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.


4/18/15: Vernonia, king City Round 25

Got together with Kristy, Patrick, Nick and JJ in Vernonia. I got there early and worked on a putting maneuver used by Justin Spieth where you look at the hole, then move your hands forward to start the putting motion. It was working well.

It did not start well as i started the ball right and hit a tree. Rather than punch out I tried to go around but the ball hit a tree and died. And again...anyway...

then on the back it was more of the same. Hit a much better drive but kind of lost sight of it, by the time we got down there I never did find it. I think I took like a 6 and 7.

Hole 2/11 should play well for my fade. I powdered the first drive but a bit too much bend. I would find it on the back nine but on front we thought it was in the water about 230 yards out. Drop, put it close...on the back I snap-hooked the drive and from 150 out could not put fade on it, decent chip but missed makeable putt and bogeyed it.

Hole 3/12

Yes, this is carved into a stump on the left side of the fairway...

This one has a tight fairway but is playable...until you get to the green and it is all over the place and heavily slanted. A missed downhill 2' putt just became an 8 yard chip as two people discovered. I had okay work on the front and a killer drive on the back. In fact, on the back I was 100 yards out and used the pitching wedge stroke I worked on with Matt Bryda, sticking it about 6' above and left of the hole. However, that meant I was realistically in danger of a double even with the fir-gir. But I made a decent lag with the first and just rolled in the second downhill sidehill putt for a par on arguably the toughest hole on the course.

Hole 4/13
115 yard par three. Tree short right, sand traps both sides.
on the front I found the left trap. It took me three tries to get out of the gravel. The less said the better. On the back I was 2" short of the right bunker. But it was BURIED in deep rough. I think I bogeyed it maybe?

Hole 5/14 has a tight range. Trees left and right off the box but then it opens up. I crushed my drive down the left side. Unbelievably we never found the ball so i had to drop. My hook did not hook on either the front or back. Drive on the back stayed right, some other guys picked up my ball so I had to drop. I did hit a nice 220 yard 4 hybrid to the right side of the green, a nice 55 degree over the sand to a makeable putt range so that was something.

Hole 6/14

Should be an easy one but I struggled all day. but this is fun:the bear carved into a stump.

Hole 7/15
This little prize is a beast. The water on the right is further protected by a ring of trees. The left is all trees and steep embankment. So you have a narrow opening to hit through and need a slight draw. I was pin high but right on the front. On the back I hit it straight and way long, then hit a tree on my first attempt, finally getting on in FOUR. It might be the only hole I played better on the front than the back...

Hole 8/17
If not for the dogleg I would have been going driver. But it was dogleg. No driver. No good on the front, though on the back I 1-putted for par.

Hole 9/18

On the front I pulled the driver for the first time all day. On the bright side I hit it about 260. On the dark side I was playing from the 8th fairway and landed short on my second shot, then took i think a bogey for a 52.

On the back I went further less right and less wrong, scrambled a bit and ended with eh.

On the back I ended up at 48. So 100 total.

Then I went to Redtail where they were having a club exchange/50% off sale. Spent a couple hours with Rick trying to find a driver that worked. We finally found a Calloway X2 Hot with a stiff tour shaft that between the club and his coaching he figures I will eventually be about 290 yards off the tee. And vaguely straight.

I was frustrated by my earlier round so went to King City to sneak in a quick 9.

On 1 I took the new driver, did not roll my rists but was a solid 260 and in the #9 fairway but not by much. I then left a half swing 55 degree short, chipped short, on in 4, 2 putt for a double.

My 7 wood was barely short on the 178 yard par 3. I had a nice chip and just missed the putt. bogey, okay.

Used my 4 hybrid and with the ground firming up got some roll, about 235 yard drive just barely left and short of green. I short-chipped but 2-putt for parr. Okay, now we are cooking.

From about 140 yards I went 7 iron and was pin high, albeit left. Decent chip but no break on green, and my first putt had no break. Still 2-putt for bogey, decent for me.

