Played with a buddy in the early morning hours – The Deltona Club from the middle tees (6143 yds) Slope/Rating 69.8/121 – Course Handicap 9.
I was thinking after my last round that the birdies had been few and far between lately – even as my consistency had picked up. Playing from the up tees helped me bust out of that slump.
#1 – Started great right out of the chute, strong drive down the middle, and stuck a short iron to 3-4 feet. Unfortunately, pulled the birdie putt (E)
#2 – Another strong drive in the fairway but on a pretty severe downhill/sidehill lie. Pushed the approach short left, but it was sitting up on the bermuda rough nicely. Put a good stroke on the pitch, and knocked it right in for birdie! Good makeup from the very short miss on the previous hole. (-1)
#3 – short downhill par 3 – pulled my 7-iron wide, but stayed on the green about 50-60 feet away. Left the first putt woefully short, 3-putt bogey. (E)
#4 – Good drive in the fairway, not terribly long. Long second shot to the right fringe, and up and down for par. (E)
#5 – First very poor swing of the day, duck hooked drive. Had to punch out, then lay up on this short par 5. Knocked it on and two putted for bogey (+1)
#6 – Nice drive in the fairway, pushed the mid-iron approach into some thick rough on a sidehill. Chunked it onto the green but well past – bogey (+2)
#7 – short par 5, solid drive, 3-wood up the hill onto the green. Had about 30 feet for eagle, and ran it well by. Made a very nice 8-10 footer for birdie #2 (+1)
#8 – short par 4, pulled the driver into the greenside bunker. Hit a decent bunker shot off some wet packed sand, but couldn’t convert the 8-footer for birdie. Missed a great opportunity to get back to even. (+1)
#9 – short par 3 – the last 3 holes on the front are all birdie opportunities. Hit a solid 9-iron to about 12 feet, but putt slid by again. (+1) 37 on the front.
#10 – little bit of a pop-up drive pushed but hung on the left side of the fairway. Middle of the green, 2-putt par. (+1)
#11 – par 3 – smothered a 6-iron into greenside bunker, splashed it to about 10 feet and missed (+2)
#12 – Worst swing of the day – pop-flare out of bounds with TONS of room to bail out. Second drive pulled into the rough to compensate, and pushed the approach shot into the rough. Hit a great pitch from there and saved double – really should count as a scramble made. (+4)
#13 – Nice recovery – driver in the fairway, 3 hybrid up the hill on the short par 5 onto the green, second eagle putt of the day. Again knocked it by (better than short!) and made another good birdie putt from about 6-7 feet for birdie #3 on the day. (+3)
#14 – par 3 6-iron down the hill to the left fringe. Pretty simple up and down for scramble par save (+3)
#15 – short par 4 – this hole plays uphill, and the green is completely hidden on your approach shots. Playing from the up tees, I thought I’d get aggressive and try to hit a driver to the top of the hill so I could see for my approach. Really unnecessary, just a hybrid or even an iron would still give me a short iron approach (albeit blind). Hit a big smother pull because I quit on it, and thought I had lost the ball. After looking around near the scrub, found it sitting down in some gnarly stuff and behind some trees. Tried to play a conservative punch out and hit it across the fairway into the rough. From here, the pin was in the front with the green sloping all the back to the back of the green. Not wanting to leave it short of the green, I ended up knocking it all the way to the back of the green. Facing 50 feet up the hill, I rammed the first putt 10 feet by, and walked off with a 3-putt double bogey. (+5)
#16 – Really cool par 5 – dogleg left up hill and then back down. Hit a good drive just into the left rough which really took away option to go for the green. Hit a solid hybrid to 75 yards, and hit the wedge just left of the pin to about 12 feet. Curling putt, this is where the AimPoint Express really rocks. My feet told me 3 “fingers” worth of break, and I hit the speed perfectly. Birdie #4 (+4)
#17 – Nemesis hole tamed! Nice drive in the fairway, but second shot hung up in the rough on the right side of the green – one more foot and it rolls all the way on. Tricky little downhill pitch, but knocked it stuff for an easy par – so nice to see a little improvement in the short game after work this week. (+4)
#18 – hybrid just crept through the fairway but perfect gap wedge left. Hit it right over the pin, but missed the 8 footer coming back – easy par. (+4) 39 on the back – 76 overall.
This was a really stress free round for the most part. One reason was that I was playing with a friend and we were yucking it up all the way around. I have been playing a lot of golf by myself lately, and I tend to get in my own head more when I’m alone. Second, playing from the up trees gave me more opportunities to score I suppose, and I took decent advantage. I’m looking forward to the next round from the longer tees, just to see how I react mentally to the difference. Many positives today, with a few lapses in judgement. I’m pretty confident that par or better is coming soon. That’s the goal by the end of the summer!