left, over the cart path, pin high.

I pitched on with my lob wedge and couldn’t get the ball to stop. But I was able to give myself a good putt from the fringe to leave about 4 feet in.

I lipped out again for a double bogey. But … man, I could have had a birdie chance!

Hole 8 I hit 6 iron off the tee and my brand-new draw put me in a tough spot: there was a tree in the path of least-resistance, toward the hole. So I took my medicine and hit a lay up.

That pitching wedge was great, in the fairway, about 150 yards from the pin.

I hit a great 7 iron that rolled long of the pin and my playing partners all complained about how long we all were. Why? Well, it was a long, downhill putt. I should have hit an 8 iron since the carry for the water was about 120.

So that meant I had a green-in-regulation on a par 5 and a terrifying downhill 27 foot putt. I hit a great, great putt that left me 2 feet out but with a huge break.

Next time, on a putt like this, I will try to miss slightly long because an uphill putt was a lot easier than the alternative.

As it was, the 2 foot slider was really hard. I missed low and the ball ran out to 4 feet. Then I had another putt lip out and finally made a 4-putt double-bogey 7.

Hole 9 I actually hit my first fade off the tee, which was unfortunate. I saw the ball bounce but .. definitely seemed like it was heading toward the river right. So I hit another provisional ball and a draw, which would have left me in a tough spot.

As it was, I found my first ball in the rough. I chunked the ball out of the rough but it was enough power to get the ball moving. I ended up 47 yards away from the pin in the fairway and pitched my sand wedge up and to about 5 feet out.

Then I made the 5 footer for par. 

So that was a very up-and-down 9 for a 53. I had 9 decent tee shots – and one atrocious one.

I had just 9 approach shots which is a new record for me. I mean, 9 approach shots is what a good player would expect on 5 par 4s (1 per hole) and 2 par 5s (2 per hole). I hit 6 fairways and 2 greens, which is pretty good, considering. And the holes where I didn’t hit the green had some other issues.

My issue was chipping and putting: Chipping on hole 2 and hole 6 contributed 8 of those 14 chip shots. And then there were the two 3-putts and the 4-putt – but also I had 3-lip outs.

Really, the two quad bogeys really hurt – at the triple didn’t help much either.

I left my playing partners at this point to try to play a few more holes before the sun went down.

Hole 10 I had my first bad habit reversion: I didn’t really look at the ball as I swung through. The result was a chunky 6 iron that ended up at 146 yards from the tee, but in the fairway.

Then I followed up a mistake with bad luck: I was about 150 yards from the green and hit an 8 iron that I didn’t realize was aimed directly at the tree on the left side of the fairway.

Ball hit the tree and caromed off into the scrub, directly underneath a bush. So the only option was a punch shot. I hit a pretty decent shot that got back to the fairway, leaving me 40 yards from the pin.

I planned to hit a bump and run and debated between 9 iron and pitching wedge. Since it was uphill, a 9 iron should have been the choice. As it was, my bump and run ended up about 9 yards out, but on the green.

I very, very nearly made the 27 footer and then cleaned up for a double-bogey.

Hole 11 I joined up with the twosome in front of me. They were friendly enough but desperately trying to fit a few holes – and delayed by the foursome in front of them.

Hole 11 is a short par 3 and was playing pretty short today. I decided to hit my 8 iron off the tee and absolutely stepped on it.

When I got up to the hole, I saw my ball sitting pretty on a ridge right of the green. It was a pretty good strike: 139 yards. I used my lob wedge to get onto the green from 23 yards out. I putted close and then in for bogey.

Then I looked up and saw my ball about 20 yards long of the green. So that’s a 2-stroke penalty for playing the wrong ball. And I’d hit my 8 iron maybe 165 yards or so.

Sigh. It was also about this point that Arcoss started really struggling to track my shots. I don’t know if it was the overcast/nighttime setup but … it had a lot of trouble.

Hole 12 is the a short par 4 but it is super-duper uphill. With the benefit of knowing that I’d absolutely crushed my 8 iron, I hit the 8 iron off the tee and it was a great shot, 140 yards or so to the middle of the fairway.

I had about 70 yards to the pin. I lined up my lob wedge and skulled it with full swing.

I had hoped the ball had stopped and … it did not.  I hit my lob wedge nearly 100 yards uphill.

I did find the ball, 31 yards from the pin, in the rough. And I putted it nearly off the the front of the green.

Then I putted back on to about 2 feet – and promptly lipped out the putt. My playing partners conceded the next putt.

