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TR1PTIK

First Individual Strokeplay Event

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Well I did it! After probably five years of wanting to and not being able to play due to scheduling conflicts or other circumstances, I've officially registered for the Ozark Amateur Championship at the town muni - Schifferdecker Golf Course. It's a two day flighted strokeplay event with an expected 150~ players from the local area. Flights will be broken down after the conclusion of the tournament to eliminate any sandbagging issues and I'm excited to see what I can do.

I don't have any delusions of winning or even placing in the championship flight, but I do expect to be somewhere near the middle of the pack or better given my most recent play. The tournament isn't until July 13 & 14 so I've got time to prepare and get my game just that little bit sharper. I'll try to post any pre-tournament updates like practice rounds and range sessions here. Hopefully, I'll have some good news to report back on July 15. 🙂 🙂 🙂 

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Good luck!! I played my first stroke play tournament a couple of years ago. Remember it’s just you against yourself. Don’t worry what everyone else is doing, go out and play YOUR game.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Got out to the course a couple times over the weekend. I really need to spend some time with my irons. Having trouble finding the "slot" where I feel like my club should go on the downswing for the best ball contact. I'm not far off, but it's impacting proximity which will obviously help my scoring ability. Short game worked surprisingly well so long as I chose the right shot to play. I have a tendency to think I need to play a flop in situations where I can do without it and it's costing me strokes because it's so much more difficult to control distance.

For example, caught one thin on a par 3 and went off the back. The edge of the green was about 3' above my ball and sloped down toward the hole. My intent was to toss the ball up and let it trickle down to the hole, but my first attempt didn't even make it to the green. After I finished the hole, I dropped 2 balls down in the same spot and proceeded to hit what I would consider more of a stock trajectory. Lo and behold, a well placed shot at this trajectory offered enough stop for the ball to check before sliding down the slope and snuggling up next to the hole - literally 2-for-2 within 3'. 

After I played, I went over to the practice green and continued to work on short game with two balls, playing at a variety of hole locations from various lies, and with various trajectories. Not all my shots were perfect, but the number of those that exceeded my expectations and even recent memory were surprising. Heading to the range tonight to work with my daughter and if her attention span allows, perhaps I'll be able to work on my game a bit more as well.

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That's interesting that the flights are posted after the tournament conclusion. That could conceivably mean that one shot could mean the difference between last in one flight and first in the next, yeah? 

Either way good luck. I look forward to a course preview if you get a chance. I'm sure it's gonna be nice and toasty down there in July. 

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11 hours ago, GolfSpy STUDque said:

That's interesting that the flights are posted after the tournament conclusion. That could conceivably mean that one shot could mean the difference between last in one flight and first in the next, yeah? 

Either way good luck. I look forward to a course preview if you get a chance. I'm sure it's gonna be nice and toasty down there in July. 

Absolutely! It makes it more fun IMO and challenges you to just go out and play your very best golf. Some guys will try to game the system so-to-speak, but there are so many variables at play that it really doesn't matter. 

I actually hadn't thought much about a course preview. I'll have to go out there and snap some pictures for you and do my best to break things down. There's nothing particularly special about the course (pretty open par 71 and only plays 6100~ from the back tees), but it does have some cool history and no two courses are ever the exact same. Yeah, I'll try to get something up within the next week or so - I like that idea!

Went to the range last night with my daughter and think I may have got the swing dialed-in. I've got a scramble tourney this weekend and a couple more opportunities after to confirm, but I was hitting it pure yesterday. This is the one course I've been able to break 80 at in the past and I've been trending that way recently (last round was 81) so my goal is to try and be under 80 both days of the tournament. I'm much more concerned with my personal goals than trying to place myself within a specific flight. Like most golfers, I've been fortunate to experience flashes of my true potential and I feel like I'm getting closer to realizing that so I just want to keep pushing and see how far I can go. I've got tournaments later in the year that are much more important to me than this one, but I look at this tourney as possibly the best test to really evaluate my game and how I deal with pressure. I'm looking forward to it!

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Adding some more events to the calendar! 2-Man Family Scramble this weekend with my dad (expectations are low and this is really just for fun) and then a more competitive 2-Man Best Ball tourney one week after the Ozark Amateur with a former coworker. Looking forward to the next 3-4 weeks of golf!!!

