Half a round with Half a bag...
A quick, brisk 9 holer before work
Course: Battlefield Golf Course
Date: November 8, 2021
Time: 7:50 AM
Conditions: 45* and windy all morning
Ping G425 LST 9* (turned to 8*) with Diamana D+ 60X
Taylormade SIM2 Max 4W 16.5* with Mitsubishi MMT 70TX
Srixon ZX5/ZX7 Combo irons HALF SET (4,6,8,PW); +3/4” 2* Up; KBS Ctaper Lite X-Stiff
Mizuno MP T20 54 Wedge with DG Tour Issue S400
Odyssey Toulon Las Vegas H7 36”
All data and screenshots below are done using the V1 Game app. Grab the app and start shooting lower scores today!
Well I’ve been realizing more and more lately that I’m not getting any younger and that I’ve gained the “COVID 19” sitting around bein way too sedentary over the last 18 or so months, and it’s time to get my behind moving. I traded for a new carry bag, committed to try and walk 1-2 9 hole rounds per week in the early mornings before work, and today was day 1. To make it even more fun, I decided to try something I’d always heard about and never really pulled the trigger on: playing with less than a full set of clubs! It would make my bag lighter, but it also would force me to hit some different kinds of shots than I’m used to. Had no idea what to expect, but dropped my son at school and headed for the course.
I was only carrying Driver, 4w, 4i, 6i, 8i, PW, 54* and putter. Here we go….
One thing I realized about walking is….it will get me warm eventually, and keep me warm, but that first tee is kind of like sleepwalking a little bit. I had done a couple stretches at my house before taking my son to school, but 30 minutes later as I strolled to the first tee, I felt awful tight. Also, the seat-warmers in my car and nice warm climate were immediately dashed the moment I opened my door. It was chilly, but not terrible, but the wind…..shew! Biting.
I say all that to say that when I hit this first drive a whopping 242 yards, I did so with what felt like a lot of rust on my hinges. It wasn’t well struck, the wind killed it more, and I felt like my normal 120mph club head speed was about 95….but we were off and in play. Headed down the fairway feeling like an imposter…In all my years of playing golf, I’d never carried my bag for a full round. Don’t judge me. I’ve walked plenty, just never carried.
I had an ok look at the flag from my position in the right rough, but was slightly blocked out by a tree. I pulled 8i where I normally would have hit a 9i, and hit a choked down 3/4 swing shot that came off great, but faded just a touch too much and caught a limb. The tree threw it down short of the green, and I hit a neat little 54* wedge that released and settled 12 feet under the cup. Nothing like a par tester to start the day!
Helps when you roll it right in the heart! Great start.
Score: E (E)
Standing on 2 teebox at 7:50 in the morning, you’re looking DEAD into the sun and there’s no way around it really. I teed it up, aimed up the middle left side of the fairway and let it rip. I knew instantly I’d crushed it, but I couldn’t see the ball anywhere. I looked up, down, right, left. Nothing. I reteed just in case and ripped another one, this time I barely caught a glimpse of it heading straight down the middle of the 2nd fairway.
I hoped I’d find my first tee ball on my way to the provisional, and as it turns out, I didn’t have to look very hard: The first ball was sitting on the same exact line about 10 yards ahead of my 2nd shot in the middle of the fairway. Let’s go!
I’d have normally grabbed my 58* and thrown a wedge up really high and spun it to a stop short of the hole, but today, I only had 54, so I choked down a bit and hit another 3/4 wedge. It flew a little too far and settled on the back fringe, but I was still inside of 20 feet and happy with the result.
I lagged the putt from the fringe to 2 feet and tapped in for another par. Good start!