It was getting really dark as we teed off on hole 13. I hit pitching wedge and hit a hook that disappeared into the lateral hazard – somewhere.

So I reteed and went well long of the hole, about 120 yards. I hit my lob wedge onto the green from the rough, leaving about 7 feet from the hole. Two putt for a … 6.

24 on these last four holes, with 2 triples and two doubles. Ew. I was certainly rushing so I’m not going to read too much into how I was playing.

But then I went home, feeling happy that I’d played golf.

Oceanside Muni on on April 24th

Warmed up on the range but didn’t warm up putting the way I would like: I maybe hit something like 10 putts… normally I’d like to hit 30+. I also had no judgment on long pacing and didn’t feel confident going in.

Rode in a cart and made sure to eat a hot dog. My goal for the day was to have fun and shoot at least 108 again. My stretch goal was to have a chance at par on a par 5, which tend to be my nemeses.

We played the gold tees. The guys we were with played the blues; they had a lot of power but not a lot of ideas how to use it.

Goal for the round on 4/24:

  1. Have fun and look for the good stuff on each hole. This is a chance to relax.
  2. Have a chance at par on a par 5.
  3. Shoot 108 again!
  4. Get it on the green!
  5. Practice good habits: practice swing should be easy and focus should be on committing to the shot and not moving your head.

Hole 1

Hole 1 at oceanside muni is a dogleg right par 4 with the range OB right and OB left. My plan was to hit hybrid into the fairway. My approach shot would be whatever is short of the bunkers in the fairway followed with a pitch or chip onto the green. My best score on this hole at the time was a … 9.

Hit my 4 hybrid up the right side, through the trees that border the OB, right at the 150 stake; I was aiming center of the fairway. That put me in the rough, with a not good lie, trying to go around some trees.

So I pitched it with my SW into the fairway, about 60 yards out. Perfect distance for my PW pitch shot … or not. I chunked the PW to 40 yards and then pitched it on with my sand wedge. It left me a 6.6 y downhill putt that I missed 6 in right and 1y long. I then rushed the 1 yard putt and that meant I had a horseshoe. I did make the second 1 yarder.

Triple bogey which is 2 better than last time. Hot start!

Tee = +.5

Approach = +1

Putting = +1

Hole 2

This is a short, straightway par 4. There’s scrub and an a lateral hazard left and it’s pretty open right. My plan was to hit a 4 hybrid off the tee and then use a pitching way to get it on in 2. Last time, I got a 5.

Good 4hybrid off the tee that ended up … in a divot 90y from the pin.

Since it was in a divot, i should have tried to pitch it out. Instead I did a full swing and flushed it 40 yards long and right of the green into the hard packed dirt by hole 3s tee box. It was like a bunker.

I hit that third shot 20 yards into “grass” on the back of the green. I had 20y to go and i got up the hill to the top of the fringe.

8.8y putt from the fringe missed right leaving 2.5 yards in — which I drained for a double. Not too shabby. Still 1 up from last time.

Approach = +2 (my bad chips were because of the terrible approach)

Chipping = -.5

Putting = -1

Hole 3

Straight away par 3 with bunkers left and right and behind the tee, with a hill on the left side. Last time, I had a 5 after I hit my 6 iron topped and into a tree well.

Decided to hit 6 iron because there’s not a lot of downside: a top means it’s in the fairway. I did aim away from the solitary fairway tree. (The tree is more like fairway adjacent).

Hit a great 6 iron to pin high of the 155y pin but I didn’t get a good bounce and ended up in the rough 15y from the pin. It wasn’t a tough tie but I topped the chip to the other side of the green. Then I putted it long of the pin — missing by an inch! Left me 2y uphill.

Then I made one of the craziest shots of the day — putted it up, behind the hole — and it rolled back down for a bogey!

Chip = +1 (terrible top)

Putt = -1 

Hole 4

My first par 5. I think par 5s are my nemesis: I swing too hard on them.

Hole 5 at Oceanside is a long dogleg, but shorter for the gold tees. Last time I got an 8.

I had a plan of trying to cut the corner this time, punching it back into the fairway and approaching the green on shot 3-4. Instead I hit a perfect 4Hy about 190 yards that just leaked through the fairway. It was straight and maybe 20y off line.

That left me 200 yards out in the first cut of rough. I aimed middle of the fairway and hit my 8 iron 150 yards, leaving 46ys to the pin. I hit a 46 y SW over the pin but leaving 12y downhill on the green.

Lagged it 2y long — not leaving my birdie short (and misreading it a bit) and MADE the 2y par putt.

Hole 5

I was so jazzed — I did my goal on my first opportunity! I think that came to play in this hole.

