My golf game has suffered this year. That’s what having a 2-year-old son, a lovely bride, several jobs, a new hobby (hopefully business) passion, and about 20 websites will do. For many years I’ve managed to be able to squeeze in four rounds of golf per week during golf season here in northern Utah. This is about half the year. At four rounds per week I can get enough reps (me and Tiger) in to get my handicap to around the one range.
Lately though, I’ve been at one nine hole round and one 18 hole round per week. Yes, cry me a river. First world problems. No need to comment.
With that little play or practice I can’t expect to play at the highest level. Today I played 18 holes and tried to keep that in mind, not getting too mad if I didn’t hit as many solid shots as normal or score as well as I want to. I shot five over with six bogeys and one birdie. My short game, especially with so little practice, is a sieve of leaked strokes. I think that’s pretty average and what I can expect from my ability level with not many reps.
This brings up a point I’ve talked about previously, which is whether I can find enjoyment in the game if I’m not able to play at the level I want to. Golf takes a lot of time, money, practice, resources… Knowing these things, and knowing I likely will not improve makes me ponder if it is worth continuing. Today I enjoyed playing with a couple of long time pals, and was into that more than counting strokes.
Strangely, I’m looking forward to winter here. That’s a first. Never happened before. I plan to use the time off from golf to really evaluate what I get from the game, what I want from it, and what it keeps me from doing or achieving. Come spring perhaps I will have reached some conclusions and have a sense of direction, and better place golf (or not) in my life.
I may not have typed all this drivel if I would have just made a couple more birdies today…
Sadly, an Arthur Hills “links” style course here in Salt Lake looks to be closing at the end of this season. I could go into the politics of why this is happening, and talk about mismanagement and all that, but I’ll just say that we have a lot of new bike trails in town now.
View of Salt Lake City from Wingpointe’s 4th tee – click to see more
I played Wingpointe a few days ago and the greens were as good as ever. Unfortunately the fairways are not that great and the only good lie a player is guaranteed is on the tee. But that’s the nature of the beast when you are on soil full of salt from the Great Salt Lake.
Wingpointe Golf Course
That round a few days ago might be my last there. As much as I love the design and the greens, the whole experience is tainted by the poor fairways.
I have many great memories at Wingpointe, like the time I shot 31-41 for a very irritating 72. Won a tournament there too a couple of years ago.
Sad to see this course closing. It won’t be the last golf course closure here in Salt Lake I’m afraid.
During the last couple of practice sessions on the putting green I tried the technique Jordan Spieth sometimes uses on shorter putts. He will actually look at the hole and execute his putting stroke. He’s not looking at his golf ball or having his head/eyes down in the stroke. Conceptually it is not that odd. Think about foul-shooting in basketball. The shooter is looking at the basket, not the ball. Well maybe anyone but Shaquille O’Neal. No idea what he was ever looking at.
It was weird trying this technique. I made the first one. It felt strange and was very odd to see the hole, then have the ball appear in my field of vision, let alone being on the proper line and then going into the hole.
I’d say using this technique I was making a large percentage of the putts in short range. I was surprised to make as many as I did without even looking at the ball. I suppose that means my stroke is fairly pure and consistent, even when I’m not looking at the ball.
Will I put this in play? Nope. I make a lot of putts and I’m very confident in my putting. No need to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Someone should have told that to Tiger Woods.
I’ve said many times that match play is my favorite form of golf. Despite losing a quarter final net match today I still do. Today’s match was an uphill battle all the way. The best part of my game, putting, was essentially nullified by newly punched and sanded greens.
Making putts in these conditions is not about skill. It is about luck. I’m not good at taking a full swing with my putter and feeling the ball compress. Just don’t have the right feel for it!
My opponent was a very nice chap from Colombia of all places. We chatted about Bogota and my trip there was was fun. Gross I beat him by four shots and he won the net match 2-and-1. That’s what getting five shots will do for you. I hope he does well in the next round.
I’m not mad this time around. It just wasn’t in the cards, the clubs, the sky, the grass.
Oh yeah the rock, mentioned in the title of this post. On the 7th hole I was in the left rough but in good shape since my opponent had a lost ball. I hit pitching wedge and heard a horrid thwacking sound. The ball went about 30 yards. I looked into the divot and there was about a five inch rock underneath my ball. My new Mizuno JPX-850 Forged pitching wedge broke the rock in half and took some bad battle scars. That blows.
See ya next year match play.
The gear I bring to golf courses lately doesn’t seem to include golf clubs or a ball. I’ve been bringing one or more of my multi-rotor copters from my golf aerial photography/video fleet. Below is a shot I captured last weekend at Soldier Hollow, home of two great courses.
Aerial Photo: Soldier Hollow Golf Courses – click for more
In the photo above the closer holes are the “Silver” course, and the farther away holes on the side of the mountain are the “Gold” Course.
Below is a shot looking back the opposite direction, including the fantastic clubhouse on the right.
Soldier Hollow Golf Course and Clubhouse – Click for more