Stuck the 6 iron a little long and right. With a downhill chip to a sidehill green I was short on the green, then the first putt just would not roll but I hit the 2nd for another bogey.

Caught up to some guys who waved me through. Hit the 4 hybrid too high, landing about 120 out. Hit my 9 iron thin, long and right. Short on the chip, and a weak second chip but another 2 putt. A double, but not horrible.

The 352 yard "par 5". Tried the new driver with the tee it high, let it fly. It did fly...high and left. It was a cart path aided 150 yarder. My off the fairway 4 hybrid (nice bounce) was a little short from 200 out and slightly right. Decent chip, just missed putt, "par".

I am sitting on a 33 and thinking about my low for the year. New driver, rolled my wrists...rained it off the condos way left. Laying 3. Rolled my wrists, well left into the street. Laying 5. Switched to the 4 Hybrid, skied it to the 140 mark. Bladed the 7 iron pin high but right. Overshot green to far fringe. Putted from there so badly I was further off the green than that shot...ended up with a ten. First double figure hole of the year...

So much for my low. Rolled wrists on new driver...never saw the ball. Had literally no clue where it was. Re-tee. Hit it to the 150 mark leftish. 8 iron onto front edge of green. Saw first was 270 yard drive left of fairway. Ball below feet I did 8 iron half swing and about 5 yards short. Not a great chip left long putt. 2 putt for bogey.

And a 48 that should have been a 43 or better....but better than the morning round

Round 24

Went out with a vendor and it started well. Drive was long and just barely left of center. Overshot green by 20 yards but chipped to 6' and 1-putted for par.

Next hole a little draw on tee shot and hit provisional, though figured I would find the ball. I did not. 3 off the tee, a bad chip, a 2 putt...I just had a 6.

A nice drive followed by landing on the green in reg. Missed birdie by about 2" but had a second par on the first three holes.

We have now completed the decent portion of the proceedings.

Hook left ob, made a great lag on my 4th shot, missed an easy putt, one-handed the overshoot, missed that, basically just gave up and took a triple. Followed by a quadruple, bogey, bogey, quadruple, triple. It was a complete and utter meltdown and a 54.

King City rounds 21,22,23 4/11/15

I was at the course by 6:30, teed off at 7:05. 4H long but straight...which since I was playing for a draw meant into the 9th fairway.But a nice wedge over trees to close, chip to 4', 1 putt par. Should have walked off the course right there because the day only went downhill.

I missed the 178 yard par 3 short right, chipped to about 6' and just missed that. Still, a bogey is not bad.

Then I hit my 4H well and fairway, but my chipping game betrayed me. Long on the second chip, putted from the fringe, had makeable putt I missed, another bogey.

That was the problem. I hit my 4h on the tight hole, had a beautiful drive. But then took 3 chips to get on the green from 65. Multiple times on all holes this happened all day long. I would have a nice drive. My 4H was solidly between 200 and 240, mostly fairway all day.

Played 27 holes. 13 fairways, in 18 attempts. many 1-putts 5 pars. But many times after a fairway I would take 2-4 more shots from 85 yards or less to get on the green. I MUST get that under control. Still, lots of fun, lot of distance walked.

I also hit a couple shots I am very happy with. One was a 55 degree wedge from about 85 yards that i was able to "shape" right to left to go around a tree and it landed in directional terms exactly where i wanted, successfully going around.

The other was a 7-wood I tried to go the other way and successfully created a left to right ball movement. Unlike most of my life, however, this one was on purpose. I considered angles, swing path, and deliberately created it.


King City 4/10/15 Round 20

After Camas Meadows I was anxious to see how I could do. Got joined by "Rich" on first hole. I promptly tried to justify yesterdays score and hooked the first ball left over the houses. But I HOOKED it. Not aimed left and hit it straight, I hooked it.

Then I sliced right and short. From 135ish out I hit a 9 iron straight and way wide of the green. Then i chipped over the green.On in 4, in in 6, plus 2 for being three off the tee. Starting with a snowman, a big number.

