A nice warm slice of humble pie
Possibly the absolutely worst start in my golfing career....
Course: Battlefield Golf Course
Date: September 14, 2021
Time: 8:00 AM
Conditions: 70* & foggy, giving way to partly sunny.
Ping G425 LST 9* (turned to 8*) with Diamana D+ 60X
Ping G400 Stretch 3W 13* (turned to 12.5*) with Diamana D+ 70X
Taylormade SIM Max 5W 18* with Mitsubishi HZRDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5
Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal 4-PW with KBS CTaper 130X + 3/4*; 2* Upright
Mizuno MP T20 50, 54, 58 Wedges with DG Tour Issue S400
Odyssey Toulon Las Vegas H7 36”
I wasn’t sure I was going to play in this week’s blitz after playing Monday morning, but I got a TON done at work yesterday and had a meeting canceled for this morning, so I knew I could play and still be at my desk by lunch. I was excited because I shot 83 last week despite hitting it REALLY poorly off the tee, particularly on par 3 holes, so I felt like I had a good chance to go low if I could drive it well again.
Buckle up because these first few holes are bumpy. Walking off the 5th I remember thinking, I may never be able to come back here and show my face again. This is absolutely embarrassing! I got it slightly back on the rails, but definitely had my C-game today at best. Without any further introduction…let’s get to it!
We played much further back today, and the wind was into us, but I hit this drive fairly well and ended up just right of the fairway bunker. I couldn’t get home in two so decided to pop a little 4i up the left and give myself a good angle into the green with a wedge. Out of the rough, it came out kind of low and hot, and I was closer to the trouble left than I thought I would be. Luckily I still had a short wedge to the green, and hit a decent shot to about 18 feet. Unfortunately, the first putt slid by and just kept going, and the comebacker lipped out. 3 putt bogey start on a 100% birdie hole par 5. Kind of like a punch in the mouth. I was just getting warmed up…
Score: +1 (+1)
Again, the tees were way back and you could see even less of the fairway so I decided not to hit driver here. After blocking one right on #1, I didn’t want to take a chance with the trouble right on this hole so I decided on 3w. I teed it too low, or lifted my head, or something, but either way, I topped the ball directly into the crap in front of the tee box. Now I was reeling. I had to take a drop at the front of the box and I annihilated a 5w right down the middle…2nd guy is always SO MUCH better! I tugged my 9i from the fairway and got a bad bounce left off the slope near the green. I rushed the next shot and it checked up in the rough. One more chip to about 4 feet and I was in for TRIPLE. Yikes.
Score: +3 (+4)
No other way to say it. Duck hooked this ball dead left into the water. It never had a chance. I was just getting so quick in transition and coming hard across it. That tends to be my miss when I get in trouble, but after the first two holes, this was almost a knockout blow. I took my drop and punched a 5i out and around the trees. It didn’t run out as far as I wanted and I still had about 40 yards in. The pitch was less than ideal and settled on the fringe. I chipped it close and tapped in for double. Almost hittin for the cycle at this point. Unbelievable.
Score: +2 (+6)
I came to this tee box 1 under a week ago, and today I stood on the 4th tee box at SIX OVER PAR! I could hardly see straight, which apparently affected my depth perception, because I hit the ground a solid 4 inches behind the ball with this 9 iron and it splashed about a yard away from the back edge of the pond in front of the green. Are we serious?? I took my drop back left of the green in the drop zone, hit an ok pitch, and cleaned up the 7 footer for bogey, but holy smokes. Seven over after 4, and only 2 points in the coffer for Stableford.
Score: +1 (+7)
I didn’t hit a great drive here, but it came out low and slid right on me a little bit, ending up in the far right corner of the fairway. Not my typical long, high bomb, but a tee shot that landed on grass felt like exactly what I needed at this point following the trainwreck on holes 2, 3, 4. From where I stood, it was an intimidating 2nd shot with water right and anything to the right sloping down toward the trouble. I hit what I thought was a great 9 iron to the left edge of the green, but it flew the slope. I drove up expecting to hit a chip back over the slope and onto the green….instead, the ball was gone, having run down the slope into the long grass. We couldn’t find it. ANOTHER penalty. I hit an ok wedge and then took two putts to get down from 23 feet.
