Yesterday, I played my first round of golf in 2017. My first round went much as I expected, but I did learn a few things that may or may not be incorporated in my training going forward.
As I stated earlier, yesterday was all about hitting the ball. I had no expectations about playing well, but just to have fun and hit the ball. I accomplished that and much more.
First, I went at the range, but my plan of 5 did not work as I had hoped. I found that drawing my long clubs back to knee height was folly. This movement was awkward and did not accomplish what I hand hoped. So after my 7-iron, I abandoned this step. Hitting the ball from waist, 3/4 and full swings was very helpful.
My alignment was off for the first 40 balls. I was hitting behind the ball, which caused ground hooks on the ball. I made some adjustments and by the end of the 80 balls, I was hitting the ball well for this early in the season.
After the first 10 balls, I realized that my hands were getting sore. As per previous years, I was gripping the club to tight. So I quickly loosened my grip and as a result was able to hit the ball more consistently. I was able to release my hands at the lower part of my swing right before contact; this is something I plan to work during future practice seasons.
After 1.5 hours of practice before my round, it was time to tee it up. The sun was brilliant, the air warm, and the course in great shape. This had the makings of a perfect first round in 2017. Dan, Josh, Blair and I were ready to walk around the greenery.
As we made our way around the back nine at Osprey Links Golf Course, I hit the ball well considering it was my first time out. I chipped in for par from the sand trap on 13, made some great up and downs for par on 12, 14 and 15, and hit the ball fairly well throughout the rest of the holes. I did, however, hit some fat, thin and ugly shots. I am not concerned about those because I expected to hit some less than stellar shots.
We did play one of my favorite holes. Number 12 is a difficult par 4. Your drive needs to be played down the right side because everything rolls left into trouble. If you make the fairway, there is a drop of 75 feet from the top of the hill to the green. Club selection is critical on your approach shot because of the prevailing winds and the altitude drop. This hole can make or break our back 9 and I guess that is why I like it so much. If you are interested, I bogeyed this hole because of a poor chip on my third shot. Next time will better.
My first round is in the books and I look forward to at least 79 more. But for now, I am ready for round two.
I am a grateful golfer. See you on the links.