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Posted (edited)

COURSE PREVIEW!!!

I really had fun writing this and I'll try to get some on-course photos to add to it. I also plan on creating a post for this in the US Courses section of the forum as well. Enjoy!

 

Schifferdecker Golf Course

Schiff.jpg.da219a46d7ca005802af08f462b28945.jpg

History-

In 1913, Charles Schifferdecker donated 150 acres to the City of Joplin, Missouri for a park that would later include the Schifferdecker Municipal Golf Course. Established in 1922, the course has been enjoyed by some of the most recognizable names in golf including Ben Hogan, Walter Hagen, and Hale Irwin. Of particular interest to this forum topic, Schifferdecker Golf Course is also host to the Ozark Amateur (previously known as the Tri-State Amateur) – the oldest tournament west of the Mississippi River.

(Joplin Golf Foundation, 2019)

 

From the Website-

“Schifferdecker Golf Course is Joplin’s only public 18-hole course and offers an enjoyable experience for all golf skill levels.

Well-groomed greens, Bermuda fairways, and reasonable fees make Schifferdecker the most popular golf course in the area. Located on historic Route 66 at 7th Street and Schifferdecker Road, the par 71 course is open year-round and hosts many golf tournaments throughout the year.

A state-of-the-art golf simulator added in 2017, gives players a chance to play world renowned courses with the comfort and convenience of being indoors. The stocked pro shop has all your golfing necessities. You can also enjoy a drink and snack in our Clubhouse.”

(City of Joplin, 2019)

 

How It Plays Today-

At 6123 yards from the back tees with a USGA Rating of 67.4 and a Slope of 110, it’s clear this course was not intended to be the most difficult test of golf. It is however, a very friendly course with limited though strategically placed trouble.

#1 – Par 5, 497 Yards, Hcp 9-

 Depending on how you play it, the tee shot on No. 1 is quite possibly the most intimidating on the course with water in play to the right for all but the longest hitters. If you struggle with a right miss, your bail-out is all the way over to #18 fairway. In order to find the short grass off the box, you have to thread your shot between a large tree guarding the left side and water that juts out from the right. Only true bombers have the option of cutting the corner here, but most golfers will be seeking birdie on the opening hole.

#2 – Par 4, 417 Yards, Hcp 1-

The longest Par 4 on the course often plays even longer on days when the wind is blowing. I’ve personally hit into this green (this season) with everything from an 8-iron all the way up to my 3-hybrid. Solace can be found in the fact this hole is always in front of you with plenty of room to the far right for errant tee shots. The first of only nine bunkers can be found left of the green, but it’s small and rarely comes into play. Regardless, a par here is always a victory.

#3 – Par 5, 509 Yards, Hcp 15-

Quite possibly the straightest, and most definitely the longest hole at Schifferdecker, #3 is a very “gettable” hole with one major drawback – the entire right side is OB and adjacent to Route 66. Despite offering one of the most generous fairways on the course, car windshields tend to appear larger on this hole. For those seeking safety, the left side is your friend. Par is good, birdie is better, and eagle is possible.

#4 – Par 3, 173 Yards, Hcp 7-

There’s little at stake on the first Par 3, yet it still seems to create ire for many who play it. This hole always seems to play longer regardless of wind direction. Out-of-Bounds looms to the right and trees to the left often capture balls that fly too close. Bogies lurk, but expect to walk away with par or better.

#5 – Par 4, 381, Hcp 3-

Bending ever-so-slightly left, but can also be played as a straight hole, No. 5 doesn’t ask for much. However, miss left and you’ll likely have to contend with trees; miss right and you’ll have to carry over a greenside bunker. There’s also a bunker to the left of the green though few balls are unlucky enough to find it. Consider this is the unofficial beginning of the unofficially named birdie alley.

#6 – Par 4, 354 Yards, Hcp 17-

All but the shortest hitters will have short iron or wedge into this green. There are trees down the right and left, but plenty of room exists in-between for balls to find the fairway. A lonesome bunker along the right side of the green is the last you will encounter on the outward nine.

