It was a great day for golf today. The weather was warm but not hot, the course was lush but not wet, and after ten days away I was ready to see whether my new and improved swing had abandoned me.

Thankfully, despite some left-hand pain, it hadn’t (for the most part). I was a bit rusty on 1-3 and I struggled off the tee, but hit a number of great irons and woods and finished with a respectable 47.

Among my favorite woods was a 212-yard fading three wood around a corner to 1-green and a 230-yard 3-wood to recover from an awful drive on 8 (it went like fifty yards, maybe).

As mentioned, most of my drives were mediocre, but I did hit a 258-yard bomb on 4. It clipped a tree at the end (the tree is close to the fairway), so if it was 5 yards straighter it would have been 270.

Among my favorite irons was my 9-iron approach on 4. Buried in deep rough, approaching a back pin on an elevated green guarded by bunkers, I decided to take some extra club. It was a good move. I hit a 137-yard nine iron to the back fringe and nearly holed the putt from the fringe for birdie. I walked away very happily with par.

I also made a nice birdie on the 500-yard par 5 7th, despite none of my shots being longer than 200 yards. The drive was unremarkable but in play. The second shot, a three wood, was pretty good but trimmed some nearby trees. The 7-iron approach, 146 yards uphill, into the wind, over a bunker to about 10-feet, was a highlight.

This birdie is brought to you by tree work. Those trees my drive is in on the satellite image used to be my nemesis, and thankfully no longer exist.

The disappointment of the round was on the par-4 8th. After practically topping my drive, I hit a crazy-good recovery 3-wood to 118, then proceeded to hit three mediocre pitches and two reasonable putts for a wasteful 7.

The low-hanging fruit:

These are the shots that, even with the game I had, I should have saved.

2. Extra recovery shot.

3. Pitch into bunker.

5. Didn’t take enough club on approach. Ended up in bunker. (+2)

6. Got out of the bunker, but not on the green. Chip was fairly good.

8. Could have had at least 1 less pitch (I had 3).

Total shots I should have saved: 6

Conclusion

My drives and 40-80-yard shots need a lot of work, but most of my approach shots were decent. I hit a few great irons and excellent woods. All in all, not bad after 10 days away.

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