Hole 5 is a par 3 that is long and is guarded right by a huge hill and left by … trees and hazard. My plan was to do exactly what I did last time and hit it onto the fringe of the green with a 6 iron, leaving to a par.

I thinned my 6 iron into the hill, leaving about 60 yards to the hole underneath the trees. Not an ideal location so I did the best I could. I had a good punch shot the right distance with my PW but I didn’t get a good bounce and so was 8y out from the green.

I then duffed a putt chip (well, not really, i just went short). But I was short sided so i thought that was the best choice to make. Then I putted too long downhill, leaving 1.5y uphill — which I missed. I made the last putt for a 6.

I really should have used a sand wedge on that chip shot. There was not a lot to lose.

+1 tee shot

+1 chip

+1 putting

Hole 6

Short, pretty easy par 4. Much easier for the noobs; the longer tees have to carry a creek which I can guarantee would eat my ball every time. I had a 6 last time.

Plan was to hit a 6 iron and then hit a pitching wedge to 8 iron to the green. I had a 6 last time when I hit the green in 2 and four-putted.

I hit a 6 iron off the tee thinking there was no way I could get through the fairway. Dear reader, I just leaked through into the rough.

Hit an excellent PW maybe 110 yards leaving 3y to the hole! Which i missed and then putted in for par. Much better than last time’s 4 putt.

Hole 7

Hole 7 is a challenging par 4. It needs an iron off the tee unless you have a really long carry because Hole 6’s tee box creek carries through the landing zone. Then the green is well back from the creek with lots of bunkers protecting it. It’s also a two-tiered green. Last time, I had a 5.

My plan was to hit a 7 iron to be short of the creek and then to hit an 8 iron toward the green, leaving me short of the bunkers and able to chip to a nice position.

I hit 7 iron to the middle of the fairway or so I thought. It turned out I ran way long and off the fairway into the dirt crap by the hazard. Didn’t really have a shot, so I hit an 8 iron from 120 from the front but just trying to find grass. Guess what?

I got it onto the grass, 38y from the pin.

Excellent SW to 4y out, up the plateau. Missed the 4y putt short but then tapped it in for bogey. Not bad for the trouble.

Tee shot +1

Approach -.5

Chip -.5

Hole 8

Another par 5 and another beast. Last time, I had a 7.

It’s straightaway, but with a hazard left, a hazard very right. The hazards converge to protect the green, leaving any layup having to carry at least a hundred yards to the green.

I decided to hit my 4hybrid and aimed way up the right side to allow a good layup approach and a good safe distance from the hazard.

Naturally, I hooked it. I played a provisional in case I couldn’t find it that was perfect but I could find my ball. It was in the hazard, so I took off my shoes and pitched it out — and did the best I could honestly.

Then I had to pitch it all the way into the fairway. It was that or hit a tree.

That left me 155y from the pin with my 4th shot. 155 is a tough carry for me; I probably should have hit 4hy since there’s room behind it and just taken a bit off.

Instead I hit a good 6 iron but I blocked it out right into the hazard. I dropped by the hazard, leaving 60y to the pin. I pitched it long over the green and took every club with me. Then I hit a beautiful 20y bump and run SW to 1 foot. Nice. Triple bogey, which isn’t too shabby for hitting it into the hazard twice.

Tee shot +1 stroke

Approach +2 stoke ( +2 for approach into hazard)

Chip = -1 (woot)

Hole 9

This is another dogleg left, running parallel to hole 1. There’s a water hazard (a pond) that borders the back of the fairway. So you don’t want to go long. Last time, I had a 6.

My plan was to hit the 4 hybrid off the tee toward the dogleg, leaving a pitching wedge to 8 iron toward the green.

Good 4hy toward the dogleg but i think i drew it a bit. Next time, I’ll aim a little more to the right to give me a  better opportunity to score — as it was I had no approach.

I hit a PW toward the bunkers on the right side of the green and did a great job to go 100 yards. That left a tough tough pin location — but I flopped it 33y with my SW to 4y out. Then I missed really long, like 3y long. And then I missed close and finally finished with a 6.

Tee = +1 (no attack)

Chip = -1 (so close)

Putting = +1 (so bad miss)

Front 9

Hit 5 fairways in 9 tries and 2 greens on the front 9.. Shot 3 under the front last time.

Lost 4.5 strokes off the tee. Lost 4.5 on approach. Gained a stroke chipping (woot!) and lost a stroke putting. Honestly, only 18 putts on the front. Really my issues were that 1: golf is hard, and 2, I don’t think I am accustomed to hitting so many good shots.