#7 – Par 4, 326 Yards, Hcp 11-

The second shortest Par 4 on the course may be reachable for some, but the small, raised green is unlikely to receive tee shots. For the rest of us mortals, a wedge into the green will likely be the play unless you miss left and have to play from the trees. The right side is open for all, but the most unfortunate.

#8 – Par 4, 353 Yards, Hcp 13-

A confident driver of the golf ball will hit over the first tree left of the fairway while less confident players will likely find the right rough, and those who really struggle may find some comfort in the idea they could possibly play their approach from a good lie on #9 tee. Whichever the case may be, the green is almost always reachable, but don’t miss long. The terrain quickly slopes down from the back of the green making recovery more difficult. Play this hole well, and par or birdie should always be expected.

#9 – Par 3, 192 Yards, Hcp 5-

Like #2, this already long hole often plays longer when the wind picks up. Depending on conditions, tee shots are achieved with long irons, hybrids, or fairway woods. Not that you could, but you don’t want to miss long on this hole as the return shot will play with the green sloping away from you. A GIR here will elevate you to “Hero” status amongst your golf buddies. Par is good, but birdie will help you claim that $2.00 Nassau.

#10 – Par 4, 352 Yards, Hcp 12-

Hitting from an elevated tee box, this hole almost always plays shorter than the scorecard yardage. Water left and OB right as well as trees on both sides can be intimidating for the faint of heart. However, there’s plenty of space in-between so breath deep and let ‘er rip! The two bunkers on the left and front-right of this hole hug the green more than others, but you needn’t fear them. With a short iron or wedge in hand, finding the green should be little trouble. This is as good a birdie opportunity as any.

#11 – Par 4, 400 Yards, Hcp 2-

The second longest Par 4 on the course offers plenty of fairway and room on both sides in spite of a few trees. The postage stamp green slopes severely back to front so approach shots should be placed below the cup. This may be the only hole on the course I’ve never birdied and that’s fine with me – as it should be with most golfers.

#12 – Par 3, 164 Yards, Hcp 8-

The first Par 3 on the back and second longest on the course plays downhill and is as straightforward as they come. Just don’t get suckered by a front pin location as you can easily pull a well struck shot back off the green. This is a good opportunity to make up for that three-jack on #11.

#13 – Par 4, 384 Yards, Hcp 4-

This hole moves right and cutting the corner is possible for a large number of golfers. Just be mindful if your miss is right – there are trees over there that will make getting up and down a monumental task. To further complicate things, any ball landing within the lower half of the green has the potential to roll off with too much zip. Control your spin and pray the hole is cut towards the back.

#14 – Par 4, 340 Yards, Hcp 6-

It almost doesn’t matter how good you are OB is always at play here. Tee shots starting right often continue that direction if the wind is blowing into you. When that happens, you run out of hole quick. Miss left and you’re likely to get stymied by the trees or find yourself lost in the tall native grasses adjacent to the hole. Use less club if you need to, but make sure to find the fairway and a par or birdie will remain within your grasp.

#15 – Par 3, 136 Yards, Hcp 14-

The shortest Par 3 requires trust as the tee box is located well below the putting surface with no indication of where the green begins and ends. There’s OB down the right side, but you shouldn’t worry about it given the length of the hole and occasional right to left wind that ensures your ball is in play. If you can hit your yardages, a birdie here is almost a given.

#16 – Par 4, 312 Yards, Hcp 18-

Following the shortest Par 3 is the Shortest Par 4. Now playing downhill and downwind, only the worst of the worst tee shots will leave you with more than a wedge in hand. This is the only hole on the course with a fairway bunker, but it’s so small it rarely comes into play. There’s plenty of room to miss right – left as well if you go beyond the trees. Walking away with par here almost always feels like a disappointment.

#17 – Par 4, 363 Yards, Hcp 10-

Moving uphill, to the left, and then back downhill, the only real trouble is located among the trees right and left. A well placed tee shot will follow the fairway and tumble down the slope leaving wedge in hand. The last two bunkers of the round are situated right and left, but they’re difficult to find. Fire away to the largest green on the course.

