Monday

Wildwood 8/5/17 Personal Best for 9


I have been scuffling a bit lately but after a range session last night, had a plan. Would play for bogey today. If I hit a spectacular shot I might get a par but should stay out of trouble. Went to the range Friday night and was feeling good about most of my game but…well, struggling with pitch shots. I might bump and run everything from 100 in!

 

First hole and I am feeling good about my driver.  Tee markers are a bot further back than normal so my initial plan to bang a five iron out left of the trees went away. I pull the driver, choose an aggressive line, have a nice, smooth controlled backswing, a nice smooth downswing…and hit behind the ball, chunking it way left and short.  Fortunately it was SO bad, I still had a path to par. Just put one down the middle to 150 or so, try and get a good pitch and 2 putt. Unfortunately I pulled my 4h left but on the bright side I pummeled it and was looking at 135. Nice smooth pitching wedge, still looking at par. Waited for the foursome on 4 to hit their shots as I was close to their green, they all laid up well short, went to hit my shot and noticed…one of them had moved to a second ball and was hitting again. Rushed my shot and a tree that is NEVER high enough to be in the way of my shot was and knocked my ball down. I then chunked a wedge into the creek, dropped, put it on and 2-putted for a disappointing triple bogey/snowman to start out.

 

Hole 2 I decided to lay up. Unfortunately, I then put it into the middle of the water/rockpile. Drop, pin high but left, get on and 1-putt for the double. Hey, heading the right direction!

 

I love #3, the 116 yard downhill par 3. I did not want to go long so played my ¾ swing 50 degree which is usually about a 95 yard swing.  Now I am looking at a 12’ birdie putt which I duly miss but have about a 1’ par putt. Hey, now we are cooking.

 

Hole 4 I explain to my playing partner, “The left is wide open, you will just be in the second hole fairway, right is OB, no reason to play with the right side at all.” He duly puts two balls OB right, one of the pair we are matched up with does likewise. I then slice into the woods. Retee laying three, blast it 280 down the left side. My 4h needing 225 to the middle goes about 235 leaving me a super long par putt. I miss by about 3’ but tap in for the bogey. That was one costly miss off the tee…

This next one is about the hardest hole on the course for me. Again I tell him no need to play with the right, you can miss by an entire fairway left and still have shot but on right you are either in trees or have tree and sand issues. They all play driver, I play 5i and am longer than any of them and drift a hair right but no trouble. Not even really sand I have a clean shot between. Needing about 47 to the center I hit my 60’ little less than a half swing. It really carried and left me at the back of the green with about a 25’ downhill with a slight bend. I thought I had a pretty good read on it and made a nice smooth stroke…about the longest birdie I have ever made and one of the longer putts. Huzzah, a bird!

 

Next hole I need the same shot I had back on three. Nice smooth swing, I am liking it…what just happened? The creek is about 6’ wide and I landed dead center in it. No clue what happened, usually I am afraid of going long with that swing. Retee, lay it just short of the fringe, get to about 6’ and 3 putt for a quad bogey 7. Mentally crushing as I am coming off a birdie to a distance I like where I thought on my first swing I was going to be doing a happy dance.

 

The next hole is a short, 455 yard par 5 but the water from 250-290 out depending on where you land coupled with either OB or no shot all down the right side…no driver for me. I pull the 4h, aim down the center and just crush it but slight pull. End up unable to take a full swing so I punch out, end up being short, then have to ship on in 5 and 2 putt for a double 7. Grr.

 

Next one is the troubling uphill par three. I take plenty of club, hit my 8i on the uphill…but jerk it well left. Coming off the hill, I chip it short, then long, then on but not close and 2 putt for the triple 6. I am playing awful. On just 6 holes I am 15 over, and one under on the other 2 holes. That means I am either par or double bogey or worse. What is going on? All sorts of badness.

