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    PeterNichols reacted to GolfSpy MPR in MPR: The Single Digit Project   
    It's been several weeks since I checked in here, and with some reason: I had nothing fun to say. I've spent most of the month just treading water, handicap-wise.
    As I posted about elsewhere, I had a chance to play a couple different courses on a trip with my wife; since I play virtually all my golf at my home course, this was a treat for me. It was especially nice to get to place SentryWorld, a RTJ Jr. design that is quite beautiful. As for the golf itself, what was notable about these rounds is that I played almost exactly to the same standard as I usually do (bogey golf) even though they play longer than my home course (in SentryWorld's case, 400 yards longer).
    Meanwhile, my rounds at my home course were bogey golf or worse. My handicap (which began this project at 15.7) actually rose to 15.8, which isn't exactly what I had in mind with this project. I was getting frustrated. My driving had gotten better (especially as the course has finally dried out). My approach game was OK. My short game was a disaster. My putting was ordinary.
    My only reason for optimism is that, other than my short game, nothing seemed really wonky. I felt like I've continued to make progress understanding not only what a good swing is, but how that feels for me. I've really been getting comfortable with my Indianapolis S on the greens.
    This morning, Kirke and I went out to play 18. Not only did I beat him (a rare occurrence these days), I shot a 77, tying my lifetime best! I don't think I'd had a sub-85 round this year, so to go sub-80 was a real joy. The best part of it for me is that it kind of validates the 77 I shot last summer; that no longer is a total outlier or a fluke. I've shown that I can do it again.
    Here's the strokes gained for the 77 vs my last 10 rounds:

    I had only 28 putts, so I'm not shocked at the better-than-scratch putting stat. The short game remains a work in progress, though I've seen some improvement in feel and results in the last couple weeks.
    Here's some stats from my last 10 rounds compared to 10 rounds from the same time last year:

    I was averaging 233 off the tee today, which I know is still not bombing it, but considering that this time last year, I was averaging 180 with a driver? That's a huge improvement. I've nearly tripled my greens in regulation (that number needs to keep increasing).
    Throwing today's round into the mix dropped my handicap to 15.2. I'm hoping I've found some sustainable changes here, so that even if I'm not shooting sub-80 all the time, I can get back into the low 80s and make a serious run at single digits.
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