Still trying to play yesterdays game, I sliced short on the par three, ending up blocked by a tree. I tried to go under it with the 4 hybrid but was much too hard, going long. I did make a nice 3rd chip and 1-putted for a bogey. Not bad after the first 2 shots.

Then he topped his drive, going maybe 30 yards. I decided that was a good idea and went 20 yards. Then I tried again, overswung, and went maybe 20 more yards. Then I hit it right of the green. Took 4 shots to get on again, a 2 putt for a 6. 18 after three. On pace for an ugly 54.

On the 167 yard par 3 I hit my 6 iron 100 yards, albeit straight. I did get on with an 8 iron pitch, but way to the left of the green and flag was way right. I was short with the first and just missed pulling off a tough 2 putt, ending up with a 3-putt for a 5.

But finally I hit a good shot. The demon hole was nothing as I hit it dead center, 210 yards using my 4 hybrid. Unfortunately, I then flew the green by 15 yards, short-chipped back, bludgeoned a putter from deep in the rough and 1-putted for a 5.

After the drive I was thinking birdie, after the first chip a double so...yeah.

Then I hit my 4 hybrid decently but left, ending up behind a tree. I deliberately tried to amplify the draw to go around the tree and pulled it off, hitting from 200 out to the left fringe of the green. I then misread it horribly and was not close, but was on in regulation. It was a long putt and I missed by 4', but then hit that for a par.

I then let him talk me into trying the driver. I tried to play a draw and really crushed it, but there was no draw. I would have been about 280 but it was right and over the houses. I then hit the 4 hybrid 210ish down the left side, took my A wedge long, got it somewhat close, 2 putt for a 7.

Finally I tried the driver again but swung too hard. It was fairway left but short. From 150 out I flew the green by 10 yards, took 2 tries to get on the green, missed a makeable putt and finished with a 6.

Total of a 51.

I am on the verge of making progress. Not there yet.


Camas Meadows

After work Wednesday i went to the driving range to check out the new clubs. Started with an 8 iron. Lined up carefully, tried the "swing to right field", the swing felt good, sounded good...never figured out where I hit it. Did I slice? Hook? Fade? Draw? Straight? Was it short? Long? right length?

Tried it again. Same result. And again. Same result. Went to my old swing. Ah, there it was. Nice, towering ball flight, beautiful shot. Back to the inside-out swing. Where did the ball go? This pattern lasted the entire session. I saw a handful of balls and they were mostly vaguely straight, some had a slight draw, a couple sliced, one hooked. But out of maybe 110 balls I saw maybe 20? So I really had no gauge of either distance or accuracy since I literally had no idea where the ball was going.

So today John and I took on Dave and Jim. The first hole is 348 yards, tight fairway. John hit it straight albeit short. I selected the hybrid 4, lined up carefully, nice smooth takeaway, came across swinging to right field...beautiful 200 yard drive left center side of fairway. From 150 I pulled my 8 iron and stuck it about 10' left of the pin. I 2-putted for a natural par. Nice!

The second hole is a 167 par 3. I yanked it left, pin high but well left of the hole. We played John's. I did manage a nice chip but we both missed a makeable putt.

The next hole I hit a line drive with the hybrid, ending up short and left. I mis-hit the 8 iron ob.

And so it went. I would hit some really nice shots with every club...I pounded the green from 120 and in with my 55 degree and 50 degree wedges. I hit the 4 hybrid between 200 and 240 yards with mostly accurate shots. A few times I broke out the driver and sliced every time. Not once on the day did I hit my beloved 7 wood.

On one memorable hole, a long par 5, I hit the driver 240 but we were behind a towering tree. I wisely took a pitching wedge, only moved the ball about 140 yards...but dead center fairway. The guys were impressed at my restraint.

