King City, Multiple Rounds

After the fitting/lesson, I was anxious to get out and try the new thoughts. I knew going in that I was likely to play poorly while implementing these things but I wanted to see what would happen. Unfortunately, we had racquetball.

Even more unfortunately, I played awful. Skipopotamus was in full effect. I skipped from the backcourt. I skipped from the midcourt. I skipped form the front court. I skipped my money corner kill. I skipped passing shots. It was almost as if I was mixing a golf swing with a racquetball swing...I played so badly I actually lost 3 of 8 games, my worst win-rate in years.

And afterwards, what better thing to do than, armed with fatigue from walking 27 holes the day prior, doing weights and playing 2-1/2 hours racquetball this day, and having a new swing path to try out, what better thing to do than go golfing?

I used The Grint and here is what I did:

3 bogeys. Everything else double or worse. 7 Penalty strokes. 3 FIR. 0 GIR. 16 putts. A 50.
On the back I more or less reverted to my own stroke.
2 penalties, 3 FIR, 2 GIR, 3 pars, 16 putts, a 43. 93 for the round. Better.

It was hilarious. I would take my first swing the way I was shown at Redtail. After the penalty I would take my swing. After the hole Bob (the guy I was paired with) would say "Nice par" while I was taking a double after the OB/penalty. In other words...I was playing well with my swing. But I intend to fix it because overall it is the wrong swing.

Then Monday I went out, last sunny day and my first time carrying the clubs.

Shot a 50 going out in a slow round playing from the whites for first time in a whilte. I had 2 Fir, 1 GIR, 1 Par, 17 putts, 3 penalties (6 strokes).

On the back I thought I had nobody in front of me. I lambasted a beautiful drive, left side of fairway, then a GIR to follow my fir, albeit very far left. I had a nice lag putt and...left the ball one rotation from going in. Bogey.

And found someone still teeing off on the next hole. Someone I know to be a slow player. So I decided to skip the hole. And got to the next hole to find a couple hitting the ball about 20 yards at a whack. So I skipped that hole.

Ended up not taking score...or rather, putting the score on the Grint but incomplete.

8 iron on the 143 was short left fringe. ended up with 2-putt for bogey.

8 iron long and right, my chip on should have left me a par putt but I missed it, another bogey. Ironically, I was playing well...

Then the narrow hole I struggle with. Beautiful drive with 7 woods over tree to 95 yards out, behind a tree. It is a tall tree but I believed I could take my gap wedge over it, a solid 85-95 yard club. I lined up my shoulders, made a nice smooth swing, the ball sailed over the tree with ease, I smiled, stepped left to watch it crush the green...or, more accurately, land 20 yards beyond the green. Nothing 3 blown chips could not make worse...

Then I actually put a nice long drive on the left rough, but clean shot at green. 150 yards from green, 8 iron, no problems. Unless of course the iron blows 30 yards past the green...and I then hit a low branch with first chip, oh, it is ugly.

Then I yank my first drive ob left, my second long and right, blow the chip...

lets just say I am probably glad there is no scorecard because it would have been a tall number. But still fun because I was walking and golfing.

16 holes for the day.

King City Multiple Rounds

Been a while since I have updated. Back on Friday the 27th I was put in a fourseom with 3 Koreans. One of them, Jimmy, he and I hit it off really well and have golfed together a couple times since. Nice guy, similar abilities at that point. More on that later.

THey like to play from the blues. Now, on the one hand, King City is a short course. There are houses on both sides. They have three sets of tees; the short reds, the moderate whites and the long blues. There is not a huge difference: 131 yards on the whites. But it is a difference, and I usually play the whites with John, Jim and Dave so I try to stick with those. These guys wanted to play the blues.

It started well. Long, left center fairway, 9-iron from 125, 2-putt, par. This would be my last par for the front. I then went bogey, double (with a penalty/retee for OB), bogey the rest of the way for a 43. I am happy with that. I hit 2 fairways (1 after going ob), one GIR, 3 1-putts and 6 2-putts. I am happy with playing that level.

Just Jimmy and I played the back, which is really replaying the same nine. Fairway, GIR, 3-putt...what? Oops. Oh well, bogey is acceptable.

Then another 3-putt for a double.  Then a drive OB and a triple. Then 3 to get on a par3, taking a 5. Then on the next par 3 I go GIR, 2-putt for par. Just my second par of the day.Also my last.

Double with another drive OB, double (with a 1-putt...meaning 6 to get on for a short par 5), FIR followed by bogey, bogey.

A 48 on the back. 5 shots worse. Still, for the round 43-49-91. I am good there. 23 over par for 18 holes playing the blues for the first time.

I hit 4 fairways and 3 greens in regulation. I had 4 1-putts, 2 3-putts, and 34 putts total.
I had 4 penalties.

Saturday Jimmy and I had 8 am tee time. The front took forever, then we got space and played again in less than half the time.

I used my 7 wood. And I cranked out a 220 yard shot left -side, fairway. Then from 60 yards out it took me 2 more shots to get on and 3 putts to get in. After that beautiful shot, a double?