#18 – Par 5, 470 Yards, Hcp 16-

Again going uphill and then back down, this dogleg right Par 5 is the shortest of the three, but it requires a well-placed tee shot. The left side of the fairway offers flat surfaces and a better angle in. Find the right side of the fairway and you’ll be forced to try and shape a cut around a tree from a draw lie. The rough on either side is escapable, but it will require a legendary shot through the trees to reach in two. When you do hit your approach, you’ll be faced with another severe back-to-front sloping green that sits above the fairway on a pedestal. Missing short is your best option and missing long almost ensures your worst score of the day. Par or better is certainly possible, but so is double bogey.

Edited by TR1PTIK
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Good luck in your tournament, relax and have fun.

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Have a great time!!  The Spys at the MGS Pacific Northwest outing on July 13th in Spokane, WA will toast to your success.

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Played the family scramble this past weekend with my Dad. He only plays maybe a handful of times per year, but he had a pretty good day which was cool to see. I struggled a bit, and I'm racking my brain trying to figure out how to overcome this before the Ozark Am. Here's the deal, ball striking was pretty good and consistent all day, short game was fairly sharp, and putting met expectations.

Where I struggled was that almost everything (especially off the tee) was going right! It was hot and humid and my shirt was really sticking to me and constricting my movement which I think was the primary source of so many blocked shots. When I did manage to get the ball moving the other way, we birdied using only my ball (except for a right-to-left breaking short putt I gave my dad on one hole because I wanted a read).

The other issue I had (though probably not as big) is that I struggled with grip moisture a bit more than I am used to. I've been playing the GP Tour Velvet for some time and have never felt the club move around in my hands as much as I did on Saturday. I'm hoping I can just manage it with some extra towels, but it's really got me considering a switch to the Tour Velvet Cord... I have family in Louisiana and have played down there for the past 2 or 3 years without incident, but something (and maybe it's just mental) was different this weekend.

I've got an out-of-town round at a similar length and style of course this weekend. I'll also have a practice round at the tournament venue the day before it starts so hopefully I can find suitable solutions for both problems. If anyone has suggestions on shirt material or style to reduce how much it sticks to my body as well as some tips for moisture management with the grips, I'd appreciate it!

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More signs of promise, but just enough duffer showing through to keep me from cracking 80.... Shot 85 today with 2 penalty strokes, 3 double bogies, and two 3-putts.

The shot that caused me the most trouble was a flighty three-quarter/half-wedge between between 50 - 70 yards. My confidence is clearly lacking in this range and I tend to flip at the bottom.

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On 7/1/2019 at 8:03 AM, TR1PTIK said:

It was hot and humid and my shirt was really sticking to me and constricting my movement which I think was the primary source of so many blocked shots.

Time to get yourself some new shirts! Nothing like looking fresh on tournament day. 

 

On 7/1/2019 at 8:03 AM, TR1PTIK said:

The other issue I had (though probably not as big) is that I struggled with grip moisture a bit more than I am used to. I've been playing the GP Tour Velvet for some time and have never felt the club move around in my hands as much as I did on Saturday. I'm hoping I can just manage it with some extra towels, but it's really got me considering a switch to the Tour Velvet Cord... 

I play the cords for this very reason. They seem to get better when it's humid and the hands are sweaty. If you make the switch, make sure you give yourself time to get accustomed before the event because it's quite a different feel. 

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy STUDque said:

Time to get yourself some new shirts! Nothing like looking fresh on tournament day. 

I like the way you think!!!

1 hour ago, GolfSpy STUDque said:

I play the cords for this very reason. They seem to get better when it's humid and the hands are sweaty. If you make the switch, make sure you give yourself time to get accustomed before the event because it's quite a different feel.

I used to play cords so I know what you mean and that’s the only thing that’s kept me from switching. Took some extra towels to the course yesterday and was able to manage it okay. I may not pull the trigger soon, but my next re-grip will likely be cords.

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Posted (edited)

A quick little practice 9 at an executive course in the heat of the afternoon today. Didn't keep score or anything as I was hitting multiple balls at times, but I was able to work on that shot that had me so messed up on Friday. I also nearly aced #2! Kinda glad I didn't though since it wasn't a scoring round and I didn't have any witnesses - always fun to watch though. 🙂 

There wasn't a shot I hit today that didn't come off the club the way I wanted it to in terms of how it felt at impact or the trajectory. Direction was a little off though so I'll need to pay attention to that. Some of it was simply alignment and some of it was just me pulling across the body a little bit. I also discovered a new line on #7 at this course today so that was pretty cool and has me wondering if I should re-evaluate some holes at Schifferdecker when I play my practice round Friday.