 

But hole 9..ah, a beautiful drive, I leave it about 30 yards below the green. Sand in the way, no big deal. I watch the Czech land a foot short of the green and roll 20 yards down the hill. Well, I have no plans to play with the sand so not an issue for me, I am going center/back of green. Or I can chunk it, hit within inches of where he did and roll right next to him. A 9i chip puts me on the back fringe but from there I roll in the 8’ downhill slider for a par and complete a miserable front in 50, a whopping 14 over, all of that on just 6 holes.

 

Well, the back is going to be better I hope. First hole, I thought about the 5i but if I hit it and pull it it brings the sand into play. Much shorter and I turn it into a three shot hole. Marginally longer and I need to fade it which I no longer can do on command. I elect to go driver and take an aggressive line. If I pull it it gives me a straight look to the shortsided green. If I go straight I could be on and if I fade it the hill should redirect it.

I crush the drive and honestly…downhill par 5 where I am cutting the corner…I think there is a chance I am past the green. Until we get there and I am center of the fairway 100 yards out. It had to have hit a tree I did not see and taken an interesting bounce. But I hit a nice wedge to the back of the green and 2-putted for the par.

I did wisely tee off with the 5i and put it about 4 yards left of the stake I was aiming at 200 yards out and uphill. Wedge to the back right of the green, just past the green. Got on but not close enough, 2-putt bogey.

The water beyond, the other guys are pulling 9i, 7i and 5i. I pull 50 degree and  land about 20’ from the cup. I am starting to realize how skewed my perceptions are as I cannot imagine hitting a 7i on a downhill 160. I am so used to my distance advantage that except when people mention it I don’t think about it. Anyhow, I am about 2’ from the birdie and happily take my par.

Next hole I pummel the driver down the left center leaving myself 75 yards in. On fringe to left, putt to 4’, par. Hey, I like this game!

I usually leave the next one short, but this time a pitching wedge has me pin high on the left. I just miss the putt for birdie but another tap in par.

Now for the first of the back to back 5s. I absolutely crush my drive, it is a bit further left than I would prefer but the hill rolls it back to the center of the fairway. So now I have 160 uphill to be on in 2. I grab my 7i and promptly pull it hard left, it ricochets off a tree just past the green and I get a break as it bounces back to the front of the green and down the hill. I have a pedestrian pitch, miss the 12’ birdie putt but tap in for par. Feeling good.

 

The next five, I am trusting my driver and take a slightly more aggressive line than usual. Unfortunately, it is too aggressive and I am slowed by a tree. Still, I can reach the green with a well struck 4h. Or I can slightly pull it, clip a tree and now I am 150 out still after 2. Oh well. The back has been kind, I can take my lumps. I rip my 8i and am just past the green on the left. A nice chip leaves me a 6’ putt which I roll in to save my par. Huzzah!

 

This time I drift right a tiny bit with my driver on the 313 yard par 4 and another tree decides to leave me about 110 in. I hit my 50 degree ¾ swing about 15’ right of the cup. But when I roll it in I suddenly realize…I am even par for the back with 1 to go and, in fact, going back to 9, I have my first ever 9 consecutive holes at par.  I am pretty excited.

I actually have my 5i in hand. I just want to bash it out there 200 and leave myself an 8 iron to the green and try to 2-putt. But I have faith in my driver at the moment (even though in retrospect I probably shouldn’t) so I blast it. 303 yards later I have 45 to the flag. I get a little loose with my chip and have 40’ to two-putt to save par. I make a gorgeous lag to about 2’, putt in and boom, 36 for the back, 86 for the round (cap adjusted 85). I am ecstatic and excited, this is my personal best for 9 and just 3 strokes off my best for 18.

7/15/17 Elk Ridge


J and I were taking on D and JA up at Elk Creek in Carson, WA. They elected to play blue tees. I was good with that, though somewhat concerned as my game is really bad. My driver and 4h have deserted me, my pitch game is garbage. I like my 5i off the tee and anything down to about a 9i, though even those I tend to pull left. This could be ugly.