Like I said in the intro, I walked off the green thinking to myself “I can’t come back and play in this blitz again. I’m embarrassed to even look these guys in the face.”
Score: +2 (+9)
This is my least favorite hole on the course. I hate it…..and I usually feel that way when I get to this hole like level par or a couple over. Being 9 over and standing on this tee box was exactly what I did not need. I wasn’t going anywhere near the water right and getting another penalty, so I came over this one and smothered it a lot left.
It’s never a good thing when you have to pull out the range finder for your 2nd shot on a par 3…
I lofted an 80 yard wedge that landed hole high and released just into the fringe. I was staring bogey in the face, but hit a great putt from the fringe that never left the cup and settled in for a very unlikely par. Would this be the one that got us going back in the right direction?
Score: E (+9)
Standing on this tee, I wanted to hit driver, but I knew it wasn’t the play. Instead, I hit a perfect 5 wood to the middle of the fairway. It was a tour quality shot….this freaking game! How can that shot come from the same guy who was 9 over par through 6 holes?? Makes no sense.
I hit a great wedge from the middle of the fairway to 10 feet, and buried it right in the middle for a birdie. Here we go. Maybe we’ve got a shot to get back on track here.
Score: -1 (+8)
I busted a good drive here that cut just a little bit into the rough, but I finally felt like myself with the driver in my hand here, and gave myself a good chance to score. Another solid wedge from the fairway left me 45 feet after it settled, and I just missed the birdie putt. Short one for par dropped and we finally had momentum back on our side.
Score: E (+8)
I crushed this drive into the wind. It cut just off the bunker on the right and settled in the rough, leaving me the same angle over the bunker that I’ve had my last couple times out at Battlefield. I stood over the ball with sand wedge in hand and determined not to go in the sand again, but I misjudged the wind and it just killed this shot, which fell right into the bunker. I had a decent lie and was slightly on the upslope, and I hit a great bunker shot, splashing out to 15 feet. The par putt missed on the high edge and I tapped in for bogey. Wasted chance for par there, but we’re at least back on decent ground.
Score: +1 (+9)
Finally feeling like I had a grasp on this round, I blasted another drive here right down the middle uphill into the wind. I had PW in hand here and just never felt fully comfortable over the ball and it leaked a little right, finishing in the edge of the greenside bunker. I hit a great bunker shot to 15 feet, but left the par putt just short, eventually tapping in for bogey. Another wasted drive. Approach game continues to hurt me.
Score: +1 (+10)
The tees were much further back on this hole today, and the wind was swirling a bit. I took 6i wanting to smooth a shot here since I tried to rip an iron here last week and blocked it right off the planet. I hit it great, and it flew high just over the flag, but the wind took it and it landed on fringe at the back of the green 75 feet away. I hit a PW down to about 8 feet, and took 2 putts to get down from there for another bogey. Happy to have hit a decent shot, but 75 feet away isn’t doin anybody any favors.
Score: +1 (+11)
These tees present a much more intimidating shot than when we were playing them forward last week. I didn’t know which line to aim on, and you can’t really see the water from the tee because they’ve planted a bunch of trees in front of the water. I aimed left to be sure I didn’t splash one, but instead I hit it into the long grass left of the fairway, and we never found it. I was hydrophobic again here, so I tugged my 7i left of the green which left me a horrible shot off the hill down toward a green running away from me down toward the water. I hit a decent chip that died on the fringe. I took putter from the fringe and knocked it fairly close, eventually hitting a 10 footer for double. Penalty strokes as far as the eye can see today….so much for double bogey avoidance!
Score: +2 (+13)
I hit a decent shot here that landed just on the back fringe of the green. The wind took it long and I left myself a 50-foot putt for birdie. I hit a terrible putt, running it down the slope and 15 feet past the pin and off the green onto the fringe. I didn’t hit a great chip, and took 2 more putts from 18 feet to get in for double. Not a terrible tee ball, but a really bad lag putt. Haven’t had one like that in a while. Rough.
