Third Round Down

Sunday was Cinco de Mayo…but it also felt like Sinko de Putt-o for me!

I played a round with friends at a course that none of us had played before. Usually when I play a new course, I tend not to keep score on the front 9, just to get a feel for how the greens roll and the basic layout of the course.

I surprised myself by making par on the first two holes, especially since my first shot on Hole 1 was pretty much dead left and left me having to hit over some incredibly tall trees. I smoked a 8 iron just shy of the green, only barely making through the uppermost branches of the trees, then chipped on from about 5 yards shy of the fringe and rolled in the par putt. Not a bad start considering the position that I had put myself in to begin with.

The real nightmare happened a few holes later. We were playing from the tips, which is only about 6,500 yards on this par 72. Hole 5 is a Par 3 with water surrounding the green to about 3/4 of the way back. We had weather here, and the sky had turned black and the wind was coming directly in our faces around 10-15 mph. The hole is 151 yards and with the rangefinder, I clocked the pin at 151.5 yards away.

Ball one: hook left

Ball two: wind caught it and blew it right.

Ball three: 8 iron, punched into the wind that flew and landed four and a half feet from the pin. Had it rolled forward, it probably would’ve went in for the quad-bogey-in-one ever.

Later on though, when I finally got my irons back under control, I stuck some really great shots.

My favorite was hole 17. Par 4, 401 yards.

I hit hybrid off the tee. The hole is a dogleg left with water guarding the front right and right side of the green. I didn’t hit the hybrid so well, and it left me with 191 yards to the pin which was front right and only a three yards on the green. This was a difficult shot, especially since the wind was still up, still right into our faces.

I pulled 5 iron figuring that if I tried to punch it, it would probably cut through the wind pretty well. I hit it so far off the toe, I wasn’t even sure that the club touched the ball. Somehow that produced a gentle baby draw that landed right where I wanted it to land, which was on the green. I was about 18 feet to the left of the pin, just a few inches off the fringe. I two putted for par and walked away happy.

All in all, a very good round in my book. Putting seems to be coming together a little better, though I am tempted to try a different putter again. I am also considering some additional tweaks to my clubs. The hybrid I have now seems to be the right head, just the wrong shaft. It kicks at the wrong point in the swing, so I will be looking into that. I also love the Grenade driver and 3-wood heads, but I am not a huge fan on the shafts, so I have to think about that too.

Until the next round!

The Masters 2019

I think its safe to say that we ALL were shocked watching Tiger do what he did Sunday at The Masters!

The Masters is my favorite tournament, followed closely by Pebble Beach and most of that is because of the courses themselves. Augusta National is a bear, although this year it seemed to be a little bit nicer than I recall. (Don’t trust my memory though, it has been known to be full of holes)

The most interesting this about this entire tournament was Tiger’s demeanor.

He was playing the “Elder Statesman” perfectly. He maintained his composure, made good club choices and was playing into his strengths. The Coach said it on his site: (paraphrased of course) Tiger has pretty much accepted that he doesn’t bomb it past everyone, so he’s gone to what weapons he does have. The Irons.

Tiger stuck some really good approach shots, He seems to have grasped the idea that it isnt about how far you hit it. If I were in his shoes and not wanting to switch to a Classic Golf swing, I’d refrain from pulling driver when possible. Also, I’d avoid any situation where you absolutely HAVE to kill the ball to get into a good position. He still hits it further than a lot of guys, he just needs to learn that he doesn’t have to be 20-50 yards further down. When he fully accepts that, he will start crushing the fields again. So far his back has held up, so that is a good thing. One can only hope that it still holds itself together while he adjusts to playing this new version of his game.

On the home front, golf is getting better.

I’ve been working on my putting stroke a little more. I have a bunch of different putters of varying lengths that I am known to circulate frequently. I typically carry two with me to every round I play to try to determine which is best for me. I think that the one I am using now is working well, but I may be cutting it down a little bit.

Outside of that, I am looking forward to hitting the course again to see how things are coming together. Now that its getting warmer, I have to wait for all the crazy Spring thunderstorms and such to pass!

The Journey Begins

The beginning is a good place to start, I should think, and that’s precisely where we are going to begin this journey.

I welcome you all to The Joy of Putting and hope that you will find something of interest to keep you coming back.

The easiest way to begin would be to tell you why I’m evening starting this journey. That’s an easy one. It’s because I really do enjoy the game of golf and I want to play the best that I am capable of just for my enjoyment. There’s something to maximizing one’s skill at something in the pursuit of utmost enjoyment. Or more simply: The better I play, the more I want to play.

I do have some goals along the way, of course. No blog would be complete without a solid purpose that defines it. I do have the ultimate goal of trying (and hopefully succeeding) in qualifying for a Tour or a PGA Tour event at some point. I also want to play and win some local tournaments. I would love to find a way to play my way onto the Champions Tour later in life…and I think 18 more years of practice should give me plenty of time to prepare.

Still, I appreciate you taking the time to join me on the journey and look forward to really diving in!