 

First hole, 329 yard par 4, J topped it just past the ladies tees. I considered the wind, took an aiming point left of the fairway figuring the wind would push the ball pretty far right. I then pulled it even further left  but luckily it hit the side of the hill and bounced down into the rough just left of the fairway. J had an okay pitch, mine was a hair short but puttable from the fringe just short of the green. I read his line as he powered it past and managed to put mine within about an inch of going in. We took a par. Meanwhile, JA and D had gone short, short, then were on the bank above the hole. They got to about 10’ from there and 2-putted. Our par had us up two.

 

On the second hole, a 493 yard par 4, J hit it maybe about 150 down the middle. Far better than my wind-aided slice that bounced on cart path and carried out of bounds. He then shanked his second shot about 50 yards…still better than my sliced 4h that went even further into the woods than my tee shot. Then we both came up left of the green, and both chipped short of the green. Laying 4 just on fringe. Meanwhille Jim and Dave were in the sand right of the green in 2. Their out of the bunker was not spectactular, they then two-putted for a 5. Still, we are laying 4, just off green, a 12’ sidehill.  they already have their stroke picked up in mind. Until J rolls his putt in to save our 5. A bogey we can live with.

 

Next up a 160 yard par 3. I yanked my 8i well left and a bit short. It was the better shot of the two, and D and JA were well back after a couple…questionable tee shots shall we say. They hit a beautiful approach to the top of the green, 45 yards away and above the hole on fast greens. I am thinking they will for sure 3 putt and possibly 4. I go first…and shank my 55 yard swing about 25 yards into the center of the sand. J puts his on the far side of the green. Playing ready golf, we go first and put it about 4’ from the cup. Our bogey will minimum tie the hole and likely pick up a stroke…until D shouts “Slow down” moments before his curling downhill slider plops into the cup from 45 feet out for the par.

So after three holes I am feeling terrible about my game. My handicap is up 1.5 points in a month. I have gone pulled drive, short 50 degree that was offline, Driver out of bounds, 4h out of bounds, 8 iron pulled left, 8 iron left and short, half swing wedge I chunked. A couple timely putts and nice balls by J have us about where we should be and only a miracle putt by D means they are down but one…but I need to play better!

 

On the the 493 yard par 5. I promptly hit the big ball before the little ball and have a short drive, roughly 186 yards. We are 307 out while Dave has slightly outdriven me. I then hit my 4h. I was aiming off to the right, hitting a 22.5 degree…I hit a line drive down the left that goes about 250 as it turns out. 2 terrible shots, but we are looking good to be on in three and maybe 2 putt. Then I stick a wedge to 4’ and drain it for a natural bird. That wedge was my first truly good shot of the day. 2 terrible played well and one great shot. 

 

Of course, they just recognize the natural bird and after JA and D [ar the hole, they are down 4, losing a shot on a par. I realize I am playing very poorly. Although that 4h went a long way and played well…I missed the shot badly, just got lucky. I am pretty down on myself at this point.

 

Hole 5 is a dogleg right par 4, 392 yards. J hits the shot I planned to hit, banging it out to the 150 marker, avoiding the sand and water. I elect to blast my driver about 100 yards right of the fairway. Still, from 150 we get it to the green and 2-putt (JA and D struggle most the rest of the day, so with rare exceptions, no need to make it worse…suffice it to say J and I finished 6 ahead on the front).

 

Hole 6, 160 yard par 3, I hit the green with a 7i that landed almost exactly where I aimed, we two putted. Machines I tells ya…

 

335 yard par 4 left dogleg. I decide to try driver one last time. Nice slow takeaway, don’t accelerate on the downswing, go stand 70 yards from the green after best drive of the day. Put the pitch about 6’ right of the cup, another natural bird.

 

Don’t remember much of 8, but 9 is 499 yard downhill par 5. Road on right. I decide to start my ball left. By which I mean big pull that hits a tree 100 yards out…and J and D and JA all do likewise. We all four break out our Mulligans. J hits over those trees but well left. I swing pretty smooth, it stays right. I am worried, they all think it is great. We get down and I have tree issues, about 4’ inbounds. Nothing to do but punch out to the 150 which we do. Meanwhile, JA and Dave are put their next shots in the water and ob. From 150 I go 9i because of the downhill. And promptly think I launch it ob right. J thinks so too, his is short. We get there, I am just off the green to the right, a decent pitch. We get on in 4 and 2 putt for a double….and end the front 4 over.

