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GregB135

League Play from the Middle of the Pack

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Didn't perform well at Juliette Falls. Which is a shame, because the course is fantastic and shouldn't play as difficult is my Jekyll and Hyde 96 made it look.

Warmup time had me feeling pretty confident. I hit about 15 balls, mostly right down the line. Stepped up to the first tee,, and.... smother hook.. So I had  bit of a rocky start with a couple of double bogeys, but then rallied for a front-9 43. Couldn't keep things on track though, and piled up a bunch of penalty strokes on the way to a back-9 53. 

Short game performance did not live up to the level of practice I put into it over the three weeks going into this round. So I'll have to adjust my practice sessions to include a little more full swing while still prioritizing short game.

Finishing in the bottom 5 of 40 players is going to drop me down the standings a good bit. The good news is it's only the 2nd recorded event, so there's a good chance that point total will get dropped out of my top-6 for the season standings. Still frustrating after playing pretty consistent mid-80's golf for a pretty good while.

The next event is in flux. The planned venue backed out on us just a few days prior to event date (5/2). The committee is trying to get us a reschedule from one of the early cancelled events and adding it in on 5/9. In the mean time... practice, practice, practice.

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Here's another situation to chalk up to the Covid-19 situation. 

Our league uses a web-based RSVP system to sign up for each tournament. Using a combination of text messaging, social media, and email alerts, the player pool gets a notification that sign-up is open and available, and it's first come, first served from there. At some of the more popular venues the signup roster, understandably, fills up rather quickly. This week may have been a record.

This week's event was rescheduled from an earlier event to be played at Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville (see the reviews in Florida League Course Reviews). It's a fantastic track and a league favorite. The first plan was for the original RSVP list to stand giving previously registered players the chance to drop out if they were not available for this Saturday. That changed. The course limited our field to 32 down from the original 40, so the committee decided to reopen the RSVP as a new event. Given the majority of us are staying at home thanks to 'stay at home' orders, the field of 32 filled up in less than 45 minutes. And since I happened to be taking care of some household chores, I got stuck on the waiting list.

I did make the signup for next week's event though. So there's that.

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So the good news: The committee was able to add an additional tee time at the last minute, so the field was 36 players rather than just 32, so I made the field.

The bad news: It took me 'til the 15th hole to hit a solid tee shot. With that, I had to do a lot of recovering back into play and scrambling to give myself chances for par or bogey. Add that to the challenging greens at Southern Hills and my 93 net 81 was only good for a bottom-5 finish (my second in a row).

I'm struggling right now with the long clubs and inconsistency. Not sure if that's a result of focusing more on short game practice or the temporary closure of my coaches facility meaning not having full access to the swing coach. But, like always for me, getting off the tee in play is my biggest determining factor in how well I score. One recent practice round was 57-39 for 96 with the only difference being driving the ball in play on the back nine versus wild tee shots and penalties on the front.

We have another league favorite course this weekend in Southern Dunes. I will definitely have to figure something out with the tee balls to avoid another low finish. I'll spend some extra practice time with the long clubs this week and see how it goes.

Reviews of both courses are included in the Florida League Course Review thread.

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Southern Dunes was next on the league schedule. A really fun and quality course. Unfortunately I didn't take my A putting game into this round.

After a couple of bottom-5 finishes struggling with my long club game, I was looking forward to The Dunes since I played well there on my last visit. While I played significantly better tee to green (10 FIR and 7 GIR), but, I blew it on the greens. I did shoot an even 90 but I got there with 40 putts. My putting average is a fraction above 31. For perspective, my 90 net 76 putt me bottom 1/3 of the standings for 10.5 league points. Had I had just an average putting day, that would have given me a low 80's gross and a top-10 finish. So it was both encouraging and frustrating at the same time.

That does leave me with some work to do over the remaining events to build some points and move up the standings. Once we get past 6 events I'll get a chance to knock out some of those lower point finishes to qualify for the end of season invitational and team cup.

My local GolfTec shop re-opened so I was able to get back in for a full swing lesson with my coach, which went pretty well. I followed that up with a good range session and indoor practice session working on the lesson drills. I got out on the course yesterday and was frustratingly inconsistent again. Only 3 GIR for the round but still managed to break 90. 

League play continues to be a work in progress. I'm trying to maintain the mindset of just playing the course and not worrying about the competition side of it. It's my 4th season in the league now, and I still can't seem to get past the 'first hole jitters' and settle my nerves down until well into the round.

Our next event is 2 weeks away at Orange County National's Crooked Cat course. I'm looking forward to that one.

 

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