Edited by TR1PTIK
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It's almost here! Going out early tomorrow for a practice round. I plan to mostly play a normal round, but may hit an extra ball or two in places to look at different angles and distances - taking 3 wood on #1, #10, & #14 for example. I'm not sure if they'll have the greens at tournament speed that early in the day tomorrow, but hopefully they do because I know they are going to be QUICK. The only real defense that course has is the size and speed of those greens - they can let the rough grow up too, but it's pretty easy to hit out of in most places on the course.

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Good luck dude! Don't go too low in your practice round 😛

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On 7/11/2019 at 4:42 PM, GolfSpy STUDque said:

Good luck dude! Don't go too low in your practice round 😛

Funny you say that... LOL. I didn't really go "too" low in my practice round, but clearly what I did didn't seem to help. Shot 82 in my practice round, 82 on Saturday and 85 on Sunday. My putter was absolutely cold all weekend - like I couldn't even find the center of the club face... 😞 

I'll post a complete breakdown shortly - typing it up in MS Word at the moment.

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Posted (edited)

Friday - Practice Round (played 2 balls on select shots, but only scored my first ball):

FYI, my memory of the practice round is a little fuzzy simply because I chatted quite a bit and (TBH) it was three days ago lol.

Got out at 7:30 with a friend (he didn't play the tournament, but it's his home course and he plays there A LOT).

HOLE #1 Par 5 – High draw just past the corner with driver. Hit up to just in front of the green with my hybrid, chipped on, and an easy two-putt for par.

HOLE #2 Par 4 – Hit a large cut that landed just right of the cart path under a tree requiring a bump-and-run with my 4 iron. I wound up hooking my shot across the fairway and into the rough just left of the greenside bunker. Pitched on and two-putt for bogey.

HOLE #3 Par 5 – Hit another large cut coupled with a bit of a push and sent the first ball OB 😞… Re-teed and sent the next ball down the right side as well, but in play just barely into the rough. Despite the fact I was now laying 3, I opted to take my medicine and layup. With only 100 yards in it should have been easy to close out the hole, but I opened the face and sent the ball short and right. Chip on, and two-putt for a triple-bogey eight…

HOLE #4 Par 3 – After shaking off what just happened, I took a mid-iron and stuffed my tee shot to within a few feet. Sunk the birdie putt to reclaim a stroke and moved on. 🙂 

HOLE #5 Par 4 – Driver to the middle of the fairway. With 107 to the middle of the green I took my 50-degree wedge (normally good for 110-113) and proceeded to flush it over the green – ugh… Chip back on and two-putt for bogey.

HOLE #6 Par 4 – Driver again to the left rough with only 80 yards in. I hit a perfect three-quarter wedge that landed and rolled out to within a few feet to help me snag another birdie.

HOLE #7 Par 4 – Driver up the right which caught the cart path and then must have hit a tree limb as sitting around the same distance from the green that I’m accustomed to. I grabbed my 54-degree and pitched into the side of the raised green allowing the ball to tumble over and within just a few feet. Unfortunately, the short, breaking putt just missed, and I had to settle for par.

HOLE #8 Par 4 – I’m struggling to remember now what happened on this hole (using my scorecard to fill in the blanks). I think I went well left with driver, hit wedge over some trees and bounced off the green. Chip back on and three-putt for a double-bogey six.

HOLE #9 Par 3 – Took a long iron and just barely came up short. Chipped on, and then holed the putt for par.

Front 9 Score – 41 (+5)

 HOLE #10 Par 4 – Driver up the middle, an approach that came up short, and a good pitch to get me close, gave me a par.

HOLE #11 Par 4 – I hit a horrendous tee shot short and left with Driver. Despite playing from behind a small tree, I had a few options. However, I elected to hit a full lob wedge to set me up in the middle of the fairway with only 100 yards in. I don’t recall exactly how or where, but I missed the green and had to chip on. Another three-putt sealed my fate for a double-bogey six.

HOLE #12 Par 3 – Caught it fat with either a 9-iron or PW. Chip on and two-putt for bogey.