Followed by yanking it left, taking 2 more to get on...my par shot barely reached the green on a par 3. Poor chipping again. Another double.

Talk about a rugged start. After 5 holes you have played 2 par 4 and 3 par 3s. I had taken 26 shotsinstead of 17. Almost double bogey golf. Even worse? That was without the "benefit" of a penalty. I then went bogey-par (WITH a penalty, helped by 1-putt), Par, double for a 46.

1 penalty. 3 fairways, 1 GIR. That right there is a problem. 17 putts. The 2 3-putts are a problem, the 3 1-putts much better.

The back was...interesting. Par. Penalty, Quadruple. Double with a 1-putt and penalty. Bogey, bogey, then FIR, chip-in for par. Yes, after hitting the fairway it went pitch over green, chip over green, chip in for par. I would finish with 4 consecutive fairways, a GIR in the middle, and went bogey-bogey-double bogey for another 46.

2 penalty strokes, 4 FIR, 1 GIR, 15 putts, 1 chip-in, 46-46/92.

A real problem has developed where I am actually driving it a little better, routinely landing between 110 and 60 yards from the green...and then taking 2, 3, even 4 shots to get on the green. I also am having more 3-putts. I seriously should have broken 90 on this round. Easily.

FIR. Chunk chip. Chunk chip. 3-putt. Should have been playing for par but my short game just disappeared. Then I yanked my tee shot ob left on the par 3. I was laying 4 when I reached the green and 3-putted. My first over double par score in forever. I came back with a nice drive, FIR. Then took 3 chips from less than 60 yards out to get on the green. A double.

bogey, bogey, double, bogey, double, tee shot OB and a triple. I shot a 52. Or exactly double bogey golf. With zero par or better. In fact, I only had 3 bogeys. This was a simply horrific round.

Shot a 52. With 3 FIR, 3 penalties, 1 GIR, 21 putts. Ugly. But I had still been golfing.

I had free time, the Goose had okayed the purchase of a golf bag now, fitted clubs next month. I headed off to Redtail to price the package. Over the next 3 hours Stuart basically gave me a lesson.

I have taught myself an incorrect takeaway that promotes a slice. I have also been aligning myself inproperly based on my understanding the feet were supposed to aim left of the target. I have also been opening my clubface, promoting a slice. Oh, and my grips were too small, clubs too short, with wrong loft and lie. And graphite is wrong shaft for a swing as fast as mine. In otherwords, the only thing I have been doing right is having fun.

Here is the problem. I have been golfing on a course that has houses left and right. The consequences for a bad swing are a lost ball and potential damage to property. So I have been swinging free and easy and controlled.

On a driving range, the consequence for a bad shot is having to bend over and put another ball on the mat. Possibly being mocked, though less likely since most people are just whacking away with no thought for what is happening next to them.

So he puts me on the swing monitor and I am happily unleashing, putting 89-95 mph swings together with 7-irons. But on the course my swing is much shorter.

I loved the feel of the graphite shaft hitting the ball but I liked the result of the steel shaft. Admittedly off a mat, but the ball was carrying 190 yards. Uhm...there are times I do not hit my DRIVER 190 right now. Sure, there is the occasional 280 or 250 yarder, but realistically it is a 190 yard club.

Anyway, I upgraded to Winn Grips, went with 5-9 irons, 3 wedges, a 4 hybrid. The 4 Hybrid was consistently hitting 220. I loved the feel of it. I also got a nice ba to carry, hoping to burn more calories by walking instead of pulling. Yeah, it is a weight loss gimmick. I don't care. I am happy.


King City 3/21/15

After breakfast with the wife I snuck over to King City for a quick round. By which I meant another slow round. You probably know how I played already...

I did hit the fairway with my first tee shot, and was maybe 140 from the green. Unfortunately, after 2 I was still 20 from the green and my chip stunk. A 3-putt meant a 50.

The long Par 3 was a pleasant surprise as I hit green in regulation. Also surprising was the second consecutive 3-putt. This round is not starting well, a bogey after a GIR.

Then I lose a ball left out of bounds. Too bad because my follow up is dead center fairway, pitch onto green, 2 putt. So a double. Okay, we have +1, +2, +3 covered...lets try a par?

Or I could take 4 shots to get on the green and 1-putt for another double.

Then the par 3 playing 143 yards. Just short of the green off the tee, longish putt after a weak chip, 2-putt for bogey. I am laying 25 after 5. I am NOT playing well.

Worse, I have my bugaboo hole. I blast my driver, it just hits the top of the tree and gets knocked down for a 110 yard drive. I then get close to the green, but blast the chip long, barely hanging to the back edge leaving a sidehill downhill putt. 3 putts later I have another double.

Out comes the driver on the par 5. I hit it well and am maybe 140 from the green after my drive. I land on the left front of the green. I reached a par 5 in 2. Yes, a short, 352 yard par five...but I reached in two. I left the eagle putt about a foot short but tap in for birdie.

Forget the doubles and triple, I have had a good round.

I then blast the drive inside of 60 yards but blow the first chip, leave a makeable putt I miss and take a bogey.

