Practice round for the Sandy Amateur this Saturday
Today I left the blogging and hit the course at 9:30am. The course was closed due to a tournament though so I came back later and tee’d off with some buddies at 1pm. I chose to play the black (tips) tees, though my league play/scores have dictated that I play from the blues. I chose the blacks because that is where the tournament will be played from.
On the 2nd hole a huge downpour hit us. I quickly smacked my ball with my putter on the front fringe during the downpour and the ball went in. I was about 50 feet away. After that hole we went into the cart barn for a few minutes. Following that I made some solid shots on the front for a decent opening nine. All of this was with a Maxfli golf ball I’d found in the bushes. It was very soft and the model was blacked out by someone’s mark. After I rubbed off the mark, the ball just said “Tour” on it. So it was a Maxfli Tour golf ball.
On #10 I hit my 3-iron off the tee. This is the latest change in my bag, as my ball striking has gotten better, but the hybrids have not. So the 23 degree hyb is out and the 3i is in. #10 is 403 yards from the tips. My approach was 127 to the front pin. Needless to say, that was a solid long iron. I really have missed that feeling and I’m glad to start finding it again. My gap wedge was pin high left at about six feet. Birdie.
Par on 11 and a great up and down on 12 for par brought me into #13. 13 is a par-5 with an elevated tee. I hit a solid drive but my 5-iron 2nd shot leaked right into a very densely grown in hazard. I managed to find the ball and hacked it out to about five feet and made birdie. I made birdie on #14, a short par-4, after hitting a nice checking 50 yard lob to about eight feet under the hole.
The rest of the nine had some solid shots and pars. The only “bad” shot on the back was that 2nd shot on #13, which I was able to recover from. -3 on the back side for a total of 69.
After some very mediocre golf and horrible ball striking the last few weeks, why now? Today was practically the first day this year I felt some real clubhead speed. Today was the first day I’ve felt like I could swing free without any restrictions, pain, stiffness.
The difference? Could be a couple of things. Yesterday I got a massage, full body. The masseuse found knots in places I didn’t know there could be knots, like my shins. Lots of knots in my back and neck were relieved. I even had her work on my golfer’s elbow. The temperature could be part of it too. 92 degrees. I’m more loose and less stiff in the heat. The 3rd possibility is a supplement I’m trying which is supposed to relieve joint stiffness.
Whichever of these reasons, or even all of them combined, has brought me some positive thoughts about my game. This year has been mostly bad and frustrating as my scores have ballooned and my handicap crept up. I hope that today was the breakthrough which will free me to play some great golf for the rest of the season.
A Caddie's Walk Through Of The Old Course at St. Andrews - Part 1 of 3