It's been a while
First full round in a couple weeks....Got a little loose, but good to be back out!
Course: Battlefield Golf Club
Date: October 25, 2021
Time: 10:00 AM
Conditions: 65* & overcast - Rain inbound!
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
Srixon ZX5/ZX7 Combo irons 4-PW; +3/4” 2* Up; KBS Ctaper Lite X-Stiff
Mizuno MP T20 50, 54, 58 Wedges with DG Tour Issue S400
Odyssey Toulon Las Vegas H7 36”
Man! It has been 20 days since I wrote one of these, and it felt for a while there like I was writing one every other day. That’s crazy! How y’all been? Life’s been weird for me. I tweaked my back playing a few holes with a buddy and had to leave the clubs alone for about 10 days, and then there’s been some bad weather, and to be honest, my club has been ABSOLUTELY JAMMED with people playing lately. All times of day, all days of the week. It’s killing me. I miss my early morning summer golf rounds when it’s empty so much!
I won’t bury the lead here: I have a new set of irons in the bag! Since they came out, I have wanted a set of Srixon ZX5/ZX7 combo irons….I actually ordered some about 6 or 7 months ago, but they just kept getting delayed, delayed, delayed, so I eventually cancelled the order. Fast forward and I found a like new set built to my exact specs for about $350 less than retail, so I sold some backup clubs and grabbed them ASAP! I cannot express how amazing they feel compared to the hot metal pro irons, which are also awesome. These are like butter when the ball comes off the face. So soft and pure.
I hd walked a couple holes at home with my son and hit them the day they came in, but hadn’t hit any of my longer clubs in a couple weeks, so wasn’t sure what to expect, but was itching to play. Knocked out an quick morning round before work.
Stepped to the first tee feeling good. Threw the seat warmers on as I headed to the course, so the back was good and loose, haha! Ripped driver up the left here and had a good lie in the middle of the fairway, but a longer way home from where the tees were located on 1. I grabbed 6i and just couldn’t make myself aim left and commit to the shot. I blocked it out right and it hit and kicked a little right on me as well. No a good shot, but the fun was just beginning! I was on a downhill sidehill lie pitching toward the green that runs away and toward the bunker….I babied the pitch and it hit the slope up to the green and rolled back down. The next pitch shot had to be cute because I was short sided and I didn’t nip it great. It hit the fringe and instead of releasing to the hole like I hoped, it hit and died. A THIRD chip from the fringe hit the hole and ran by. Two more putts and I walked off the first with a disgusting double bogey. In short….I threw up all over myself here. The first should be an eagle at best, birdie more often than not, and part at worst. To make double here is a complete disaster.
The tees were way up today as the course was under some construction, but I finally didn’t put one in the pond on the left, so I was happy. Gonna try to just trust that I’m not goin right on this hole and hit 5w. It’s a solid club for me and should leave me in decent positions in the future. Driver has too many demons here. Anyway my 2nd shot wasn’t hit great and it came up a little short after hitting the hill in front of the green and settling back down at the bottom. I hit a great wedge to two feet and tapped in for par. That’s more like it!
Score: E (+2)
After flirting with disaster the last time out when I hit driver near the pond on the right, I grabbed 3W and hit a high bomb that just cut a little too far right. I don’t mind playing from this area on the right. It doesn’t “look” good, but it’s a great angle into the green and I’ve had success over there. Certainly not how the architect drew it up….but we’re playin Bryson ball so that doesn’t matter. I threw a pitching wedge on the green and it checked up a bit, settling 42 feet from the cup. My putt was perfect the whole way, and rolled right in the center. BIG time birdie there!
Score: -1 (+1)
You might think from looking at this screen grab that I hit a really crappy shot on this hole. Technically you might be right, but in reality, I absolutely flushed a pitching wedge into the wind on this hole and landed it hole high. The guy I was playing with said great shot, I bend down and pick up my tee, and as I turn to look at the green, my balls is now trickling down to the front of the green and it just doesn’t stop. It spun off the front and trickled down toward the pond. Thankfully it stopped there, but I was less than thrilled with the result of what was at the very least a good swing.
One thing that will be interesting to see if how different my irons will play. The Srixon irons are much more traditionally lofted than the Hot Metal Pros, which are pretty strong lofted throughout the set. A few times throughout this round I saw that they will produce a good bit more spin than I am used to with the HMPs.
At any rate, I hit a good pitch, but it rolled out past the cup and the comebacker stayed just on the edge. Tapped in for bogey. Felt like I deserved better here, but that’s golf!