My final drive is a bit right but long, leaving a nice 40 yard shot at the green. I get on the center, 2-putt to finish with a par and a 44.

20 putts for the round, 2 fairways in regulation, 1 green in regulation, one green in less than regulation.

I will take it. I am not a good golfer, so 1 shot worse than bogey with a birdie to my credit? Sounds good to me.


Sah Hah Lee 3/20/15

It may have been a stressful week at work, this I can neither confirm nor deny. I was going to the Nelon concert at 7 towards Molalla so I headed that way early to "beat" traffic (wherein "beat" means sit in a few minutes less than I would if I left a few minutes later). I got there early enough I decided to try a new golf course, and that turned out to be Sah Hah Lee

It turned out to be a par 3. Okay, no worries, I can try that.

The first hole is a 143 yard tee off a cliff with water in front. I like these holes. I try my 8-iron. It has a beautiful shape, skying high, coming down hard...

And Coming down well, several feet onto the green. As usual I leave the first putt a good 4' short, but a 2-putt starts me off well with a par.

Hole 2 is 98 yards. Just right for my gap wedge.

Unless, of course, I leave it short.Which I did, though not horribly so. This is where I really need to get better; this should be an easy up and down.
I don't get on the green and barely get on the green with my second attempt however, and then have a long 2 putt. I leave the first one short 6' but drain that to "save" the double bogey. Oops.

Third hole is 134 yards across some inconsequential water. I try my 8 iron with a soft hit. I land a bit short of pin high, wide right.

Nothing a punch on almost off the green on the far side followed by a three putt cannot turn into a 5. ouch, back to back bogeys.

Here is the thing. I don't FEEL like I am playing poorly...every shot is around the green...but I am playing poorly. From as close as I am I should be taking 2 shots to get in the hole after my tee shot but I am taking 4.

Next hole is a 143 yarder and I do what you are supposed to; 8 iron lands on the green, 2 putt, par.

A 108 yarder sees my 9 iron land just short but a nice chip lets me 1-putt for par. THAT is what I need to learn how to do from that distance.

I have to wait for a couple guys I had caught up to who were...how do I politely say...slow. They wanted me to play through on the next hole which I appreciated. It was a 125 yard hole across a bit of water. 9 iron and when I swung it felt like I picked it clean instead of clipping the tee. Thinking it was way wide and way long, I said "oops!"

They laughed. "You are going to like that". I would as it landed on the green pin high and somewhat left. As usual I left the first putt 4ish feet short, but managed to roll that in to score my 4th straight par.

Now a 151 yard hole with a bit of a sand trap guarding the left. I aimed somewhat right with my 8 iron. I went short and way right. Somehow I managed to conjure up a shot that put me on the front of the green. Then I went past the hole...hooray...about 5 feet. Missed the comeback, had a 3-putt for a 5. Ouch.

Last hole, 120 yards. 9 iron....and I took a big divot, leaving it well short.

Nothing I could not fix by trying a sand wedge. For the first time all day I had a mis-hit, skulling it about 6" above the ground and left of the green.

From here it took me 2 to get onto the green. That is not the finish I wanted.

But I did 2-putt for par.

On the day I took 18 putts...2 per hole. I can live with that. I had 5 pars, including 4 in a row, and 4 double bogeys. Interesting.

It lets me know for sure what I need to work on....chips from 20 yards or less. I am awful at those.

Still, a fun day and I am always happy with 5 pars in 9 holes...


King City 3/19/15

John and I are coming off a win against Dave and Jim which is nice. For a 2 or 3 year period we only won once or twice, including I am pretty sure we were shut out 2 years ago and only one once last year in about 5 or 6 attempts. Dave and Jim mesh really well...if Dave hits a good shot, Jim hits a bad one or if Jim hits a good shot, Dave hits a bad one...they never seem to both hit a poor shot at the same time.

Or, if they do...how many times have John and I been laying 2, 20 yards off the green, while they are laying 2 160 yards off...only to land 6' from the cup and 1-putt. They are just really solid in the 2-man best ball format whereas John and I...well, we either both hit decent shots or both hit bad ones. There is no "pick up the partner".

We did, however, win at Skamania. Time to see if we can keep it rolling.

Jim leads off with a drive out of bounds. John follows his example. Dave then uncorks a nice drive down the right, no surprise there, it was inevitable. I put a 7 wood 190 yards left-center of fairway. Okay, little surprise...Dave actually shaded more right than we thought and they are under a tree. Jim hits said tree, landing about 8 feet in front of them. Dave goes wide left. With the door wide open, I land my gap wedge on the short side of the green. Naturally Dave then hits a nice chip and they 1-putt while I 2-putt...Dave and I end up with natural pars as our partners struggle on the hole. Dave did a great job of scrambling.

The 178 yard par 3 is not good for my psyche as I cannot hit the 3-iron and my 4 is too short. What to do? How about watching Jim land pin high left of the green, John and Dave both fail to get to the ladies tees. I then blast the 4 iron, landing on the back fringe of the green.

Yes, after never getting closer than 10 yards to the FRONT of the green, it is behind the green...wow! Go me!