 

I felt like all but maybe 3 holes I was really scuffling and with a shot here and there, J gave us just enough to have a comfortable 6 shot lead.

 

10 is 447 yards of uphill, tight fairway fury. On the tee just behind the blues was a red circle with a red dot in the center. We joked about “if you hit into the water (left of the tee alongside the tee box) you deserve to be penalized and drop there”. J promptly puts his into the water and so does JA making my slice across not just our fairway but the next one the best tee shot. I then launch my 4h about a mile but on a horrible line. J goes up the fairway we are on. I then hit towards the wrong flag. We are on in 4 and pull out a double bogey.  And win the hole as they took a triple…

 

I forget what happened most of the way because we were still gaining ground. The next to last hole I really remember had sand at 260 and was a downhill sliding left dogleg where after the sand the fairway was blind. So I pulled 5i to take the sand out of play….and promptly hit it even with the sand but left side of the fairway.

 

Finally on 18 we all had our mulligans…and for J and I, our best shot was a 200 yard tee shot downhill. We both then chunked our chips about 50 yards while JA and Dave were just left of the green. We reached the front on our next and found a way to 2 putt. They were short with their chip and 2-putted.

 

So for the day, they one just one hole from us, tied a few and J and I finished with an 8 over 79 while they came in with an 89.

 

The ice cream was delicious.

 

Once my driver started working, which except 10 and 18 it really did back on 7, any chance they had really evaporated. I felt like the blues were a box deep for them but part of it too was D just getting back and not having golfed for a month and JA swinging out of his shoes and thus playing poorly.

 

J had some really great moments at just the right time. We seldom had good shots at the same time but when we needed to pull one out he did so, draining 3 or 4 key putts and hitting a couple chips and pitches that gave us looks, probably saving us 10-15 strokes. So well done, lot of fun and take the W.

Friday

This year in golf (so far)2015 as of 9/22/15

Until this year I have never played much golf. 4, 5 rounds a year, sometimes less, rarely ever as many as 10 and even then only 1 or 2 would be for 18.
This year the wife and I talked about it, I wanted to get "not horribly bad, maybe respectable" at golf. She okayed me getting fitted for clubs, lessons, and getting March through October unlimited golf at a local retirement community track. http://www.kingcitygc.com/  it is short, par 34 (should be 33 or 32, really). The challenge comes from if you miss a fairway you probably hit a house and/or are ob but for a hackmaster like myself...fine course.

My goal for the year was pretty modest. A round under 40 for 9. I generally shot in the mid-40s both there and at "real" golf courses. Some forays into the mid-50s and occasionally when everything was working right maybe a 42 or 43. 1 41. 

Early in the year, before the club fitting, I had a so-so round going...until I finished birdie-eagle when i chipped in on 9 for a 2. Later in the year I would get a second eage, so that was exciting.

As the lessons started to take hold I was struggling. It was a complete swing change from outside in, playing for a slice, to trying to hit it straight and attempting a draw. I would have a couple low 40s. I would have a 55. My scores were similar...but the WAY I was getting them was different. Now it often was a couple duffed chips around the green after getting close in 2. I could see the improvement even if the scores did not show it.

Then the magical day came where it all came together, I had a 35 going into 9. Drive down the middle. Wedge to the green. lag putt close. I was standing over a 4' par putt for a 39...of course I finished with a 41, could that part of the story end any different? But I was encouraged. I had a legit shot at it. Visible improvement.

I went to my favorite course, Wildwood, played 18 and shot a legit 84. I had never done better than an 89 on ANY course before. That was exciting. My driver was 33 yards longer than my average at the time. 