Score: +1 (+2)
This driver swing wasn’t great. It ended up ok, but it was a block to the right and the face was a little open, which for me is a tough combo. Luckily, I’d picked a start line that gave me room for error and I ended up ok, just a little longer shot into this green than I’m used to. There was some wind in and across, so I grabbed 9i and hit a beautiful high cut, but it came up a little short and hit the fringe on the front of the green before spinning back down into the bunker. I hit a perfect high bunker shot with my 58* and then rolled in the 10 footer for a par save. That was big! You’ll see in the round summary I made 126 feet of putts yesterday! Might be a new record….the flatstick kept things goin for me all day, and I still left a few out there. Solid par.
Score: E (+2)
Ah hole 6….my old nemesis. I tugged this iron shot left, per usual, since I wanted no part of the water. One day I’ll trust my high cut and just play it at the green and let it fade softly to the middle, but this day was not that day! I hit what I thought was going to be a great pitch shot that would hit the fringe/mound and take some heat off before trickling down to the hole. Instead the ball carried about a yard too long and didn’t die at all. The greens were holding onto the morning dew and the ball just rolled out and all the way across the green. What’s that you say? Another 2-chip? Yes. Another one. An OK wedge left me 15 feet and I didn’t hit the first one. Tap-in double. Disgusting.
Score: +2 (+4)
I was playing this 5W up the left and playing it to cut back toward the fairway, but it didn’t cut. It was mashed though and I had a decent angle in. The problem is I was up against some long grass and it messed with my head during my backswing. I ended up pulling the shot left, which again, if you have to pick right or left, is the miss, but it didn’t sit down, so it hit and ran farther from the hole. I tried to throw a wedge up in the air and land it soft, and it landed soft….about 5 feet short of the green. I hit a nice putt I thought might drop, but it ran just by the hole and I hit the comebacker. Bogey that felt like I gave one away. The 2nd shot on this hole is crucial and I’ve been missing left too often. Just have to trust it and let it rip! When I try to guide it, left is the miss.
Score: +1 (+5)
I let it eat here. Maybe a little frustration taken out on this ball. It was crushed up the right side and I had a great angle into the green. I hit what I thought was a good wedge, but I watched it hit the green behind the hole and pop up over the back. Frustrating! Was looking for birdie here and just didn’t give myself a good chance after a great drive. I chipped it on, but left it too far away and though I almost made the 20 footer, it didn’t drop. Bogey. NO BUSINESS making bogey from 94 yards out.
Score: +1 (+6)
These “shot tracer” lines are so misleading haha! It looks like I hit a big slinger 40 yards right of the fairway. Instead, I hit this just up the right, with a big high cut and it hit the hills to the right of the fairway and settled down. I hit an ok wedge here, but it settled 40 feet from the cup. I saw the line as soon as I stood behind it, and it was tracking the whole way. BOOM! Another big time putt for an unlikely birdie. Big momentum swing after a couple stupid bogeys.
Score: -1 (+5)
I came outta my shoes on this, and just left the face wide open. Not a great swing, but let’s be honest….I play #10 from the fairway on #1 a pretty decent amount, so this was no big deal! I had a blind shot, but knew how far I was from the hole, so I grabbed PW and hit a great shot. The wind held it up and it settled just short of the green at the bottom of a swale, but leaving me a great look right up the chute to the flag. I hit a perfect 58* wedge that hit about 6 feet short of the flag and rolled right at the hole. I thought it might drop for another birdie, but it settled just on the edge. Tap in par. WE LIKE THAT!
Score: E (+5)
I finally trusted the cut and hit a great high fade with an iron, but I didn’t pick a line far enough left. The ball landed just on the fringe and kicked slightly right into the light rough. I pitched it to 8 feet, and just missed the par putt on the lip. Tap-in bogey. Not thrilled. Felt like I made a better swing than the result, but don’t we all feel that way? Ball never lies!
Score: +1 (+6)
I busted the 3w here and it was a perfect bullet cut just up the left, fading back into the fairway. I hit a good wedge into the wind, but it hit on the edge of the green and spun just back down the slope, settling on the upslope about 15 feet away. I grabbed PW for a bump and run and for about 99* of the run portion, we thought it was in. It hit the flagstick and bounced out to about 3 inches. Really could have used another birdie, but will never complain about tap-in pars!
Score: E (+6)
Another great tee shot on a par 3 here but finally got the result I thought I deserved. I was between clubs, but took the extra club and hit a PW past the hole and spun it down, stopping flag high about 20 feet left of the pin. Where the flag was located, I had two options….trickle it down close and hope it goes in, or get aggressive and try to make it, but if I missed with the aggressive putt, it would run hard away from the hole. I opted for the trickle route, and nestled it up about 2 feet from the hole. Tap-in par.
