Well, I have been playing for about six weeks and have over 30 rounds in the books. This includes 20 posted scores, scrambles, Men’s Night, and Senior Men’s Ryder Cup. It right about now during every season that my game starts to turn the corner to “play better street”. Yesterday’s round was one of my best to date in 2021, but is how I played that seemed to make me feel that my game is ready for a run at lowering my handicap.
The synopsis of my round is fairly straight forward. I shot two bogies, one double and two birdies for a two over par 73. I hit 12 of 13 fairways, 13 of 18 greens in regulation, and made 31 putts. Statistically, this was a great round and I was very satisfied with my play. As I looped the round, I feel that I only made two bad/poor shots. These cost me a bogey and double bogey. Realistically, the double was the hole that really frustrated me.
One of my best shots of the day was on the ninth hole. I hit to 15 yards from an elevated green from a fairway bunker. I was happy with my result and I needed to get up and down to shoot a one over par 37 on the front nine. It does not look like it, but the green is actually elevated about five feet from my ball and the pin is short sided.
The total distance from my ball to the pin is 20 yards and this shot is perfect for my lob wedge. I set up and know I have to swing hard to make the ball elevate enough to have very little release. I take a full swing and stick my ball eight feet right of the pin. After rolling in my par putt, I walked to the 10th tee feeling good about my game.
Fast forward the first five holes, I was sitting one under because I shot a birdie on 12 and 14. Both were about eight feet from the pin and I confidently rolled in my putts. After a par on the 15th hole, I was one under on the 16th tee box.
After a solid drive, I had a clear shot up the 16th fairway, but unfortunately, I pushed my 5 iron to the right making for a very difficult third shot. This was the first of my poor shots. I actually chunked a perfect distance sand wedge and left myself a very difficult chip severely uphill on my 4th shot. I hit this ball just short of the green (I was actually happy with the results because I was under a tree) and grabbed my trusty 7 iron for a bump and run to save bogey. I hit this shot to within a foot and walked to the 17th green even for the day.
My 17th tee shot was the worse of the day. I grabbed my 7-iron as I always do when the pin is on the front half of the green. My aim point was the telephone pole on the left. I am not sure what happen….actually I do, I pulled up too quickly, hit my ball thin, and drove it right into the pond. (see image below) I was flabbergasted by such a poor hit and I will explain why in a minute. I went to the drop zone, hit a sand wedge to 12 feet and missed my bogey putt by six inches. After tapping in for my double, I steamed my way to the 18th tee.
After discussing my best and worst shots of the round, I have to update you on my article: Hitting My Approach Shots Left. In my previous article I was lamenting about pulling my approach shots left. I boiled down my woes to crouching too deep trying to build a strong foundation. This in turn caused the heel of my irons to hit first and close my club face slightly. Well, I am happy to report that I fixed this problem.
My new address has me standing just a bit taller which raises my hands slightly. This, in turn, allowed the sole of my club to be in the right position. I was hitting the ball better than I have all year. Hitting 13 greens in regulation is a great stat for me. More importantly, 9 of those were between 100 and 150 yards. I hit my irons better yesterday, than I did all year. Forget the double on the 17th hole ( well kind of 😉 ) My improved iron play is the best motivation I can have to work my game further this year. Besides the score, finding a fix for my poor iron play will set my the conditions for better play in my future rounds.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!