Weekend Golf

Saturday: It being above 50, I played golf this afternoon at TPC Potomac.

I started off on the range, hitting about 150 balls with a variety of clubs. I was making very good contact, so I moved over to the course.

On the first hole I piped a drive down the middle, about 217. From there, I hit a hybrid onto the green (193 yards) and two-putted to the back pin. This may be the first time I parred this hole.

On the 2nd hole I again piped a drive. It caught the slope on the left side of the fairway and rolled to a total yardage of about 245, just in the fringe. I hit a nice three wood to just short of the green, then bladed a short wedge to the back of the enormous green (the pin was front). I two-putted.

On the third hole, the first par 3, I popped up a hybrid off the tee, coming up 60 yards short. I hit a killer wedge to about 10 feet and two-putted for four.

On the fourth, I again (!) piped a drive down the fairway, then hit an excellent five iron that ran just off the back of the green. I two-putted (technically one-putted) for four.

On the fifth, very into the wind, I tried to hit a low draw off the tee. I succeeded, too much, and it ran into the water on the left (this fairway is very open and shouldn’t be missed). I dropped then knocked a pitching wedge left of the green and ended up making 6.

The sixth is long and narrow, and the cold and wind made this hole crazy hard today. My drive barely made it to the start of the fairway and dribbled into the right rough. With 260 to go and a hazard right, I opted to lay up left with an 8 iron. That left 7-iron, which I flew the green on the left with. I chipped up and two-putted for a six I’m not all that disappointed with. Waiting on a group ahead, I played the hole again with the same result.

On the 7th hole, I again crushed a drive down the fairway (This tee shot is intimidating, with an elevated carry). I hit a 3-wood to pin-high left and hit a nice flop shot to a few feet. Unfortunately I missed the put and walked away with a 5.

On the 8th hole I hit a great drive down the fairway again! I drove the ball crazy-well today (swing thoughts “keep your head down” and “perfect backswing”). Waiting to hit my approach, a fox started walking on the green. It eventually meandered away, but I was spooked. I hit a three-wood about twenty yards short of the green.

As I drove up, I noticed that the fox was a baby, but I still kept it in the corner of my eye as I finished. I hit a mediocre chip and two putts and ran to the cart to put some distance between me and the beast.

The 9th hole was the biggest missed opportunity of the day. it’s a reasonably short par-3 with a big green. I hit my 7-iron heavy off the tee, and came up short, ending up in a hazard. I made 5.

The round score came to a 44, probably my best on this nine since I joined a few months ago, and had I taken better advantage of 5 and 9, this could have been a few strokes better. I hit 4 of 7 fairways and 3 of 9 greens in regulation.

After finishing up, I went back to the range and hit around 150 more balls while listening to Barstool’s Foreplay golf podcast. I honed the driver swing I’d been practicing, hit a lot of 7-irons (because of my 9th hole), and worked to dial in my wedge distances/trajectories a little better.

It was a good day of golf, and I think I’m making good progress towards playing and scoring better.

Total shots recorded by my Flightscope mevo: 4202.

Sunday 2/23:

Another warm weekend day in February. Another afternoon of golf.

Today’s first range session was shorter. I hit around 110 balls, mostly working on irons and wedges. The range was crowded, and I was eager to get out on the course.

On the 1st hole, I piped a nice drive right down the left side of the fairway. The 2nd shot is blind, and I aimed well left of where I should have, leaving my hybrid around 60 yards from the green, over some trees. Luckily, that’s my favorite distance of late. I hit a nice high pitch to around 10 feet and two-putted for five.

On the 2nd hole I hit my drive a bit right, ending up in the right rough just past the right bunker. I didn’t get the roll I got yesterday, so I still had maybe 260 into this par-5. I hit a nice layup with a 7-iron down the right side, then hit a beautiful pitching wedge to 15-20 feet. I just missed the birdie putt and walked away with a five.

On the 3rd hole, wary of my tendancy to hit the ball well left, I hit my hybrid slightly right, into a patch of rough I didn’t even know existed. I hit a nice chip to a few feet and drained the putt for par.

On the 4th hole I hit yet another excellent drive. It settled on the left side of the fairway, about 165 yards from the flag. I hit a six-iron low and left. It hopped up on the cart path and settled next to a tree behind the green. I hit a lucky pitch that landed just short of the green and rolled to a few feet. I made the putt for a wild four.

Once again, I wasted the short par-4 5th. My drive was in play this time, but still fairly short. I was behind a family, so to kill some time I hit another drive for practice and it rolled 30-40 yards farther than the first. From my original drive, the hole got messy. I hit a nine iron short of the right greenside bunker, then chipped my third into the bunker. It was ground-under-repair, so I dropped and chipped again, this time flying the front pin by a considerable distance. Two putts landed me a six.

I played the challenging sixth hole better than yesterday. I hit a decent, short drive to the start of the fairway, laid up with a 5-iron, then hit a 56-degree wedge to the middle of the green and two-putted for five.

On the par-4 7th I made another mess. I hit a good drive into the left rough, but ended up with a challenging lie. I popped up a three-wood 150 yards from it, leaving about 60 yards up a big hill. That’s where the fun began. I swung a little too fast, hit my 60-degree wedge thin, ending up in deep straw behind the green. The next shot, I wasn’t sure how the ball would come out, and I hit it about 10 yards past the flag, where it rolled down a hill off the green. One more chip and two putts left me with a nasty seven.

On the 8th hole, my drive was decent, but a tad short. I hit driver off the deck for my 2nd, coming up just left of the left greenside bunker on this lengthy par 4. I chipped up (a little too far past the pin) and two-putted for five.

The 9th hole, I can only laugh about. After yesterday’s disaster, I decided to play it safe and hit more club. Yesterday I hit 7-iron. Today I selected 6. I hit my tee shot, it climbed higher than I was expected, and fell well short of the green, in a gulch. I was dumbfounded. Only after I finished the hole (with another 5) did I realize that I’d inadvertently hit my 9-iron in place of my 6. I’m an idiot.

Those 9 holes came out to a score of 45, one worse than I shot yesterday, although if I’d used the right club on 9, I’m convinced I would have finished with a 43.

After the round, I went to the range and hit 40 more balls just to practice a few of the shots I didn’t feel totally comfortable over on the course today.

Weekend takeaways:

  • Focusing on keeping my head down and making a consistent backswing led to super-consistent results off the tee (for me at least).
  • Wrapping my right hand a little more around my left led to better, more consistent contact with my long irons.
  • I need some more length off the tee. My 2nd shots on the 1st, 7th, 6th, and 8th holes are very long with my current driving distance.
  • I need to focus on not compounding short-game mistakes. That would have saved me at least a stroke on 5, a stroke on 8, and a stroke on 9 today.

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