Of course they chip on and close and 1-putt as we 2-putt. Both pars. This time I yip my putt and John saves the hole by rolling his in. I missed back to back natural pars by 1 rotation of the ball.

The 249 yard hole has been a cupcake for me most rounds. Jim goes OB. John hits short left under a tree. Dave blasts it long and straight, inside 150 center of fairway. I pull out my trusty 7 wood...and proceed to yank it left over the houses. Do we play Johns? I suggest we play a provisional mulligan...if John's is playable, we play his. If not, we will play mine. He HATES using mulligans this early but because it is provisional he concurs. I land about 200 yards down, off fairway right...bad hop takes it across cart path but playable.

His ball is in bad shape...we would have to go under one tree and over the next, impossible, or around it. We would have to punch into the fairway and would be laying 2 190 yards from the green. We take my mulligan. I then land on the green about 6' from the cup, very makeable putt. Meanwhile, Dave and Jim are struggling. They are on in 3, but very makeable for the par, maybe a 4' putt which they never miss.

I do miss my birdie putt by a couple inches but again John saves the day with a clutch putt for the birdie. Then both Jim and Dave miss, taking a 5. We picked up 2 shots. Great use of mulligan, as we would have lost the hole by 1-2 shots, instead we win the hole by 2.But will I regret going through holes 4-6 without my mulligan?

Now for demon hole 1 of 3, these next 3 holes being the part of the course I struggle with.

Jim is OB right. John chunks his shot horribly. Dave is short and right. The door is open. Being a 196 yard hole and knowing my 7 wood earlier was 190ish, I pull it out...and promptly hit a tree on the left. A short tree. A tree that should have no bearing on the hole. I will not have a full swing but John will so we play mine.

He puts it on the fringe, and it is a good thing, as I hit mine about 5 yards in a brutal display of incompetence. We 2-putt for a bogey...but Jim and Dave fly the green, Jim struggles with his chip...and Dave picks him up with a fantastic uphill over a mound chip that rolls to a stop in makeable distance. OUr wide open door to pick up a stroke just closed. Though they are laying 3 and we are 2. From there is took us 3 more to get in while they had a 1-putt lip out and 2 putted to match our 5.

The next hole is another tough one for me. It is short but the right side is guarded. It is pretty much only psychological as those trees should never come into play. John had stopped off in the convenient facilities so I went first. Playing at 143, I hit a towering 8-iron. Short and left. John stepped up and landed fringe right. Dave and Jim were both short.

Jim found my ball, unlike the other day when I never did. It had plugged top deep. Thanks Jim! We hit a nice lag and tapped in for par. They chipped on but also 2-putted.  We were now up 3.

The next hole has tall trees on the left to protect my left-to-right flight pattern and no room on the right. John topped his ball, going nowhere. I seriously, seriously considered putting my 8 iron 150 yards out to put us at the 150 mark, believing it would be my most accurate club. However, I had just yanked it left and if you are going to hit a bad shot, what advantage is there to a short bad shot over a long bad shot? 277 yard hole...might as well try for some distance. Out came the 7 wood.

Well, I did hit it with my standard left to right pattern. And I did start it towards those pesky trees. However, I  went over them. Over the tallest tree. It was maybe a 180 yard drive...but we had a clear shot at the green from the left side of the fairway. About as good a "drive" as I have had on this hole.

Meanwhile Jim went OB with his first drive and Dave went into that bunch of trees I went over. Jim hit another for his mulligan and it was wide right but playable.

They then both hit about 20 yards. Their next shot flew the green. John chunked his shot into the tree in the fairway. I hit my gap wedge and it was beautiful, landing on the green, albeit on the far left. They finally got on with their 4th shot, we were laying 2. We can really slam the door here.

OR we can brutally 3-putt while they 2 putt. We still picked up a shot but we kind of should have had a par. Still, we are 6 holes in and have 3 pars, a birdie, a bogey and a double. We are a comfortable 4 shots up with 3 to play and John still has his Mulligan.

Ah, the par 5. What to do? My decision gets easier when John uncorks his best drive of the day, laying about 200 yards from green in center of the fairway. I decide to aggressively pull out my driver.

Lately I have been hitting it straight but playing for the slice. I decide to play for it being straight.

I slice. We hear it hit the house. Jim also goes O.B. but Dave crushes his drive to the 150 marker, center of the fairway. We debate John using his mulligan but I am against it. He is in good shape. And I turn out to have bounced back inbounds 260 yards down the right side. We are kind of under one tree with another in front of us and water between but John prefers the distance to using his clean center of fairway shot.

This is one area I struggle with best ball. Yes, I am 90 to 100 yards further forward...but there is lots of potential trouble with my shot. Even should we go under the first, over the second tree and over the water, there is a sand trap guarding our side of the green. However, my teammate STRONGLY prefers the distance. Quality of shot is less important to him. So we take mine.

And Dave then crushes his second shot, hopping into the greenside bunker. John gets over the water but wide right, barely over the pond. We are maybe 145 yards out, perfect for my pitching wedge, which conveniently also means I should clear the tree in front of me. I hammer it, it feels good, it soars high...almost too high...the line is right...I am excited...and it crashes to earth 10 yards short of the green. I am stunned.