I had 5 bad strokes out of 31 non putts. That’s significantly better than I usually do. Not moving my head was really working well in terms of ball striking.

I think taking it easy on hole 2 playing from the divot, putting downhill instead of chipping on hole 3, chipping on hole 5 instead of putt chipping, and not hooking hole 8 would have made all the difference. That could have cut 10 strokes, I think from just those 5 shots.

I shot a 51, 3 strokes better than last time.

Hole 10

Hole 10 is a straighaway par 4 with a very slight dogleg left to a slightly elevated green. Last time was a disaster: I hit driver because I was trying to be cool. Don’t try to be cool. I made a 7 which was exceptional.

My plan this time was the good ole hybrid and 8 iron combo, with a pitch on.

Good hybrid to 170 out in the fairway but I didn’t have an angle to the green. Good 8 iron 130y short of the fairway bunkers. Good 38Y SW chip to leave a 7y uphill putt that I just missed right and 1.5y uphill. I missed the downhill 1.5y putt leading to a double and another 3 putt.

+1 putt

Hole 11
Par 3. Bunkers left and right. Hit whatever gets to the green was the plan.

This one was really short (it was short last time when I got a 6) with a rear pin position. I hit 8 iron when I should have hit 7 iron. Perfect 8 though, right on the front of the green. Unfortunately, it left a 17y uphill putt. I mishit it and misaimed it to 5y out. From 5y I just missed it by 1inch to 1y long. Made the 1y though for a bogey.

+1 putt

Hole 12

This is a very very uphill Par 4. Like it is maybe 250 yards and the tee is maybe 100 yards below the green. Last time, I had an amazingly bad tee shot followed by an amazing second shot and an even better SW onto the green, 1 foot from the hole for a par.

Excellent 4hy up the hill to 50y out. I hit my PW but aimed it into the bunker. Fortunately, it was a good lie and I got it out to within 6y on the green. Missed the 6y putt 2inches short and in for bogey. Not too shabby.

Approach +1

Hole 13

This is a very downhill par 3. Last time I hit it very short and left myself a 25y putt which I cashed in for a four-putt double bogey.

This time, my plan was to hit 9 iron since that’d put me into the middle of the green.

I chunked a 9 iron but because it was so downhill, got to the front right fringe. Chipped on with SW to 6y and had a really bad miss to 1.5y. The 1.5y lipped out and then I made it. Double bogey again.

+1 tee

+1 putt

Hole 14

Long par 5. There’s a lot of dirt to cover with a dogleg right, where the long shot is protected by a huge hill. Green is slightly elevated. Oh and there is water ALL along the right side. Last time, I managed an 8.

I think about this point I was starting to get tired and starting to get into my own head. This was also the point at which we SLOWED DOWN. I think the last 5 holes took us 2 hours. I need to eat a snack every 4 holes or so.

The plan was: 4HY, 8 iron, PW, pitch on.

I tried to play ready golf and topped my 4HY 60 yards, nearly into the hazard. My provisional ball was of course, in the fairway, dead straight.

I hit my 8 iron great out of the crap that my ball was in and through the fairway into the scrub on the hill. That meant I had to pitch back into the fairway.

Then I chunked my 6 iron — why i hit 6 instead of my hybrid, I don’t know. So i then hit my 8 iron –good but blocked out a bit. That left me a SW over the bunker where I missed  right. I tried to putt chip it on and barely got onto the green. So then I missed my 4y short and finally in for a 9.

I went back and tried a SW chip for my second try instead of a putt chip — almost holed it and ended within 1y.

So I lost a stroke to playing ready golf unnecessarily. And I lost a stroke to being cute when I have that shot that I didn’t take. I was trying to putt it close through a lot of scrub.

+2 tee

+1 approach

+1 chip

Really it was +2 ready golf and +1 for par 5 dumbness.

This one really didn’t help me out. I was starting to feel a little frustration.

Hole 15

This is a long par 4, but wide open. There’s water very far right and OB very far left. Last time, I got a bogey after an excellent bunker play.

The original plan was to hit hybrid off the tee and then hybrid to the green. When I got there, I figured that since it was so wide open, there was little risk from a driver — so I hit driver to middle of fairway about 200+ yards. I hit a 7 iron on approach so I didn’t go into the bunker. I didn’t go into the bunker. That left me a SW 20y shot that I hit to within 1 yard.

Then I 3-putted. I marked my ball though :\

I should have been planning to 2 putt not to 1 putt it. Or I should have just made it. Double bogey.