Came back to King City. I was working hard, practicing my chipping and putting at Red tail, hitting the driving range between lessons...I changed my chipping grip, my chipping approach, my pitching approach. I read Dave Pelz short-game Bible borrowed from the library. I went out and bought it, developed the 1/4, 1/2, 2/3 swings. i bought a 60 degree wedge to add to my PW, SW and AW. My short game got better.

Played some "real courses" 2-man best ball with my friend John against Dave and Jim.

Broke 40 with a 38. And again with a 39. Later I shot a 44/36 on the King City. Then I melted down. For a month.

My driver went wild. My 4h went wilder. My 3w was unhittable. I took to teeing off with a 6 iron, sometimes a 7 iron just to keep the ball in play. I met Tequila4Kapp and YetiLooper and came to enjoy the THP style round. 

Then the game started to come back. I broke 40 a couple more times. And then came perhaps my favorite round ever. On the front nine I hit 7 greens in regulation. I made one birdie putt. I shot a 40 that was my fault for melting down on 9 and pulling a double bogey. On the back after 4 holes I had hit zero GIR but 4 1-putts had me at par. I texted a brag about that bizarre stat to Tequila and Yeti, promptly took a double. BUT...

IMy mental game is stronger. I 1-put par on 6. I 1-put birdie on 7. 3-putt double on 8. 2-putt par on 9. I shot a 36. 

So for the front I was playing really well as hitting the green but not close enough to birdie. On the back I was missing the green but chipping close.

Actual, real, live example of the improvement in my game year over year.

And this time instead of reverting to my bad ways as I did last time I had some success, this time I shot a 42 for 9, then tonight a 42-38. I am experiencing sustained success.

Oh, I know the bad swings will come. I sliced a 6 iron on 5 tonight that had me "fore-tee box" screaming. I yanked a drive left that only stayed in bounds when it bounced off not one but 2 houses and found its way to the rough from which a 7-iron found the sand which I barely got out of. I am not a "good" golfer and neither I nor my trending handicap claim that I am.

but I can visibly see the improvement. At this end of the year if I land next to sand or water it does not bother me because i have the capability to avoid the trouble most of the time and, should I hit the sand, I get out more often than not in decent shape to save bogey instead of launching it 100 yards past the green and looking at snowman or worse.

I credit many things. The fitted clubs have been a wonder to behold. My ball flight is much better. For the first time in my life I am getting a really high ball flight that stops the ball on the green more and more frequently. I hit straighter more often and longer. I have a wider array of shots to select from and am gaining confidence in them all.

I credit Matt, my instructor, for much of the improvement in my short game and Pelz' principles for more, and honestly...I have worked hard at practicing what Matt has taught, spending hours hitting thousands of shots on the practice range. 

Coming down to the end of the paying season, golf is a much different game for me than it was at the beginning of the year. My skills are better and, while I will never be a scratch golfer, and probably not a mid-teen much less scratch handicapper (per the Grint I have gone from I think 32 or so at beginning of the year to 23.5 per most recent update), I don't feel like I want to run hide at corporate outings or anything like that. I have met some really cool people, had a ton of fun and even grown to the place where I can still tell you I have had precisely 3 eagles in my life (2 this year), I have had enough birdies they stop being a life-changing event...

Tomorrow I hop on a plane for Flagstaff and am taking my clubs, something i never would have done before because I would have wanted to hide my lack of skill from random strangers and would not enjoy rounds. Instead, so far this year I have played in Washington, Oregon, and California and have plans to play in Arizona. That alone is a sea change.

I think it has been a successful year. I know this is of little interest to most people but I just wanted to remember it and this little post might help with that. thanks for listening and hey..lets play 18

Thursday

Rounds 36,37

Fresh off my near miss, I went a few days between chances to play. I had a double lesson, spent some time working on chipping.

Mostly I was working on air time v roll time, I carefully paced it off, marked down in my book how every club from 6 iron through 55 degree went...then left the book by the green I was practicing at. Oops.

So nearly a week after my good play and just a day after my racquetballing, I headed out. Fir-Gir-par. Should have had the birdie, missed about a 5'er that just lipped out.  Then I shanked right behind trees, no view of the green, somehow managed to roll around an elecrical box and get just onto the green, a 2-putt bogey. I feel like I am playing well.