Still, we are laying two in the short rough, they are laying 2 in the sand. Advantage us. Until John and I both fail to reach the green with our chips and Dave puts his bunker shot within about a foot of the cup. We manage to 1-putt for the par, but Dave had a natural birdie and the get a shot back with a really nice sequence. Well played.

Ah, the 284 wide open fairway no danger hole. Love this one. Jim continues to struggle, but Dave continues to hammer his drives. He is well inside the 150 yard marker. John hits to the 150 marker in the rough well right of the fairway. Confidently I blast my driver, playing for the slice, believing I am going to be center of fairway somewhere between 250 and 280 yards down. It felt so good I thought for a second I had driven the green. In fact I overdrove it, hitting it about 350 yards.

Oh, not where it should have been...straight as an arrow, bouncing down the road. Well left and out of bounds. Horrid shot. But it WAS 350 yards of concrete added beauty...ah, who am I kidding, without the concrete it was a 200 yard drive maybe.

Anyway, John hits it pin high but off to the left. I have my 8 iron and tell him with his shot I can be a bit more aggressive. I ramp up my swing and go straight at the flag. I achieve a dead stop and 6' from the pin, pin high and slightly right. They all agree it is the best mid-iron or chip they have ever seen me hit.

Naturally, Jim and Dave both land on the green, we all 2-putt (which is sad in the case of John and I...we should have birdied the hole) and head to the 9th with a 3 shot lead.

Jim finally gets a hold of one but Dave has by far the lengthiest drive I have ever seen him hit. John shanks his drive but it is playable, probably, on the right side of the rough with potential tree issues and still 160ish yards out. I decide to hit my driver and this time it is true, about 230 yards and right center of fairway.

They land on the green. We do not. In fact, we do not get onto the green until our 4th shot. Yes, from 65 yards out it took us 3 shots to get on the green. This, in case you are wondering, is NOT good.

Jim and Dave 2 putt to finish with a par while John and I appear to be melting down. But we 1-putt for the bogey and have our second consecutive win. Red marks are made.

For the day, Jim and Dave had 4 pars and a birdie. John and I had 5 pars and a birdie, shooting a 37 to their 39.

We won by precisely 2 shots. Remember that mulligan I took way back on hole 3 where we ended up with a birdie while they took bogey? There was your match.

Lot of fun, good time.


King City 3/18/15

Uh oh. The 4 slow guys were in front of me, I got joined with group of 3 guys who are on the "development squad" at the high school.

Translation: they combined for I believe 3 shots over 9 holes that traveled 150 yards or more. They combined for probably 210 shots over 9 holes. They took time for smack talk between shots. They took numerous practive strokes before hitting the ball 5 yards or out of bounds.

And we STILL were running up the back of the group in front of us. The round took 2-1/2 hours.

For 9 holes.

On a par 34.

That I played 18 holes in less than two hours just a week ago.

Anyhow, I started off okay, just 150 yards on my 7-wood drive and landing left side of the fairway. My 8-iron follow up was a few inches onto the green. I hit a decent lag and a 4' putt for par. Off to a surprisingly good start.

I played the 4-iron on the 178 yard next hole, yanked it left. Pedestrian chip, 2-putt, just a bogey. Not bad.

Then we ran into trouble. The 249 yard hole is usually an easy one for me, I tend to hit about 200 yards and be at the base of a mound right side of the fairway. This time I blasted it long, left and....after they had each hit about 5 shots, it had been so long since I hit it that I never did find it. Penalty, drop, hit past the green, 3 putt...I pulled a 7 off one of my better holes.

Ironically, the next 3 holes are my worst holes on the course, and with shot confidence, I decided to pull the 3-iron that I cannot hit for the 196 yarder. I landed pin high but wide right, very nearly clocking one of the group ahead of us who had just walked off the green. Free drop off the cart path. Pedestrian chip, decent lag, bogey.

And here is the problem. One kid hit a 4 yard tee shot...20 yard second shot...3rd shot out of bounds, 5th into some trees, 2' shot, 2 more chips to get to the green, and 5 putted. That would be a 13 for those counting. And he only lost 3 and 4 strokes to the other two guys. This was NOT a fast hole.

The group ahead of us was not even on the par 3 green yet...and the hole they were on was playing 143 yards.

When it was my turn I hit a beautiful, towering 8-iron we all thought was pin high and were debating if it was on the left edge of the green or just off.

By the time we got up there I had lost site of it. I never did find it. That is right...the time lapse was so severe that a relatively (for me) accurate 143 yard shot within 5 yards of the green became a lost ball penalty.

I did get a decent chip, but a 2-putt meant  a 6 and I was bummed. My once decent round now stood at a 25 after 5. I need to play par-level golf just to score well. Bogey golf the rest of the way will put me at a 46...my worst score yet.

Inexplicably on the tight 277 yard 6th hole, with trees blocking my beloved left to right ball flight and out of bounds lurking on the right where any mis-hit will go, I yanked out my driver. No, I cannot explain it either.