+2 putting

Those two holes were really discouraging. Surprise surprise that I checked my score shortly before hole 14… is there any doubt that influenced my mind?

Hole 16

The plan… I forget what the plan was. This is a par 4, not quite as long as hole 15 but still pretty long. There’s a bunch of crap right and a hazard left. Last time, I got myself in trouble and had a 7.

I hit driver because I thought it would help and help me stay away from the crap on the left.

I did give myself 170y in to the green, but I sliced it into the scrub right.

So then I hit my 8 iron trying to get to the fairway and instead back into the scrub. So then I chunked my PW 20y but finally found grass. That meant I could pitch it on from 50y out. Leaving me a 5y putt, which I missed short. Then missed short again. Finally in.

Another 3-putt. And golf is hard not on grass. Put me down for another 7.

+1 on tee

+1 on approach

+1 on chip

+1 on putting

Hooray.

Hole 17

If you thought we were dragging before, we were really dragging. The first 14 holes probably took us about 3 hours. The last 4 holes took us 2 hours.

Hole 17 is a par 5. It has water right and a drainage ditch left. Plan was hybrid hybrid hybrid and did I mention I was going to hit my hybrid?

I had a good swinging hybrid that I drew into some crap left of the fairway but not in the water (I found that out later). My provisional ball was wonderful — middle of the fairway. But I found my ball.

But then I made a bad choice. I hit a punch shot with my 7 iron. That goes like 100 yards plus. I have never hit it before. My angle toward the fairway had maybe 70 yard to the water right. The smart choice would be to hit SW into the fairway to allow me to hit up toward the green.

Instead I hit directly into the hazard. I dropped and had about 120 left to the pin and the shot was from the rough in between two trees. I grabbed my rescue club, the 8 iron. And I hit it to the fringe.

I hit my SW on to the green because the pin was way in the back — but i left myself 12 yards for bogey. I missed the 12 yard putt and then missed the next putt and finally put it in for a triple. Sigh.

That was +2 for dumb

+1 for tee

+1 for approach (that 8 iron saved a stroke for sure)

+1 for putting

Hole 18

The last hole took about 30 minutes. Great 4hybrid that ran through the fairway to some crap. I hit out of the crap with a good 8 iron leaving a 50y pitch to the hole. I chunked it into the bunker.

Good bunker shot to 5y out though.

Missed the 5y putt long but made it for a double.

+1 tee shot

+1 approach

56 on the back and the downhill started on 14. I will eat something on 13 from now on.

Lost 6 strokes off the tee, 5 strokes on approach, 2 strokes chipping, and 7 strokes putting.

Really though, I lost 2 strokes to ready golf, 2 strokes to a 7 iron punch shot that I have never hit before in my life, and 2 strokes on a 1-yard 3 putt. Without those — I would have shot a 50!

But hey, golf is hard. I had a really great time. I hit my clubs really well and not moving my head helped a lot — but don’t think i’ve done that before. My body is really tired from making movements I hadn’t before.

Last time I had 70+ strokes on the course. This time, I had 61 strokes — that’s a winning proposition.

Looked at putting a bit later and it was bad: I was 71% under 2 yards which is about normal. I felt bad about it because my bad putts were all at the end. EDIT (even later): 71% from under 2 yards is the worst I’ve done from that distance in quite some time.

Really it was 2-7 yards where I struggled. Only 6 of 15 putts were good. My most common miss was short, which I think was from a lack of practice.

Additional notes:

This was a great day. I was focused on having a good time first, not moving my head second, and my score third. Well I wasn’t concerned about my score until hole 14 — you fool!

I had some trouble putting on the back 9 – added 6 strokes there. My tee shots were good but kept getting me into trouble. I think this is a demonstration on how poorly i usually hit my tee shots — i hit it really well this day but i never do that!

There were maybe 8 shots that cost me around 20 strokes. LOL!

My best score on a championship course — and that’s with more lost balls than last time. Hey there!”

Best shots

1. Putt on 3 lol

2. approach shot on hole 4 — 150 yard 8 iron. Really, all of hole 4.

3. PW on hole 6 to 2-3y

4. Rescue shot on hole 7 to get to a good lie

5. Flop on hole 9

6. Hole 12 tee shot

7. Hole 15 driver, then pitch

8. Hole 16 4th shot

9. Hole 17 8 iron through the trees

Compared to last time

Compared to last time, I had significantly better full swings, many more pitch shots, and better chips. The real issue was my putting: it was much worse than last time and all the better shots I had were negated by the worse putts. So it is good to work on putting.

This really was my worst putting performance in a long time.