Yesterday was Canada Day! To celebrate the birth of our nation I hit the links with my friends Blair and Rick. We teed off early to ‘beat the heat’ and our day of fun in the sun turned out to be my best round of golf in 2020. I did not do anything extra special (or so I thought), yet my short game proved to be the main factor for my success. Truthfully, I am not surprised at my success as this part of my game has improved dramatically due to my early season practice.
I had an inkling that my round was going to be a good one because my second shot on the opening hole, par 5 10th, was one of the best of the year. I hit my ball to within 50 yards of the green. But, alas, I walked off with a tap in par.
My success on the first hole was doubled down by this shot on the par 3, 157 yard, 11th hole. I hit a 3/4 smooth 6 iron to this positions:
I tapped in this shot for birdie and walked to the next hole one under! I like the way my round was shaping up because my swing felt smooth and strong.
Then one wheel fell off of the proverbial cart. I hit what I thought was a solid 3 hybrid off the 12th tee to the left of center. I hit the ball right of the big tree on the left, but when we arrived at the spot we thought it would be, we could not find my ball. After my mandatory 3 minutes, we approximated location of where my ball went into the red staked hazard on the left (only place to go); so I dropped a ball and was hitting 3 into the green.
After a poor chip close to the green, I walked off with a double, jumping my score to one over! Yet, I still felt like my game was on track good things were going to happen.
And then it started; I rattled off 11 straight pars. During this string of solid play, I hit my ball without worries of making a miss hit. I did not hit all the greens in regulation, but I was able to to get up and down with ease. I did have to scramble sometimes and made a couple 6 foot putts, but that is all part of scoring low.
Hitting another ball close from 150 yards (5 feet) on the 14th hole, I stroked my ball in the center of the cup for another birdie. I was now sitting at even par for the day and feeling confident. I did not start thinking about an under par round with 4 holes to go because that would take me out of my current mindset. So, I just continued to play the way I was playing.
After two routine pars, I walked to the par 3, 8th hole (actually our 17th hole of the day). It was 164 yards to the up front pin location.
After the way I was playing, I was kind of shocked to chuck my 6 iron off the tee beside the 4 posts in front of the green. I actually could not believe how poorly I stuck my 6 iron, but that is all part of the game…..right?
After a fairly decent chip, I was left with a 10 foot putt for par. I hit my putt 1 inch to the left of the cup, just past the hole. I tapped in for bogey, well actually a very disappointing bogey. However, I had to make sure that this bump in the road did not leak into the last hole of my great round.
After my second shot on the last hole, I still had a challenging up and down for par. The 9th green is elevated and I was at the bottom of the elevation. The green was six feet above my ball and the pin was 15 yards from my position. So, I grabbed my trusty 60° lob wedge and went to work. I stuck my ball to within 3 feet and tapped in for my par.
My score of 72 was the best of 2020. What I like best about my play is that it was not forced and seemingly effortless. I did grind for a bit, but overall my 25 putts was the difference in my score. I was able to one putt 11 times and only two of those were for birdie. That means I was able to scramble up and down 9 times during my round. As I said earlier, my short game was on fire.
As much as I am thrilled about shooting my best score of 2020, I am grateful to be playing with my friends Blair and Rick. We have been playing together as a group since 2016 and spending time on the links with them during Canada Day was just icing on the cake.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!