Well, I crushed the drive and it was a beauty. It was long, it would have a slight fade but be more or less where I wanted it, and it would be a set-up for a good score on the hole.

Until it hit the most outflung branch of the tree and dropped like a stone 110 yards from the tee box. My 8 iron landed short. I then flubbed the first chip and was on in 4. On the bright side, I am pretty consistently 2-putting. On the dark side...I just took a 6.

The longest hole on the course oddly gives me problems. I do not know if I try to kill it or what. I don't feel like I do. My driver did something it has not really done this year. I hit it maybe 220 yards...but sliced. Hit provisional in case it was o.b...and it did end up o.b. Then I crushed it 260, straight as an arrow. They all agreed it was just right of the copse of trees and well inbounds. Never did find it, dropped by the first ball, towering 8 iron, pitch on, couple putts...a 7. Ouch.

Then a miracle. 250 yards, center of fairway. Second fairway of the day. Nothing a pathetic chip couldn't solve, on in 3, 2-putt for 5.

My driver was again straight as an arrow and long...so long it easily cleared the house it flew over on the fly. Re-tee...slice into fairway 1. I did manage to get onto the green but because of the penalty, it was in 4. I then proceeded to 3 putt for a third time to pull in and even 50.

I played awful and it was not just the pace. 6 penalty strokes on the round...not good.


King City 3/17/15

I got there a few minutes later than last time and that proved to be a huge mistake. In front of me was a slow solo woman hitting about 50 yards at a whack, who was behind a solo guy hitting about 150 yards a whack, who was behind a guy with his kid taking 15 minutes per hole, who were behind a fourseom who hit 150 yards...but was waiting for the foursome ahead of them to clear greens 300 yards away, and that foursome was slow also.

Translation; it took about 1:35 to play the front. And the scores showed it:

I was aiming left on my 7-wood drive planning to fade into the fairway or slice to the right. I absolutetly blistered it, long and left. Thought I saw it, headed down fairway...lost ball. No clue where. Drop for two. Short-hopped the pitch. On in 4 but long putt. Past the hole. Close to the hole. In for a 7. Ouch.

And I STILL had to wait for 2 people to tee off on the next hole and they did not want to become a 3-some. A short par 3, 178 yards. Tried the rescue wood. Blasted it left, out of bounds. Laying three off the tee. Back to the 4 iron, a decent shot but short. Chip, 2-putt, double par. Not a good start...

249 yard hole, my driver CAN reach, but I went with the 7 wood for control and was just right of the fairway about 30 yards short of the green. Sadly, I was still short of the green after a poor chip and barely on the green after my 3rd shot. Only a nice lag and longish (for me) putt "saved" the bogey...

The 196 yard hole is awkward. Too short for my 7 wood, I cannot hit the 3-iron, and I hit the rescue wood about 50 yards. Then the hole got worse...it was a par three where I was on in 3, in in 5.

At this point the guy and his kid waved me through. I hit a 9 iron, we were playing well forward for 125 yard distance. I was short and right, fast-chipped well past the hole, fast-putted and missed. A 5 on a three.

The next hole always gives me problems. A patch of trees stops my left to right ball movement and the right side is trees and/or out of bounds. I crushed my 7 wood. Unfortunately, I line-drived it...and it hit the first copse of trees on the left. I hurried through as the guy and his kid were then waiting so played it as a lost ball, dropped, landed a 6 iron short from 160 yards out, barely made it on the green with another bad chip, 2 putted for another 6.

The par 5 I was waiting...waiting...guy ahead of me hit into the 4-some when they were at the 150 mark. I took my 7-wood and...was about 150 yards out, wide right. However, my next shot was beautiful, flying over trees and the pond, landing about 20 yards right of the green. I flew a sand wedge over the sand trap and 2-putted for my first par.

Next hole I joined up with the single guy (woman had gone to play first few holes again because of the pace. I lasered a 260 yard drive just left of the fairway...then left my chip 10 yards short. On a 284 yard hole. My next chip left a 10' putt which I duly missed by 3' and took another bogey.

On 9 I went short but right, into the 1st fairway. From 100 yards out I thought I was inside 100 (bad advice from a guy who joined our group for this hole) and tried a gap wedge which was short. Decent pitch, missed putt, another 5. For a 49 on the front. Awful

But there was only one guy ahead of me, I decided to play the back. It went faster, about an hour.

Long drive, right side of fairway, short on the chip, on in 3, 2-putt. Bogey, much better than the opening triple.

Next hole my 4 iron was pin high just off green to right. Decent chip, 5' putt, par. Well, that is better.

Nice drive right side of fairway, bad chip...this is sounding familial...on in 3, 2-putt for bogey.

Then disaster. I hit my rescue wood short. Then I shanked a shot. After 2 I am still 65 yards out. At least that is perfect distance for my sand wedge. Unless I hit a line drive 40 yards past the green into a house. Penalty drop. Bad chip. Bad chip. I am laying 6 and an inch onto the green...it took a great lag and a putt lipping in to pull a snowman.

