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I'm heading back to Missouri for the Ozark Amateur this July! 

It's been 4 years since I first played this tournament and my game has come so far from then (even if scores don't necessarily show it). I've got more distance, more shots in my toolkit, and I've really been rounding into form as of late. With just shy of 2 months to prepare, I'm expecting to do much better than I did back in 2019.

For those interested, here's the thread I created for the 2019 tournament:

In it, you'll find a fun little course preview I typed up and the full breakdown of my practice round and 2 tournament rounds.

 

It will be extremely interesting to go back home and play this course. I've spent the last 3.5 years playing much more difficult courses in Texas and learning how to hit a variety of different shots. I'd like to think I should do really well being back on bentgrass greens, but we really won't know until July.

Just like last time, I'll use this thread to post about my preparation for the tournament and provide a full recap after it's all over. I'll be playing the first round with a longtime friend who lives up in Kansas City. 

Driver: :mizuno-small: ST190 9.5* Fujikura Atmos Blue 5S
Fairway Wood: :mizuno-small: ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hybrid: :mizuno-small: CLK 17* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: :bridgestone-small: J40 CB (3-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: :taylormade-small: Milled Grind 2 54* & 58* Dynamic Gold S200
Putter: :odyssey-small: Tri-Hot 5k Two 34"
Bag: :titleist-small: Players 5 Stand Bag
Ball: Maxfli Tour

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I've got all of 2 rounds recorded since firing up this thread and they were two of the worst feeling rounds at 85 & 84 which to me is saying something - that I can feel SO bad about two scores in the mid-80's when I was struggling with break-90 scores at this point last season. 

Those two rounds were rife with missed opportunities and poor shots so I'm thinking my round later this morning will be a great opportunity to try and right some of those wrongs.

The stats:

  • 32% Fairways (only 1 fairway on the first round which is the worst I've put up all season)
  • 32% DOA - These are tee shots that gave me chance for a GIR. I either put the ball in a bad spot I had to recover from or I racked up penalties.
  • 39% GIR (again, hurt by my performance in the first round)
  • 6 3-putts 😞 I could argue that my previous round playing with my 5-yr old son and trying to race him to get in the hole caused some of this, but most were 100% me so no excuses really. I've got to get the first putt closer to the hole.
  • 1.83 Putting Average. Given the number of 3-putts, this is actually pretty good. It means I'm making a lot of 1-putts and have a good ceiling (so-to-speak). The actual breakdown is 12 1-putts (33%), 18 2-putts (50%), and 6 3-putts (17%).

Observations:

  • Tee Shots: Struggling to get to my left side on full shots - especially off the tee which has led to a lot of right misses. This is where the bulk of my DOA results have come from so getting this fixed ASAP is vital.
  • Approaches: A lot of right misses into greens as well so likely looking at getting to my left side. I should also consider adjusting targets for both tee shots and approaches. The good news is that I'm not coming up short very often.
  • Putting: I think a lot of this boils down to intentionality and pressure. I started the first round with 4 1-putts and missed a birdie try from about 3ft on the 5th hole - in part because I put so much pressure on myself to make it and tried to steer the putter. This type of thinking seems to be the primary reason for all my 3-putts; I'm placing so much importance on trying to do or not do something that I basically will the ball out of the hole. I think the key here is to just pick good targets and react to those in a more natural, athletic manner than to place too much emphasis on score.

Something else I've been thinking about quite a bit... I watched the NLU Playing Lessons w/ Justin Hueber series and there was something Justin said to Soly about practice swings that I really need to take to heart. I don't (very often) make practice swings and when I do I am not intentional with them. I don't really try to rehearse the shot I'm about to hit as much as I just swing the club to keep my body loose. I think this needs to change. I think I need to always take at least one practice swing AND try to be intentional with it.

All that said, these are my goals for today:

  • Get to the left side.
  • Adjust targets.
  • Focus on and react to targets, not score.
  • Make intentional practice swings.

That's it. Four things to keep in mind during today's round and let the rest fall into place. I'll report back later to let you know how it went!

Driver: :mizuno-small: ST190 9.5* Fujikura Atmos Blue 5S
Fairway Wood: :mizuno-small: ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hybrid: :mizuno-small: CLK 17* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: :bridgestone-small: J40 CB (3-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: :taylormade-small: Milled Grind 2 54* & 58* Dynamic Gold S200
Putter: :odyssey-small: Tri-Hot 5k Two 34"
Bag: :titleist-small: Players 5 Stand Bag
Ball: Maxfli Tour

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