The last hole is a dogleg left, 204 yards to the shortside of the turn. Everyone else tried to go right. I tried to play a draw and, to my surprise and delight, did just that, hitting the turn perfectly and leaving 195 to the green. The green has water short left, bunkers both sides. I did not realize that. I tried to draw the 4 hybrid but got more of a hook. I was pin high but about 20 yards left of the green between 2 trees. I tried to chip up high, just trying to get on the green but toed it off the end into the near bunker. John went in the far bunker, we played his. I tried to play a proper bunker shot and did not even get out of the bunker. We ended up taking a 6 on the hole and tying them for the round.

John and I went 44-44, they went 45-43. Great time and I am very pleased with the new clubs and swing path. I had a couple natural pars, looks at a couple more, and I now have the distance to play any yardage respectably and the short clubs to hit the green pretty consistently. I just need to dial in my short game now. Love, love, love the new clubs.


King City

believe that puts  me at 19 rounds at king City. 5 to go to "break even"

King City Catch Up

Lately I have just been using the Grint for scorekeeping so I don't have score cards, but:
Shot 50 for 9
96 for 18 Saturday, April 4th without benefit of a single par
46 on Sunday, April 5th with a single par

So Monday Dave wanted to get in a practice round. I decided to use the Nike Power Feel balls.

First hole I decided to unleash my driver. If I hit it well I would start strong, if I sliced...well, I can play for my slice. And unleash I did, hitting a towering shot almost 40 yards down the left side of the fairway.

Now, you might be saying, "he forgot a 2" or even a "1". Nope, 40 yards. Maybe 150 yards in the air, but only 40 yards horizontally.

So then I pulled out my 7 wood and landed it pin high just off the green about 5 yards. Then the old I am a horrible chipper bugaboo struck, and I was barely on in three. Still, a 2-putt gave me a bogey. Not a horrible hole after that brutal drive.

I then pulled my 7 wood left of the green off the tee, but pin high. A nice chip for a change to abou 4' from the cup, 1-putt for par. Doing well.

Now, when I play with Dave, Jim and/or John, I play their rules, and so we were playing with one mulligan each. Confidently I stepped up with the driver, aimed properly, had the face closed, swung pretty hard, watched it sail over the houses. Mulligan. He was almost ob himself. I then hit it long, straight...but pulled left OB over the houses. I gave up, grabbed the 7w and put it center of fairway. Unfortunately, that was 3 (the way we play, 5 technically). Shot four was a towering gap wedge that was pin high, left side of green. A 2-putt gave me "just" a double bogey.

I then rip my 7 wood well left of the hole, like 30 yards, on the par 3. But I stick my chip on the green. It is a long sidehill putt. I just try to get close but hit it dreadfully short. Then I miss long and below the hole. And am short coming back up...I just 4-putted for the first time this year, taking a 6 on what should have been a 4.

The next hole was playing 167. Dave sliced badly, but got a charitable bounce into the fairway, albeit short. I hit my 5 iron stiff, and...right, bouncing backwards. Grr-animal. Nothing a nice chip will not fix. I am just above the pin with a long putt, but I think I have the read. I just miss the putt and have a 2-foot tap in. I do not take it seriously and pay the price, yanking it. I make the next one but now have 7 putts in 2 holes.

I also have a triple and a double bogey back to back. Not good.

Especially with my demon hole coming up, the one I have no shot for.

I decide to go with the conservative 7 wood but pull it further left than I ever have and go well left of the trees, leaving myself a 95 yard weird angle shot. My gap wedge has gorgeous shape but flies the green but 20 yards. My first chip is 3 yards short of the green. I putt on to about 8' from the cup, miss that but finish with a double.

I have now gone double-triple-double-double. I am building toward a big number. Worse, I have lost all confidence in every club in my bag. My 7 wood is pull-a-potamus, my driver has gone 40 yards, ob right, and ob left. My chipping is somewhere between laughably pathetic and abominably bad.

Dave and I joke back and forth about club selection. I hit a 3/4 swing driver and it ends up 190ish yards down, right side of the fairway. I tell Dave I am going to lay up with my 150 yard 8 iron, and I hit a towering shot that gently moves a hair right. He thinks I am in the sand, I think I am long on the hill on the backside.