I feel wrong as I promptly hook the 4h left over the houses, then hit a nice drive to 40' from the green. Then I chip twice to 5 yards from the green...and chip that in. Hmm. a zero putt 6...

then my 7 wood gets loose. I think the first may be gone, hit a provisional...left over houses. If you have seen that hole you know how bad that is. Then right over the clubhouse again. I give up, walk up...and find my first one behind and under a tree. I manufacture a shot to fairway center, get on in 3, in in 6. 2 lost balls that did not matter...a big score that did.

And so forth until I par 7 and 8, then get all sorts of loose on 9. A 46 going out. Not good.

I then go way right with the 4H. I am struggling with it today. I beautiful 7 iron gives me a chance at a scramble, but a poor chip and missed putt lead to a bogey. Then I bogey 11. And 12 (Fir-Gir Bogey :-( ), and 13.

The 167 yard, tree lined par 3 I decide to play my 7 iron. If I had gotten any roll I might have made an ace because I stuck it 3' short dead on line for the pin, it bounced about 2" according to the ballmark. birdie. Nice!

Bit of a wait, got joined by Jennifer, very nice lady who was struggling a bit.

I hit a fantastic drive but had tree issues. Tried draw around it but hit it straight, clipped a limb. Shorted 2 chips, then went long...a 7. ouch.

Then went way right with the 4H, landing 150 from green well right, just inbounds. Stuck the 8 iron just beyond the cup and got a birdie. 2 birdies in one round...it is now a good round.
Good thing I decided that because I backed it up with sticking 2 4 H ob, switching to my driver, going 240 down left side, taking a 9.

And then driver ob right, long right but right of 1, bad chips, another 9 for a 49.

95 for the day but I don't care...two birdies.

Saturday

Round 35: Made IT! except, not really...

I started off killing it. Hole 1 was a Fir-Gir-Par. Textbook with my 4 Hybrid being a solid 260ish yards, my 10ish yard chip leaving me a long makeable putt I did not feel bad about missing, and the decent leave letting me par it.

On 2 I was a bit right and went beyond the far side with my mis-chip. But then a nice lag from the fringe lipped out and I tapped in for bogey from less than a foot.

On 3 I put the ball just off the left fringe with the drive. A poor chip left lots of work and the frist putt was well short but I rolled in the longish second for a par. A second Fir-Gir-Par.

Next on the 196 yard par 3 I had to wait for a father-daughter group. She was maybe 5 or 6 and they were playing SUPER slow. Anyway I was pin high about 10 yards right of the green. Of course I could not stick the chip. I still should have made the putt but lipped it out. Still a bogey.


Then the famous 167 yard par 3. I actually mishit the tee shot, taking ground prior to the tee. perhaps for the best as I was pin high left of the green maybe 19 yards. I then chipped really well for a change, reading the green well and leaving a very makeable putt which I then made for par.

So I started this round par-bogey-par-bogey-par. And for those paying attention, I finished the last 4 holes of my last round par-birdie-par-bogey. So over the last 9 holes I have shot a 2-over 36 which is pretty spectacular for me. Now I just need to finish strong.

I then top my drive 5 yards past the red tees. I follow up by topping my 7 wood, hitting the tree in center of the fairway and getting a break that ricochets it into the center of the fairway 56 yards from the green. Nothing i cannot make worse by picking my 55 degree clean, ball flies OB. Drop for 5, this one lands front fringe. On in 6. Leave the first putt 6' short but hit that. Yay, one decent shot on the hole for a snowman. I just scored as many as any two prior holes...

Then the tee shot is topped again, barely scuttling past the red tees. Then I launch it ob, drop, etc...lets skip to the end. After that great start I finish 8-8-5-7. 28 and 19 is a 47..."only" 6 shots worse. But they were a painful 6...

Wednesday

Round 34: So close!

