Spent a bunch of time on the practice range yesterday, working on short game, putting, full wedges and lots of long irons. The practice made a difference as I played well today in my Thursday money game at Bonneville Golf Course (pictured below).
8th tee at Bonneville with snow capped Mount Olympus in the Background. Click for LARGE version!
I smoked it with the putter on the front nine, needing only 11 putts. On #1 I hit a hybrid to about five feet and had a tricky slider downhill for eagle. That missed but I had a tap-in birdie. I had 3 birdies and a double to finish -1 on the front. The winds picked up on the back and my putting cooled off though, and I shot +6 on the back. Boo. But 77 is the 2nd lowest score of the year (76).
The ball striking seemed greatly improved today, and the chipping and scrambling went up from an awful 20% conversion rate to 50%. Still not great, but a hell of an improvement.
I used these swing impact dampers called “Shock Locks” today on my Hogan irons. It is hard to tell if I was hitting it better, the Shock Locks made the impacts softer, or if the softer ball I tried today (Srixon Z-Star) made the difference. Perhaps it was a combination of all three.
I also had an Ion Loop bracelet in play, which is supposed to use ion technology to help out health wise. The golfer’s elbow didn’t hurt today, so maybe it was that thing. Or perhaps it was the fact that I ate a bunch of ibuprofen like chicklets before the round.
As mentioned, I had the 2011 Srixon Z-Star golf ball in play. This is one of the best balls out there without a doubt. Soft, long, great in the wind and putts amazingly.
The final gear item I had in the test cycle today was the Bushnell Neo+ pocket GPS. Kept forgetting I had it, since I’m used to using my laser rangefinder rather than GPSing yardages. Yes, “GPSing” is a word.
Despite the mediocre back nine, I managed well on my bets, coming out essentially with a free round of golf. That doesn’t suck.
The practicing is obviously helping, so I’m going to keep at it. The forecast is for snow tomorrow, so perhaps the next session will be the scheduled game on Sunday morning.
Tiger Woods answering questions on Twitter right now