Score: E (E)
I mentioned the wind earlier, but it’s hard to describe wind in writing sometimes. The wind was whipping all day today. In, with, across….you name it. Here it was into me pretty good. I normally hit PW here at the 3rd, maybe a soft 9i if the wind is into me, but today I didn’t have that option. I knew PW wasn’t enough, so I took 8i again and hit a great little knockdown 8 that flew through the wind and landed just on the fringe to the right of the hole. I hit a bump and run PW that trickled down to 4 feet, and I knocked it in the back of the cup for a third straight par…
Score: E (E)
After the poor driver tee ball on 1, I knew I was laying up here, and with the wind slightly at my back, I grabbed 8i and hit a perfect shot right down the middle, leaving myself 200 to the flag. I would normally grab 5i, but with the half set, I had to pick between 4i and 6i. Short is better than long on this hole, so I ripped 6i, catching it just a groove low, but THIN TO WIN, am I right? It was on a great line and when it hit the green, it just took one hop and stopped 20 feet from the cup. I didn’t hit a great putt and left it about 4 or 5 feet short, but knocked that in. FOUR PARS to start?? This is new.
Score: E (E)
The wind was sort of across me on this one, but I knew 8i was too much, so I grabbed PW and put a nice swing on it. The ball flew at my target on the left edge of the green, and cut about 2 yards, landing pin high on the left edge. I rolled the first putt past the cup about 18 inches, and knocked the comebacker in the heart. If you’re keeping track at home (don’t do that…that would be weird), that’s five straight pars. OK….Even heading to 6 is REALLY NEW!!
Score: E (E)
I tried to blow things up off this tee. They oughtta name the ground under that tree on the right after me. There’s about 18-24 inches of grass next to the cart path before the out of bounds marker, and I LOVE to hit it over there. I usually hit that hill and the ball trickles down into the grass. On lucky days I’m in bounds. On unlucky days, I’m hitting 3 from the tee. Today was a lucky day. I took 8i and punched back to the middle of the fairway, leaving myself 235 to the flag for my 3rd.
4w was the only club in my bag that could get me there, so 4w was the choice. I have only hit it from the deck one other time since putting it in the bag, but this came out great, right at my target. The ball didn’t cut, so it stayed left of the green, but I had an ok look at the flag for my 4th. No harm no foul.
This was the first time I really felt like I wished I had another club. I needed 58* to try and get it to stop near the cup, but instead, it hit and released past the flag. I had 15 feet across a slope to make par but hit it just left of the cup and tapped in for my first bogey of the day. Bummer, but after a bad tee-ball, bogey was a decent result.
Score: +1 (+1)
I was aggressive on #7 all summer, but have been playing it much more conservatively lately. At this point between more swings and some walking, I felt pretty good and loose. Grabbed driver and pounded it up over the trees on a perfect line. It’s such a hard shot to commit to, but if you hit it well and you pick a good line, driver can be the play! As soon as I hit it, I knew it was really good. I took off walking and as I rounded the edge of the water and headed to the green, I could see I was hole high, about 15 feet left of the cup. Perfect drive exactly where I aimed it! Let’s go!
My eagle putt looked good 2/3 of the way there, but then started to stay left and ended up a couple feet past the cup. Knocked it in for birdie! Back to level par. The game takes and the game gives. Big birdie there!
Score: -1 (E)
Tees were on the right today, which is actually a tougher location because there’s very little room to work with short and long. The vector above is just in the wrong spot. I hit it from where the marker is. 135 yards is a near-perfect stock PW for me, but with wind, I just knew PW was going to leave me short, and I didn’t like in-between wedges around the green. I pulled 8i, choked down, and hit a nice, low knockdown again that flew right at the flag. It landed short of the green by a yard or two, but because it was an 8i and not a PW, it took another hop and rolled onto the green. I still had 36 feet, but on a good line, looking right uphill. I lagged it to a couple of feet and tapped in for another par. Putter was hot today!
Score: E (E)
I’ve never stood on 9 at even par before. That may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but I’ve never shot level par in my life, and here I was with a really strong chance. All I needed was a strong tee shot. The wind was dead in and across, so I was already feeling uncomfortable, but I have to find a way to just get something in the short grass. I wish I’d have hit 4i, but instead, I hit 4w and pulled it left into the trees off the tee. It kicked down and left, staying in bounds, but where I found it, I had lots of low-limb tree trouble. I couldn’t go at the green from where I was, but in hindsight I wish I’d been more aggressive. I played it conservatively and punched something out low only advancing it about 60 yards.