My goal is to break 40. I did it once many years ago at Gearhart. With a 29. There is some question in my mind if I really did it. Naturally I would rather do it on a par 36, but I will take what i can get.

Today went out, nobody ahead of me, took 2 practice hits with 8 iron and stepped up to the whites at King City. My 4 Hybrid was pure, with that right to left ball movement leaving me about 45 yards from the green. A nice soft 55 degree to about 8 foot, a 2-putt. Starting with a par is always nice. A Fir-Gir-Par is nice too.

The 178 yard par 3 I am generally right. My 7 wood was pin high just off the green about 5 yards right. I tried the wrist hinge but much too much force, went off green on far side...when pin was right next to where I went wide right. This time I put it about 4' away and 1-putted for bogey. Would have preferred the par I should have scored...but that is a shot I struggle with.

Despite there having been nobody ahead of me when I first arrived...changed clothes...took a couple practice swings...played two holes...I was now waiting on people. Uh oh.

On to the 249 par 4. My drive was about 200 yards, slightly left edge of fairway. I went back to the 55 degree but picked it clean. It ended up in the 4th hole tee box across the street I later discovered. Drop, put it on front edge of green, 2-putt for a 6. Oops. One swing cost 2 strokes. But...here is the encouraging part. I have that 45 yard shot in my bag. It is reasonable to think I can and should routinely par or even birdie this hole.

Now for the par 3 178 yarder. My 7 wood came out again and was slightly right and short. I then overhit the green, my chip back left me a 4ish footer which I hit for the bogey. Again...poor close-in work meant what should have been a scramble par was a bogey. But it is CLOSE.

Now the 167 yard par 3 with trees steady right and interspersed left. I took my 6 iron....and would have hit the houses behind the green because I CRUSHED it. Now I had to come 20 yards back to the green under a limb. I left it short, then was too far from the pin from just off the fringe. A 2-putt and my 2nd double of the day. I did not feel like I was playing awful...but I was not playing well, either. On my way to a forgettable round.

My troubling 277 yard par 4. I have played it much better with the draw. I hammered the drive, but clipped the last tree branch, losing probably 10-15 yards. Still, I was 75 yards from the green, left side of fairway and clear shot at it. A nice smooth 50 degree put me pin high on right-center of green. I left the first putt 5' short but rolled the second in for a par.; Hey, a second FIR-GIR-Par. Nice!

Now the par 4 that masquerades as a 5. My drive I was all tense on the swing and was short and left. I was maybe 165 from the green, left of fairway, tree issue. Worse, the 2 guys in front of me spent several minutes practicing chips from just off the green while I stewed over my shot. I was ready to hit into them when they finally moved on. I pulled the 7 iron and tried a deliberate draw. It worked, sort of...I was beyond the green 5 or 10 yards after hitting the back edge with a beautiful draw. this time I left the chip about 4' from the cup and 1-putted for the birdie*. yeah, it is a par on most courses...I will count it as a birdie. And on this course, that is a second consecutive FIR-GIR, topped by a BIR.

On the 284 yard 8 I hit a nice draw that left me about 75 yards off the green. My 50 degree put me pin high right side of the green. Another putt left short4ish feet but I made that for a third consecutive FIR-GIR-Par or better. Wow!

On the 292 yard par 4 I got under it a little bit but still put it dead center fairway with the  4 hybrid. This time the 50 degree was about 4 yards short. But a nice chip left me a very makeable 3' putt to A) deliver a 4th consecutive FIR-GIR-Par+ and B) break 40.

naturally I got in my own head, missed it, frustrated missed the next shot and 3-putted to end with a 41.

Still the best front I have had and I now know I am capable of doing it. I was almost there.

Then I rushed my drive and pushed it way right...right of the 1st fairway, in fact. A 7-iron landed right of the green but pin high. Unfortunately a poor chip was followed by a 3-putt. The sadness of the missed 41 actually helped me start a meltdown.

The 178 yard par 3 saw my 7 wood go high, straight...and long. Again a low limb meant 6 iron chip, but short, 3 to get on, 1 to get in. Bogey, not horrible. Now waiting on a twosome.