I then landed my 9 iron on the upper level of the two tier green but make a nice sidehill downhill lag and putt in for par. Then I try my driver on my devil hole. I hit the last tree on the right, modify an 8 iron from 65 yards, 2-putt from a few inchies onto the green for second straight par.

My driver is 250 yards but left under trees. My rescue wood keeps it low, but I miss my chip. On in 4, 2-putt for bogey.

Another nice straight drive, this time I chip short, then chip close and 1-putt for par.

Last hole I blister my driver. Unfortunately I am still aiming left and fly over the houses. Re-tee, blast it long and right. Chip onto green, 2-putt for a double. Finish the back with a 44. Better than the front for sure!


King City 3/11/15 EAGLE

Nearly the perfect crime. Left work about 3:35, stopped for a healthy dinner of Taco Bell on the way and was teeing off at 3:58. Nobody in front or behind me so i could play at my own pace.

I wisely kept the driver in the bag, put my 7w about 200 yards out...but wide right, behind trees. Punch out into the fairway. From 110 out I put my gap wedge past the green. Pitched back up and on, 2 putt. A 6 to start, not so good.

Next hole is a 178 yard par 3 that always gives me trouble. I hit my 4 iron, something I seldom ever do. Nice, straight, and about 8 yards short. Pitch, putt, par. Nice!

Third hole I pulled out the 7 wood and put it about 220 yards down the fairway but wide right, not horribly so. I bump and ran my 8 iron to the left side of the green, 2-putt...back to back pars. I am happy, feel like I am playing well.

They had moved the tee box on the next hole up and to the right, so a 143 yard hole with trees slightly overhanging the box but not really. Except my ball flight started out right, clubbed the tree and my tee shot was about 20 yards. I then put a 9 iron well left of the green, a pedestrian pitch and a 2 putt. So much for playing well, that was a 5.

Then my toughest hole on this course. Trees overhang the left side so I cannot use my typical ball flight pattern and the right side is tight so even a fade puts you in trouble. Still, I have confidence in my 7 wood.

Misplaced, apparently because I sliced badly and actually lost the ball. Retee hit the trees to my left. I had to punch out into the fairway again and was laying 4 while over 200 yards from the green. Then I blasted past the green, had to pitch back and only a lengthy putt "saved" a 7. Playing well indeed. If by playing well I mean swinging the club like a monkey having convulsions.

At least the next hole is a soft one. 352 yard par 5, easily reachable in 2 for me. I pull out the driver for the first time on the day. I aim slightly left planning to hit it straight which will be well down the fairway, if it fades I am in the center of the fairway and even a slice might only be in the rough to the right.

Or I could yank it left over the first row of houses...and do the same with my second shot. I am now laying 5 off the tee. Only a fantastic second (6th) shot putting me close let me scramble and save the snowman. A round that looked promising after three holes and decent after four now looks awful.

Next hole is a 284 yard par 4. I considered what I had done with my driver, straightened my stance...and blasted a 260 yard drive right down the middle. The little yellow thing is my drive.

I then hit a beautiful chip shot to about 4' from the cup and rolled it in for a birdie.

Any round involving 3 par or better holes is good. Any round involving a birdie is great. I am not a good enough golfer to prefer score over the occasional birdie.

So now I am feeling great. I have had a great round. 9th hole, 292 yards and I blasted the driver, landing maybe 10 yards from the green. If that 280 yard drive is not the longest, most accurate I have ever had it is certainly in the conversation.

Aw yeah, golf. The game where if you are having a bad round, just wait for the last two holes and it will give you something to keep you coming back.

So from about 10 yards off, I initially just wanted to get it on the green. Then I thought, why waste such a great drive? I want to get this close. I lined my bump carefully, stuck it, and...

That is my second ever eagle.

Ah yeah, it was a great nine holes, a legit 43. Okay, so it is par 34 which means that is bogey golf. But it is legit bogey golf...no mulligans, counting every shot, re-teeing lost drives. Plus, I played it in an hour, there is nobody else on the course, I have unlimited golf...I am going to play 18.

This time my 7 wood is true, middle of the fairway though short...about 180 yards. From 180 out I try my gap wedge and drop the ball front left of the green. A nice easy 2-putt. The back starts off with a par.

Back to the 178. I decide to try my 3 iron since I was just short on the front. For the first time all day I go right...and about 80- yards, Another lost ball (it is in somebodys back yard I think).

Re-tee...straight down the middle. About 50 yards. The 3-iron is not good...My 8-iron actually gets me on the green in 4, which considering where I was after 3 is not good, but a 2-putt means I doubled par. Not a good hole.

My 7 wood I hit a worm burner to about 125 yards. Out comes the 9 iron...which I blade so badly the ball ricochets through the sand trap at the back of the green and checks up in the grass on the back lip. Out of the sand at least. I bump and run across the sand trap with my 8 iron, not trusting the sand wedge flop shot. That leaves me a long putt which I lag well and finish in 5. Could have been much worse than a bogey.