Score: +2 (+15)
This could have been where the round went back off the rails. I pushed this drive too far right and into the wind, it just kept moving further right. I thought I was dead, but one of my playing partners was determined to find my ball, and God bless him, he did! I punched out of the long grass, hit a decent 5i to the valley to the right of the green, and was relieved to have not sacrificed another penalty stroke to the golf gods. I had a really touchy short-sided chip from down below the green and it came out a little hot. It took me two putts to get down, and I made bogey, but after thinking I was lost off the tee, bogey was a welcomed outcome!
Score: +1 (+16)
Shot of the day here…tees were back where they should be and I had 278 to the stick from the blue tees. Driver could be too much, but 3 wood could be perfect if well-struck. I picked a line just right of the greenside bunker and absolutely flushed this 3W high and straight, landing on the right edge of the green about pin high. I thought I’d hit the eagle putt, but it just slid by and I tapped in the birdie putt. I’ll probably win a skin for this one. With the wind it’s just a tough hole and there are trees that you have to carry along the cart path now. This one felt good and reminded me that I am a decent golfer despite some of the morning’s shenanigans.
Score: -1 (+15)
The wind was up and the tees were back here. I was going to hit 6i, but the old timer in our group talked me into 7i, saying he thought 6 would put me in the back bunker. I didn’t hit a great iron shot, but the wind carried me green high and he was exactly right. I hit a decent pitch from right of the green that trickled to about 12 feet, and I rolled it right into the middle of the cup for a par.
Score: E (+15)
Huge tee ball here. Into the wind, I blistered this 313 and had 7i into the green on the par 5. After planting a golf ball in the soybeans right last week, this was a great drive. I had 7i into the green and flushed it just a bit left, but it landed pin high just a few yards left of the green. I pitched the ball to about 15 feet, and had a good look at birdie. I trickled the putt down the slope right at the cup and thought it would turn in, but it stopped right next to the hole, about an inch away, where I tapped in for par. This is what golf should look and feel like. I don’t know what that mess earlier was.
Score: E (+15)
Another bashed drive here. This hole plays long with the wind, but I was finally back to hitting it out of the middle of the club, and carried this one a long way up the right hand side of the hole. I had a short wedge in, but the wind was swirling again by the time I stood over my ball. I took one extra club, but hit a 3/4 shot to try and reduce some of the spin and distance, and the ball carried the bunker and stopped about 20 feet short of the cup. I lagged my first one down to about 18 inches and tapped in for par.
Score: E (+15)
Total Score: 85 (+15)
I can’t say I’m proud of this round, but I can absolutely say I am proud that I stuck with it, made a couple birdies coming home and kept it under 90. Six months or a year ago I think I would have shot 93 on a day like today. I just flat out had NOTHING working the first 30 minutes of this round, and not only was it difficult to hit the ball, it was embarrassing. It’s really hard to stand over the ball with your head a complete jumbled mess and try to shoot a decent score. It’s never more evident than on days like today that I need to see a few good drives to get momentum going.
I definitely bully the golf course. I’m much more of a hitter than a swinger when it comes to the golf swing, and there’s very little finesse in my game. I’ve learned how to score and play that way, but today was just a complete mess for a while. I still think a lot of it is mental because I can step from one box to the next and hit a perfect golf shot after hitting 10 horrible shots in a row. It just doesn’t make sense.
Current Handicap: 9.3 (Not updated yet after this round)
This could have been a really big number today, so I’m glad to have kept it at 85 and limited to the damage. Not sure what it will do with my handicap. I admit, I don’t fully understand how all of it works. I just put in the numbers and it spits out the results. I assume it will go up a little bit, but I’m glad to still be in the single digits.
It’s funny, when you play with new guys for the first time, and they ask what your handicap is…when you say 9.3 and then proceed to play the first five holes at +9…you want to dig a hole and crawl into it.
Cool side note: I played with the Englishman I rode with last time, “Ian the Magnificent” as he likes to call himself. He told me he shot 87 on the weekend blitz Sunday and was ‘Absolute Rubbish.’ Well today, he shot his all-time personal best, with a 73. He was on it all day long, and it was really cool to cheer him on and pull for him even when my game was falling apart. This is what I LOVE about golf. The experience is as much fun as the sport. He’ll likely never read this, but huge congrats to Ian The Magnificent who blew his Stableford point total out of the water and shot a personal best. Something worth celebrating!