HOLE #13 Par 4 – Driver just barely through the fairway and into the left rough about 100 yards out. My approach with the wedge missed. Chip on and two-putt for bogey. (See a theme here?)

HOLE #14 Par 4 – Elected to hit 3-Wood with OB lurking right if you push it even a little. Found the right rough and hit a great shot just over the flag stick onto the back fringe. Two strokes of the putter later, I was in for par.

HOLE #15 Par 3 – Hit a wedge and came up just short. Chip on, and a two-putt. Bogey.

HOLE #16 Par 4 – Driver to the left side of the fairway, but once again my memory is hazy. I’m not sure what happened, but I wound up missing the green from short range. Once I found the putting surface, I two-putted for bogey.

HOLE #17 Par 4 – Driver up the right and into the rough. Found the green with my approach and drained a 10-footer for birdie.

HOLE #18 Par 5 – Driver down the right edge of the fairway, found the cart path and finished on the left side just 125 yards out. Pushed my PW just a little and got a bad bounce to the right of the green. Chipped back on, and proceeded to three-putt for bogey to close out my round.

Back 9 Score – 41 (+6) Total – 82 (+11)

Edited by TR1PTIK
Fixed emoji

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Posted (edited)

Saturday – Round 1:

So the tournament played out a little differently than I originally thought. On Saturday everyone played from the same set of tees which were placed to create a sort of mixed tee setup. Flights were then broken up after the first day with a total of seven flights. The top three flights would play Sunday’s round from the back tees and the bottom four would play from the middle tees. Payouts went to the top 5 spots in each flight.

#1 – With the tees WAAAAYYYY forward and left, there was really only one option for me. After watching several players hit driver into the trees on the left because they didn’t have the height to carry. I took 3-Wood up the right and just barely into the rough – two in group decided to play with the trees and it cost them dearly. With somewhere in the neighborhood of 220 yards to the front of the green, I pulled hybrid and found the putting surface right below the hole. Two putts later and I was off with a birdie and ready to light it up.

#2 – Hit a cut up the right again and found fairway thanks to a nearby tree. I pulled mid-iron left to almost the exact spot I played from in my practice round. I pitched on and hit exactly where I wanted to, but the ball kicked forward and just kept rolling. Here’ s where things get interesting (and extremely frustrating). To keep the greens from baking out and becoming unplayable, the course super was out watering the greens just a hole or two ahead of us. This left #2 green playing a bit slower than what I had experienced on Friday (a trend that would continue until #8). I left my first putt well short of the hole and burned the edge with the next one. I repeated this mistake one more time and in a moment of frustration, forgetfulness, and complete and utter stupidity, I took two more swipes at the ball before it found the hole. Lesson learned with a quadruple-bogey eight.

#3 – After taking several deep breaths to recoup from what just happened, I piped driver down the middle. In theory, the green was reachable, but I elected to stay patient and bunted a hybrid up the middle. Though I was on in regulation, I was well short of the hole and left another long putt well short – two more to wrap it up with a bogey.

#4 – Still seething, I took a few more deep breaths before teeing off on the par 3. I stuffed it! A one-putt birdie allowed me to reclaim a stroke from the last two holes.

#5 – Driver up the left side of the fairway and in prime position to get myself back on track. I hit 8-Iron, but missed by just a fraction. Chip on and two-putt for bogey.

#6 – Driver down the fairway with a similar yardage to what I had the day before. I got on with wedge and in for par with two putts.

#7 – Drive down the middle and a short pitch on to place myself below the hole. Another two-putt par.

#8 - Driver to the left again, but not as bad. Managed to get myself on in two and then two-putt for my third consecutive par.

#9 – I don’t recall what club I hit on day 1, but I know I came up short again. I pitched up and two-putted for bogey.

Front 9 Score – 42 (+5)

#10 – Piped driver down the middle and nailed the approach. Two putts for par.

#11 – Driver to the left side of the fairway. Approach missed right where I flubbed the first chip, and got the second attempt close enough to one-putt for bogey.

#12 – Pulled my tee shot long and left. Messed up another chip, but made a terrific lag that helped me get in for bogey.

#13 – Hit driver to a spot similar to Friday’s practice round, found the green with my wedge, proceeded to three-putt for bogey again.