Score: E (+6)
In the spirit of Halloween, I thought we’d mix in a little horror to the round. I don’t quite know what happened on 14 & 15 (spoiler alert!), but it was kind of an out-of-body experience. This driver swing never had a chance. I just got loose and left the face open and started the ball too far right. It was gone from the moment it left the face. I hoped we might find it, but it’s a jungle over there. Took my drop, and I rushed the next shot because I was angry and hit it dead off the toe. It went about 100 yards forward and ducked back into the long grass! WHAT IN THE WORLD was I thinking?? Just a bonehead mistake and it really could have cost me, but I got lucky and saw exactly where it went in. I found it, but had a terrible lie, so all I could do was punch it out left and take my medicine. My wedge leaked a little right and hit the hills to the right of the green, settling in the flat area. I popped a 58* up onto the surface and hit the 6 foot putt for double. Gross. Just never gave myself a chance. Should be another birdie hole. Double really hurts.
Score: +2 (+8)
I think I still had the swing on 14 in my head, because I just picked a bad line, and put a bad swing on this 3w. I thought I might get away with it because I saw it down, but it bounced into the long grass on the right and we never found it. Another drop. Hit a wedge that came up a yard or two short and pitched on to 6 feet, tapping in for bogey. Really bad pair of holes there.
Score: +1 (+9)
I was kinda reeling when I got to this tee box, just sick over throwing shots away off the tee. I hit a below average 9i and into the wind, it came up short. Short is better than long on this hole, so it wasn’t the end of the world, but not great. I hit a pitch to 12 feet that checked up sooner than I expected. My putt was decent, but it missed by a couple inches, and I tapped in for another bogey. BLEEDING strokes at this point.
Score: +1 (+10)
The driver just wanted to go a little right today. I aimed up the left of the fairway, but blocked it right. Thankfully my target line left me enough room that I still had a shot at the green. I pulled 7i and hit a pretty good shot, but it was into the wind and sat down about 20 yards from the green to the right. I had a pitch over a slope and it ran down the slope and away from the flag. I hit a great putt I thought was going in, but it stopped about a foot short right in the middle. If I hit it, it goes….but not today! Tap-in par.
Score: E (+10)
As we stood on 18, one of the ugliest stormy skies I’ve seen in a while was rolling in from the left. The rain was coming and we needed to hurry. I stepped up and quickly took a swing, but it was a high, spinny block to the right. Again, I picked a better start line, so I left myself an ok angle from the rough. I thought I hit a good wedge, but with the storm coming, the wind had really picked up and the ball actually settled in the bunker just short of the green. I splashed out to 16 feet, and AGAIN I hit a putt right at the cup, but it lipped out because it was just that kind of day. Finishing bogey.
Score: +1 (+11)
Total Score: 81 (+11)
For my first time out in a few weeks it wasn’t a terrible round, but definitely left a BUNCH out there. Hitting 126 feet of putts is not the norm for sure, but I have been rolling it well most of the year. It’s interesting because the couple casual holes I walked at my home course, the greens were so long…almost shaggy…and these greens at Battlefield were lightning in comparison. Oddly, though, it impacted me more with chipping and pitching than it did putting.
I probably need a little range time to get back in the groove with the longer clubs, but I feel good about where my game is on the whole. I have a couple major focuses right now, with the first being eliminating self-inflicted wounds, and the second being continuing to develop a stock shot shape that I can rely on and picking better start/target lines. This is one of my biggest challenges, but I’m working on it and as my swing and shots get more consistent, it will both solidify my target picking, AND eliminate penalties/mistakes.
THREE KEYS BREAKDOWN:
Penalties: Pretty sure I’m averaging 2 penalties per round. It’s just part of my game unfortunately and always has been. The truth is when you swing as really high speeds, if you’re off even a little bit, the ball can go a long way offline. That said, with the right strategy and better work on my swing, I should be able to get this down to 1 or 0 per round. It’s the ONLY way my handicap will get any lower.
2-Chips: This was ridiculous. FOUR 2-chips is just unacceptable. Cost me big time, but if I give myself a little grace, the truth is short game is always the first to go when you’ve had a few days off. Just need to get it on the green when I’m inside 50 yards.
Three-Putts: Nothing to report. ZERO. Zilch. Nada. Great day with the flatstick!
Current Handicap: 8.1
Not sure what the golf schedule looks like moving forward. Still planning to try and play weekly in the Blitz at Battlefield, and I want to play my home course more, but it has just been so busy the last couple months. Hard to find times where I can get on and play when it’s not incredibly slow and/or busy. Hoping the weather changing will thin the herd and open things up a bit.
Looks like Christmas out here. Plenty of good shots, but too much dark red, especially on the back 9. No birdies and the stumble on 14/15 really cost me a decent round. BUT I remember a few months ago when 81 would have been a major victory. Now we’re cruising around 80, so things have definitely improved, and it’s important to remember that.
Thanks for reading! Good to be back and writing about this again. Hopefully lots more coming your way!