I outdid the first time I played the 249 hole, landing about 35 yards from the green. Confident, I took the 55 degree, stepped up...and totally chunked it about 10 yards. I started thinking about going to the Avengers II< Age of Ultron. I got barely on the front frnge with the next chip and 2-putted for a bogey. Not horrible...but could have been so much better!

It started sprinkling on me about this time.

The 196 yard par 3 saw my 7 wood land short this time, though not horribly so. I hit a nice chip and was a couple feet from the putt. I rushed it a bit to get out of rain and...missed the gimme. Another putt but what should have been a par was a bogey.

It continued to rain, I was waiting on the other guys...I waled off and went to the Avengers.

So close to breaking 40. I can do it this year!

Rounds 30-33

Played 18, shot a 97. Not good but birdied the last, had 3 pars and a birdie on 9. Drive was mid-length and left. With ball below my feet and tree sort of in way, took it from 75 yards to 4 feet and made the birdie putt to end the round.
Shot a 42, had a birdie on hole 3, par on 5 and 9. that was back to back rounds with a birdie.
Shot a 49 with pars on 3 and 8.

Thursday

Rounds 26, 27, 28 and 29

Sis was in town so no r-ball Sunday. Monday went out and played. Nobody in front of me and I was flying. I blistered through the front with 2 pars, a double, the rest bogeys. Only 16 putts. I was playing well. The back started even better and through hole 14 I was on fire, coming off 3 pars in 4 holes.

Then I caught up to some ladies. who were stuck behind some ladies. Who were behind another group. 15 minutes later when i took my next shot there were people behind me. They did not want to join. I promptly put the tee shot ob right, my first penalty of the day I believe. Laying 3 off the tee, I can still save the hole. But the next tee shot was same place. Laying 5 off the tee. next shot almost as bad but bounced inbounds, went ob, hit a bush and bounced back just in bounds. But now I am 160 from the green and need a pitching wedge to get over some trees. So I have to lay up on my 6th shot. Yeah, I took a 9. No rhythm to my game. I missed a makeable parr putt on 18 but still finished with a 46-42.


Tuesday I destroyed poor Tim in 3 games of singles, won 2 cutthroat against he and David, started messing around then could not catch up and David won one, then I won the last cutthroat and a couple more singles games with Tim.

Thursday went back to King City. Got there and ready to swing by 3:45. Teed off at 4;10. On the bright side I got lots of putting practice and had a few swings with the 8 iron in their little net area. The shots were not hitting the net but i did not think too much of it.

Then I blasted my first tee shot in a massive hook ob. Then I dribbled a grounder out to the 150 yard marker...and that would be how it went.

It was taking 15 minutes per hole at least for the group ahead of me and I could not get into a groove. I could not figure out my swing either. I was hitting laser ground balls with my 55 degree wedge. I was hitting ground balls and hooks with my 7 wood, 4 hybrid, and everything else.

On the rather soft 249 par 4 I went ob, dribbler, dribbler, missed pitch, etc and had an 8. On 6 I dribbled it short, left behind trees. My pitch across was too far. My next shot hit a tree, never found it, drop, get on, 5-putt...or something. Honestly I was defeated by then, did not bother lining up putts, was missing 3' by 5', just whacking it, I think I actually just picked it up at some point.For handicap purposes the hole was an 8 but I scored it a ten.

Snapped my next drive left over the houses. Ended up with a 7. That is 17 shots in 2 holes...not good.

And then just like that I got my swing back. 4 hybrid to the 100 yard mark, pitching wedge to the green, putt to four feet, par, except...outside of the 5-putt hole where I essentially was discouraged and not trying, my first 3-putt of the day.

But 9 was better. Nice drive, 100 yard pitch to green, just missed tough birdie putt, par. Nice finish to the front.

5 pars, 2 bogeys on the back for a 43 and a 95 overall.

Oddity; both Monday and Wednesday I had 5 pars in 18 holes. yet I added 7 shots in the second round due to blowups. Weird game.