#14 – I believe I hit 3-Wood here again and either found fairway or just barely into the right rough. Whatever happened, I came up short with wedge, but got up and down for par.

#15 – Came up short again on the par 3, but I hit a brilliant pitch to tap-in distance and saved par.

#16 – Left side of the fairway again on the short par 4. Found the false front with my approach and it rolled back down the bottom of the raised green. The next shot rolled through the green and I finally got on with the next shot. Two-putt double-bogey six.

#17 – Driver found the trees along the right side of the fairway, but they were kind enough to spit the ball out into the short grass. Hit it hole high and about 15-feet away to two-putt for par.

#18 – Hit a good drive into the fairway and got on in regulation with my third shot. Two more putts to close out with one last par.

Back 9 Score – 40 (+5) Total – 82 (+11)

Edited by TR1PTIK
typos

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Sunday – Round 2:

My play on Saturday got me into the 4th Flight two-strokes behind the flight leaders. I didn’t have high expectations of getting in the money (several good players really struggled on Saturday, and other guys simply sandbagged). I really wanted to earn my way into one of the top three flights, but I’m kind of glad I didn’t after seeing the tee boxes on Sunday. I got to leverage my long game strengths from the middle tees (which would turn out to be not such a good thing).

#1 – The tee was setup at the same yardage as the previous day. However, they moved it to the right which meant bombing driver over the corner was child’s play! With only 8-Iron in on a par 5, I thought this would be a great chance to fire back at Saturday’s round. The number was perfect for a stock 8-Iron and I absolutely flushed it. The ball never left the flag and I was practically foaming at the mouth from the sight. That all ended abruptly though when my ball waved at the flag as it flew by, caught the back side of the green, and bounded a good 20 yards past and under a tree…. 😞 I tried to play a low pitch back, but it was just a smidge too high, hit a tree-limb and dropped short of the green. I flubbed my next chip and putted from the fringe. Two more strokes would get me in for double-bogey. OUCH!!! Having learned my lesson from the day before and generally being more comfortable and relaxed after playing one tournament round already, I shook it off and prepared for #2.

#2 – After two days of hitting big cuts into the tree line, I hooked this one well left and into the rough between holes 2 and 8. From a thick lie, I mustered a 4-Iron up and just short of the green. I hit an okay pitch, but it went past the hole, caught a slope, and rolled off. I used my putter to get back on and finished up with one more stroke for bogey.

#3 – Pushed driver right of my intended line, and only just missed the fairway. I was within striking distance, but with a slow wait for the group ahead, I decided to take iron and layup. I didn’t want to get cold and hit some monstrosity of a shot. My plan seemed to work well until I had to putt – took three of them to get in for bogey.

#4 – For the first time in a long time, I came up short on this par 3. I chipped up okay, but missed the par save, and settled for another bogey.

#5 – Driver down the right and trickling into the rough. I had a good yardage in, but had to play over a bunker. I lined up left to stay away from trouble, but a crossing wind pushed it into the bunker anyway. I hit a great shot out that landed hole high and stopped quick. I still needed to make a putt though, and it simply wasn’t meant to be… Bogey.

#6 – Driver high and right just between the fairway and the trees. There was a little concern about some limbs, but I managed to get the ball up quick enough to clear. The ball landed nearly hole high, but had so much spin on it I sucked it right off the perfectly flat green… I used the putter to lag it close from the fringe and then once more for my first par of the day.

#7 – Best hole of the round (possibly the tournament). I flushed a three wood right down the middle just a few yards short of the green, then pitched to 1-foot for an easy birdie.

#8 – Another shot up the left side, this time into the trees. I thought I’d have an opening, but I was too close to a tree in front and had to play under it. The ball took off left of where I wanted, but played out exactly like I wanted otherwise. I had a dauntingly long, downhill putt to the hole and fully expected to three-putt. Somehow I nailed the line and almost perfected the pace to put it within 2-feet saving par.

#9 – Any other day and the 6-Iron I pulled would have been enough for a GIR. However, the wind was blowing into and across causing the ball to rise up quickly and fall well short of the green. I hit an okay pitch, but it carried a little too far and rolled out to the top of the green. Now putting downhill and breaking left-to-right, I had to be careful to not inflict more damage than what was necessary. I did my job well enough and walked away with bogey.

