Yesterday I played eighteen holes with my sister. My swing was OK, but my scrambling was great, including the world’s weirdest par.
We started on 10. I hit a nice drive out of the gate, finding the fairway on the right. I hit a mediocre second shot, then hit a 7-iron all of 40 yards. Luckily, I hit an oustanding pitching wedge just short of the front pin. I two-putted for bogey.
11 was a mess. I hit my drive into the right trees, hit a mediocre punch, then a decent recovery around a tree, but I still had 70 yards or so. Then I made a mess and finished with a 7.
I hit a decent drive on 12, landing in the left rough, then hit a 7-iron that bounced short of the green and somehow rolled up the hill onto the front. I drained a long uphill putt for birdie. Nice. (I started flattening the putterhead (making it more upright), which has led to straighter, firmer putts).
On 13, the long par 3, I hit a soft popup driver. It was pin-high, but 40 yards right and down the hill. I hit a decent pitch up the hill, but it was a little too firm and rolled into the fringe, 15 feet or so from the back pin. A putt from off the green and a tap-in led to a four.
On 14, I hit a beautiful drive that split the fairway and I thought would go far, but it only went about 202. Then I hit a five-iron way short (a little heavy). I hit a decent 56-degree wedge, but it wasn’t quite hard enoug and was just short of the green. I putted up towards the center pin, but came up well short, two-putting for double.
On 15 I hit a nice 7-iron, but well right. I had a great lie, but hit the chip thin and ended up in the left rough, going down-hill towards the flag. Impossible. Trying not to hit it too hard, I left the ball well short of the flag, leaving a long two-putt. Double.
On 16, my drive went well left. I hit it well, but over-drew it. Trying for the hero shot over the trees, I hit a wedge into a fairway bunker. Then I hit an oustanding fairway bunker shot, but couldn’t convert the par putt. 5.
On 17, I hit another drive that felt great and went nowhere. My 2nd shot, an 8-iron, also came up a little short, although close enough to putt to the front pin. One putt from off the green and two putts left me with a 5.
On 18, I finally found some power, hitting it 218, but a little right and blocked by trees. I hit a nice punch-out 108 yards, but flew my wedge from there a little too far, and int rolled off the green. Two chips (yeah) and two putts later, I walked off with a seven. No good.
Luckily, there were nine more holes to play.
On 1 I smoked a drive 225. I hit a mediocre 3-wood short and right, blocked by trees, but punched a 5-iron through the trees to just short of the greenside bunker. I got up and down for par.
On 2, my drive was long (236), but left. I hit a decent approach shot, but ended up just short of the left bunker. I hit a nice pitch shot to 10-ish feet, but couldn’t convert the par putt. Bogey.
On 3, I hit a hybrid so good that I thought it might be in. It was maybe 10 feet long of the flag (it landed about 5 feet long). I made the putt for another birdie.
On 4, I killed a driver. It plugged on the fairway, but still managed to travel 236. I hit a mediocre 8-iron that left me 60 yards short, then a 9-iron punch that ended up in the right bunker, then two bunker shots, winding up with a 7.
On 5, My drive trailed way right, leaving me no clear approach. I hit a nice punch 6-iron to get to the base of the hill, then hit a great wedge to give myself a putt for par. The putt was decent, but didn’t fall, and I walked away with five.
On 6, I hit hybrid again. I hit the green, but three-jacked for bogey.
7 was an adventure. I hit my drive way right. From the trees, I attempted driver-off-the-deck to go up the 9th fairway, but the ball only travelled about 40 yards. I tried one more time, this time hitting it a nice distance, leaving a wedge over the trees to the green. I hit a beautiful gap wedge that clipped the trees but still left me 20 feet for par. I rolled it in for one of the weirdest pars ever (3 drivers!)
8 should have been better. I hit my drive into the right trees. On a rock wall, all I could manage was to knock the ball 40 yards down the hill with a 7-iron. I then hit a crazy driver off the deck that ended up pin-high on the long eigth, sitting on the back tees of the 9th hole. Somehow, lying three I had a clear 30-yard pitch at the flag, but I hit it long, had a medicore pitch back, and walked away with a disappointing 7.
Finally, the 9th hole. I hit a good drive although I started it too left, so it wound up in the left rough. I hit a good driver off the deck (yeah I hit a lot of them) to 50 yards or so on the right. My pitch up was short, so I had to putt from the fringe again. This one was better than past efforts, leaving a makeable putt. I hit a good putt, but it lipped out (I still don’t know how), leaving me with double.
All of that added up to a 94. It’s certainly nowhere close to the best I’ve played on this course (that would be an 82), but I scrambled a lot better today than I have been. I made some decent pars and bogeys out of some god-awful shots today. Once the shots themselves improve, I’ll be in good shape.
Driving: Decent. A few that were shorter than I’d like, and a few that went wild or weren’t well-aimed.
Long approach: The driver-off-the-deck worked pretty well, although I really need to get a 3-wood I like. My 5-iron was not successful today.
Medium approach: Needs work. My irons were no bueno, for the most part.
Short approach: Spurts of greatness. Several decent, good, or even great wedge shots.
Short game: My pitching and chipping was bad. My sand game, with the exception of the long bunker shot on 16, was not good at all. My putting was much better than it’s been, although I could have made 1-2 more short ones.
Mental: My scrambling has improved, but I still need to work on not compounding mistakes. There were several 7s today that should easily have been 5s or 6s, even with a mistake or two.
Overall, I’m optimistic, and that’s a joyous thing.