My rescue wedge puts me pin high left of the green on the 196 yard hole. Better choice than the 3 iron, clearly. I mis-hit the first chip, second one gets me a makeable but tough putt which I miss. A 4. I am okay with a bogey.

Back to the hole that caught me last time, the tight right side needing to get in the air. I club down to the 9 iron, tee up on the extreme left of the box and try to shape my shot to a fade. Believe it or not...I succeed and land about 20 ' past the flag on the green. It did what I tried, looked great, as did my lag to get close and easy finish for a par.

Now for the toughest hole. 7 wood I strike well and true, it is fading but beyond the last trees. From the tee box I figure I hit about a 230 yard drive with it and am ecstatic.

Until I get to the ball and it is at the 150 yard marker...a hundred yards short of where I thought it was. I was so sure I had seen it land beyond the furthest tree and it was 5 trees back. Then I hit my 8 iron about 170 yards, had to pitch back onto the green and another 2-putt for bogey. Oops.

This time on the par 5 I pulled out my 7 wood. No more driver. I figured a 200 yard drive would put me about the 150 marker. I hit my second shot from the center of the fairway about 2 yards inside the 150 yard marker. My towering 8 iron landed on the green on the far right. On in 2. Nice. I then left the first putt about 10 feet short and the 2nd putt about 6 feet short. That was not exemplary. Still, I made the par. Much better than the snowman the first time around.

Emboldened, I whipped out the driver. About 250 yards this time but it definitely had a fade and was on the far right. Pitch, 2-putt, par. I now have 4 pars on the back, 6 pars, a birdie and an eagle with one to go.

Juiced up, I slice the driver for the first time all day. It is about 50 yards from the green but in the first fairway. I try a soft sand wedge but take a huge divot. Another soft sand wedge leaves me short right. An 8-iron puts me about a foot from the cup and I finish with a bogey, giving me a 41 on the back.

That gives me an 84 for the round. Par is 68. That means I played 2 shots better than bogey golf. You will never hear me complain about that.

Even better, only about 5 holes had light rain, I played it in 2 hours and was home by 6:15. What a wonderful day. Oh, and an 84 is my lowest score my 4 strokes ever. Admittedly this was a softer course...but I am happy.

34 of 299


King City

So last Saturday John and I took on Jim and Dave at Skamania, taking them down 87-91, our second or third win in the last couple years...Dave and Jim have been dominating us. Well, I am continuing to try to get back to the weight I was at in 2011 and found that golf is a good help in that.

Having an awesome wife, she okayed me to get the season pass at King City. I did not go for the year-long pass, just took March to October. Went out today with Dave for the first round.

First hole I wisely used the 7 wood, leaving the driver in the bag. I put a fade on it and was right side of fairway about 60 yards off the green. Somehow I put the pitch onto the green.

We were the third group off after they opened the course after plugging and sanding the greens. Horrid putting conditions. Then again, I am a horrible putter...3-putt for a bogey.

Hole 2 is a 178 yarder. I tried the 4 iron, which I have not hit in years...and was 10 yards short. Pitch, 2 putt. Better.

Third hole is a 249 yarder. 7 iron put me about 20 yards off the green, I landed my bump and run about 20 feet from the hole and 2 putted for a par.

196 yard par three. I was short and right with my rescue wedge. But I hit about an 8 foot putt for my second par.

167 yard par 3. Wide left this time, about a 12' sidehill putt goes in by about one rotation. 3rd consecutive par. Nice!

The next hole gives me issues. Really tall ttrees overhang the left side and there is no room to the right. I wisely pulled my 7 wood. I can get it over the trees if I fade but not slice. I sliced but thought I saw the ball check up okay. Nope, it rolled under some trees. I dropped back about the 120 yard marker and, instead of grabbing the right club, I ramped up a gap wedge. It is a 90 yard club and I landed about 20 yards short. Bad chip left me 30 feet from the cup but I somehow managed a 2-putt for the double bogey.

352 yard par 5. I played for a fade...and hit my driver straight as an arrow, over a house. Mulligan. (We take 1 mulligan per 9.) Blasted it more towards the fairway. Lost sight of the ball flight. Found a Nike Vapor well short of where I thought it had been. Two holes later figured out it was wrong ball...

From 160 yards out I landed in the sand. That is correct...by using the driver instead of the 7 wood I lost about 30 yards. And cost myself a stroke for the drop...

Bad work out of the sand, still in the rough. Weak putt...and then jarred a 20' to "save" double bogey (snowman without the mulligan).

284 yarder, my driver straight again but I was playing for the fade. Ended up unplayable lie, drop, short with sand wedge, bad chip, 1 putt, and it was a bomb, for a 5.

Final hole, a 292 yarder. Uncorked a nice 240 yard down the middle, 50 yards from green, my sand wedge is a 45 yard club. I flew the green...took a nice, relaxed, easy swing and crushed about a 65 yarder. Oops. Put my third one on the green but still a long putt. Rolled it past the hole 6'...then drained that for a 5.

Totaled a 41 without the mulligan, 43 with it. Not bad. Course is a par 43, and, while a soft course, I will take bogey golf every time. Good time.

Round 1, 10 down, 289 to go.