It is pretty safe to say that after my 2nd 77 in a row I’m not going to win my club championship this year. My club championship is the single most important event of my year, and the one I want to win the most. My year back in 2005 when I won it by surviving a season long match play tournament is without a doubt my proudest golf moment. Rounds of golf like I played that year, shooting 70 in my final match, birdieing the last two holes to win 1up, seem pretty far away right now.
My game has been anything but good this year. It has been to say the least, a tough year in many departments. That has definitely had an effect on my game and subsequently my sanity and confidence.
Things are improving on all fronts however, and my game is showing signs of breaking out with a couple of 74’s and some close runs with par or better.
Fall is approaching and I’m still trying to get that spark for this season to light. I hope it ignites, for just a few rounds, before the snow flies here.
I predicted the low score in round one of my club championship would be a 71. Sometimes I scare myself, and not just when I’m looking in a mirror. I was dead on. There were some 72’s and 73’s too.
So with my lame 77 I’m six shots behind the leader. I had three, count ’em, three, double bogeys. The final one my ball hit the fairway on a par four and I never found it. So if I don’t card those doubles, I’m tied for the lead. Yes I know. “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all have a Merry Christmas.”
Can I make up six shots during the 2nd and final round next Tuesday? Anything is possible. Is it probable? Not really, but I’ll try my best anyway.
The thing I want to win most every year is my club championship. I did manage to do that back in 2005. Back then it was match play, which is the best form of golf for this sort of thing in my opinion. To survive matchplay and win after knocking out everyone was the most proud moment I’ve had in golf, more than shooting in the 60’s or having a hole in one. But the club members decided to change it to two 18 hole rounds a few years ago.
Not at my best coming in
This has been a tough year on my game. My real world outside of golf, and my bad back have combined to hurt my level of play pretty badly. As a result I’ve gone up from a 1 handicap to a 4. That may sound crazy to whine about that, but imagine if you were a 10 handicap and went up to a 40. That’s the same proportion in my opinion, since I truly believe golf handicaps to be an exponential curve.
2009 Championship Round One
If I threw out holes 1, 6 and 15 from my 1st round of this year’s club championship I’d be one over par. Unfortunately on those three holes I carded double bogeys. The most frustrating one was on #15 where my drive hit the right side of the fairway, then bounced into the right rough. I never found the ball. Had to go back and re-tee.
I don’t know where I stand going into round two, but it is pretty safe to say that I’m probably a good 5-7 shots back from contention. Maybe not, if the other A players flamed out but I doubt it.
I was pretty unhappy about my round, and frustrated after leaving no less than six putts dead in the jaws short about 3 inches. There were many strokes left on the course.
I may still have a chance, in which case I’ll give it my best shot in round two next Tuesday.
My men’s club championship is a 36 hole stroke play event. One round tomorrow and one round next Tuesday. I’m coming off some awful golf rounds following my back injury, with a 74 thrown in just to make my head spin.
The course is mega tough and anything in the mid to low 70’s tomorrow will put me in good position for the final round next Tuesday. I played tonight though, and couldn’t make anything happen. I just hope all my bad shots left the building tonight, saving the good ones for tomorrow.
I felt some signs that my game would be close to returning to form. There are many factors involved in this transition from complete friggin’ hacker to decent amateur player.
I just came off my two highest rounds of the year. Those were on a very tough and foreign course 2300 miles from home. And my back was still recovering from one of the worst tweaks I’ve ever had. So I was hardly even bending down to read putts. Hell, I even four putted on the mega fast greens. That was the first putt I’ve had since January 2005. I’m serious. I still remember it, #3 at Sunbrook in St. George, Utah.
Reason 1 for my recent hack fests: I was coming off an injury. Reason 2: swing changes.
I’m also in the midst of gaining more confidence and comfort in some major swing changes. My coach/pro gave me a big swing lesson and I’m struggling to break old habits and implement the new moves and positions.
My posture is better. My release is still under construction, but when I get it right it is awesome, producing much higher ball speed and distance. I haven’t looked at it, but I think my swing plane is better too since my poster and positions are better.
Yesterday I shot 37 on the front and had some mental breakdowns on the back. But I knew that my swing was on the verge of a recovery. I could feel actual golf shots happening. I hit a six iron from 187 to about 3 feet, over a tree. Haven’t felt that “feeling” of compressing and seeing a ball fly like that in at least two months.
Well maintained equipment is a big factor
I recently put some new shoes on my feet, the new FootJoy Icons. I also regripped all my clubs. My spikes on my old shoes were worn, and my old grips were very bad. I seriously believe having better traction and stability in my swing, along with a better grip on my clubs, is playing a big factor in hitting better shots. It did take me about two rounds to get used to having so much traction. I was hooking shots for a bit, but I’ve fixed that for the most part.
So today I shot a 74, back on track with what my “old” 1-2 handicap dictated. Even though I shot that 74, I had to shell out some dough to my pal Arnie. Despite bogeying the last hole (and I won a press on that one), he shot 70!