Turns out I am on the extreme right edge of the green and experienced backspin. The ball was seriously about 4" back towards me from the monstrous ballmark.

I leave my putt about 3' short but manage to just lip the next one in for birdie. Yes, I know it is only a 352 yard par 5, which really should be a 4...but I am a crap golfer, so I am going to count it.

Next hole is the widest fairway available, it is a plain, boring 284 yard par 4 with no real hazards. I swing hard with my driver but mostly get air, driving it about 200 yards and landing an inch from the cart path 15ish yards inside the 100 yard marker. I pull my gap wedge thinking it is the right club. It is not as I hit the tree on the backside of the green about 20' in the air, but I get a fortuitous bounce back toward the green. I chip to about 4' from the hole and hit the putt for a par.

I have had some titanic drives (for me) on the 9th. It is possible to aim well left, overswing, and let the fade hit the left side of the fairway or a slice the right side. And that is what I do. Except my slice goes into the first hole fairway. I am about 80 yards out. My sand wedge is 45-65 yards. I don't want to go long so I pull out the sand wedge and as it turns out I land pin high, about 6' from the cup.

Before my putt I look at Dave and announce, "I want this birdie so bad". And the ball rolls toward the hole...not enough on it...need one more pauses on the very edge of the cup...and rolls in. BIRDIE.

For the second time in my life I have 2 sub-par holes.

With the mulligan it cards as a 42, without it a 44. 2 birdies, 2 pars. So much fun. Loved it.



Thursday Scott was unable to make it but Tim and David did and both were playing well.

The first game I was lob serving and for the first round so were they. But David was doing his blistering corner crack-out return and Tim was almost as good. They both started scoring and serving it harder and faster. By my third time up I had just 3 or 4 points and Tim had 7. By my 6th time up I was stuck on 6 and David had 8, Tim 9.

Worse, my shots were still not falling. I had struggled in singles against Tim Tuesday to the point he actually won 2 of 7 games. My pinch shots were coming back to the second service line, my pass shots were rebounding off the back wall, my ceiling shots were floating...and the same thing was happening again.

I started my mid-speed serve, got to about 9 but Tim had 13 and David 10. Then Tim got to 14. I put him out of the box. I dropped down, went with my laser serve, scored a couple. David did to, getting to 12. Tim stuck on 14. I got to 13. David got shut down. Tim got shut down.

I got to 14. Tim and David and I went three rounds with the score 14-14-13. Tim had a chance at one but I got a tough scoop off the floor to keep the rally alive, did it again, did it a third time and he got anxious, putting it straight into the floor.

And I served an ace to win. Tough, exciting game.

The next game started slow, with a 1-1-1 tie for a couple rounds until David ran off 5 straight. But soon I took control and slowly my shots started to come back. All the golf has been jacking up my swing, but I am remembering the old inside-out backhand cross court corner pinch and it was scoring a lot of points for me.

That opened some lines for some multi-wall passing shots that garnered a couple points on shots that earlier were set-ups for them and then my forehand started popping on straight-in kill shots.

I ended up winning 15-12-9.

Both guys were playing well. Tim was not floating it, both guys were getting to shots, they were scoring was the most competitive night we have had across the board in months.

Game 3. Neither of them can score. My serve is suddenly on, creating points both off the serve and week returns. When they get a good return I am controlling the action, playing from the center, running down everything, creating tough angles and scoring. 9 points my first turn up. 3 more my second turn up. Three more my third time up...


Some nights that would be no big deal but on a night where at this point they were both playing well? That...was impressive.

They would play better the rest of the night, but never well enough to keep any game from essentially being a skunk...they would each score 4-6 points, but in no game would they combine to score 15 the rest of the way. It was dominating.

I was getting better as the night went on. It was fun...for me at least.

And it is reassuring to know I can mix the golf and racquetball and walk away with decent results.