Front 9 Score – 42 (+6)

#10 – Piped 3-Wood past all my playing partners who elected for lesser club. It was an easy pitch in, but I was worried about the slope taking my ball too far to the left and rolling off. I over compensated and put it hole high, but a good 20+ feet away. A good lag putt and a tap-in gave me par.

#11 – Pulled driver well left and stymied myself behind a tree. I intended to hit lob wedge well left of the green to avoid tree trouble. Instead, I left the face slightly open through impact causing the ball to take off right. Fortunately, doing so added enough loft for me to clear the tree and land in front of the green. I hit my pitch on exactly how I wanted, but the ball just rolled right on past the hole leaving and delicate downhill, right-to-left putt. To say I was afraid of rolling the ball clear off the green would be an understatement. I barely blew on it with the putter and managed to stop it right next to the hole. One more tap, and I was in with a bogey.

#12 – I hit a great shot here. With PW in hand, I sent the ball right over the top of the flagstick and stuck it within 10-feet. I missed the birdie putt and settled for par.

#13 – I thought I hit another great tee shot here. The ball started exactly where I wanted it to and was bending ever-so-slightly with the hole, but the wind must have stood it up just enough. My ball never found the fairway… Once again looking at potential issues with tree limbs and wanting to go left, I pushed it right. This time the ball got snagged and came directly underneath a tree just in front and to the right of the green. I hit a good chip up, but it was only good enough for me to two-putt for bogey.

#14 – The theme of right misses would continue at the worst possible time. I sailed the ball well right of the hole and OB with a hybrid in my hands. I took my penalty and hit the same club right up the fairway. Again going into the wind, I took more club, and even played a lower trajectory, but it still wasn’t enough. I landed short and opted for putter again. After all the dust settled, I limped away from the wreckage with a triple-bogey.

#15 – Having come up short on so many shots and with the wind still hurting, I took extra club and this time sailed it long… I hit another good chip (at least I thought) that nearly went into the hole, but instead bounced through the left side of the cup and rolled some 10-feet past. I made a good putt to save par.

#16 – Driver up the left side of the fairway. With very little distance between myself and the green, I flipped my wrists through impact and scooted the ball along the ground and through the green. Now I was short-sided, but managed to hit an okay chip up. Two-putt bogey.

#17 – Hit the perfect drive!!! The ball was on a great trajectory and following the shape of the hole, I thought for sure I’d get plenty of roll and have a short pitch in. Instead I was rewarded with my ball lying in a sand-filled divot. I only had about 70 yards left and knew I could hit the shot (I’ve never let a divot bother me before). I hit it crisp, but squirted it a little right. I stopped hole high on the collar of the rough. I used putter to get through the fringe, but overestimated how much force to put behind the ball. I passed the hole by a solid 5-feet. A few deep breaths and I stroked the comebacker on good line. I started to walk it in and then froze in terror as it looped around the cup 360-degrees before popping out. Bogey.

#18 – At this point, I was just hoping not to add anymore strokes and if I were lucky enough to eagle, I could even tie the previous day’s score. I hit a good drive up the right side – on a similar line to my practice round – but it found the rough. Stymied by a tree, my only option was to pitch out to the fairway. I hooked it a little and wound up on the cart path. I took my relief and had about 60 yards left. I hit up to the green, but left myself above the hole with a speedy putt downhill. The ball rolled well past, and I missed the putt coming back just on the edge. Tap-in bogey to close out my first strokeplay tournament.

Back 9 Score – 43 (+8) Total – 85 (+14)

 

While I didn’t really meet any of my goals, I still had a great time. I got to play with some new people, and play from a variety of tee boxes and a variety of pins that I’m not used to seeing on this golf course. Obviously, GIR and hole proximity are things to work on, but the putter really let me down. I’m not sure what I was doing differently, but I could not find the middle of the putter face and that’s not normally an issue. I struggled to hole several putts inside of 6’ and only managed 2(?) putts outside of that range when I’m normally good for more than that. Oh well, such is golf. I was pretty pleased with my ball striking all weekend, and just got unlucky in a few areas. My short game on Sunday was questionable, but also an anomaly compared to more recent rounds. I hope to do this again next year and play much better. 🙂 

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