I had 215 to the cup, but dead into the wind. I grabbed 4i and hit it perfectly, but into the wind, it just wasn’t enough to get there. The ball sat down on the edge of the fairway about 25 yards short of the pin. I had a fairly tight lie and didn’t love the 54* play, so I took 8i and bumped it up onto the front left of the green.
I had 12 feet for bogey, and I hit a perfect curler that headed down toward the cup. The ball hit the side of the cup and shot out the back. Tapped in for double bogey. What a terribly disappointing way to finish a great round!
Hole Score: +2 (+2)
9-Hole Score: 36 (+2)
This was a REALLY fun round of golf. The novelty of walking and playing a half set may wear off, but I absolutely enjoyed this round as much as any I’ve played in recent memory. The really cool thing about carrying a half set was that not once all day did I think “golf swing” with my irons in my hand. I only thought “golf shot.” See the shot you want to hit in your mind and then make it happen. That was very cool and I would really recommend it if you’re on the fence about it. I don’t know how often I’ll do it, but I didn’t feel like I scored worse because of it. In fact, this was my best strokes gained approach round of the year so far…probably because my only option in many cases was to club up. Need a 9? Sorry, don’t have one. Figure out how to get it done with an 8i.
I’m frustrated with the tee ball on 9, because I can be a complete mental case on the tee box sometimes. Just gotta keep working on it and improving. A good shot there off the tee likely means level par or better. Anxious to get back out and attack it again!
Ugh. look at that one red line. Just stands out like a sore thumb. Interesting enough, the long green line headed left is the tee ball that ended up on the green at the 7th. Guess they didn’t like my target 😂.
Gained strokes in every aspect of the game today. That may be a first…not entirely sure, but I think it is. Every part of the game was in good form or good enough. Two less-than-ideal tee balls today, but only one really hurt me. I still had a chance at par on 6, but never gave myself an opportunity on 9. Those are 2 of my least favorite holes on the course. Gotta just keep letting it fly and get more confident. On those 2 holes, I was definitely thinking “golf swing” and not just seeing the shot I wanted to hit and sending it.
THREE KEYS BREAKDOWN:
Penalties: This says 1 penalty, but I think it’s counting my two punch out/recovery shots at .5 penalties each time because I didn’t have any actual penalty strokes today. Overall I hit it well, but can’t lose focus and allow it to get loose. This could have been a subpar round.
2-Chips: Nothing to report. Short game was strong today!
Three-Putts: I made a nice 12 footer for par on #1, and didn’t make any long ones after that, but the lag putts were money and I knocked down everything inside of 6 feet. No short misses, which is key. Solid day all around!
Current Handicap: 7.7
This 9-hole score is waiting to be combined, so I need to post another 9-holer soon. All the more reason to get out and put some more miles on these legs this week! Will definitely help if I can back it up with another solid one! I finally got my GHIN officially set up….don’t know if it makes any difference….GRINT is WHS, GHIN is probably something similar, but I know GHIN is more “legit,” so I got it set up in the clubhouse after my round! Luckily the GHIN was actually tracking my handicap through the Grint so it already had all my recent scores!
One benefit is looking back at my handicap history…..almost a year ago, on November 20, 2020 I was a 12.9 handicap. Today, I’m a 7.7….not satisfied, and there are still some big holes in my game, but I’ve been grinding hard and to be down more than 5 strokes this year feels like a massive jump forward! Now I want to build a handicap that travels so I can go back to 12 Oaks one of these days and shoot something that doesn’t start with a freaking 9!
The birdie on 7 was HUGE. Always big to rebound from a bad hole with a bird. Strong day today on all fronts. Level par, I’m coming for ya!