Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Gulf Gate Golf Course - A nice executive course shoot out and a day of nice practice at Terra Ceia Bay Golf Club

Yesterday was a great day in terms of practice and golf. In the morning I went to Terra Ceia Bay. First talking to Mike Montelone about the Charity tournament we sponsor. The Marine Corps do some good things and we support that. The tournament is on the 28th of this months and we are a hole sponsor and also give free golf tees to all players. It is not much, but it is something. But that is another days writing. After getting things done for the tournament I went on and did an increment of chipping mainly with my LW. I found in my last round , that I had some troubles with judging my distances around the green. I believe it was because most greens were elevated, but just to make sure I did about 100 short chips for the feel, which btw I will do again today.
After that I again worked on my hybrid and driver. It is crucial for this coming tournament, that I am able to get this driver straight out in the fairway and that I a able to get the ball on or to the green from 180 to 210. Very important. The long par fours , meaning par 4s over 400 are the holes where I need to be able to score and I was struggling with. So I started with my hybrid first. Mainly working on set up and rhythm. I make solid contact most of the time but still do not get the distance I like. I am rushing often and need to become smoother and more consistent . My coach told me I need to have my feet wider and I try to do that, which is really difficult as I have an upright swing and my irons are fitted for that swing. So, I have the same swing with all clubs. Widening my stances means choking down on my clubs and that means less club head speed. However, I do it a little bit so I have a better stance.
It work great. I just need to keep in mind to have my shaft leaning forward a little more. I had a tendency of hitting up with my hybrid, which is a big mistake and leads to many bad shots.
I did not have one miss hit with my hybrid on the range. So after about 15 shots I switched to my utility wood, which is like a three wood but not all the way. Did about 5 with this one, as I have no trouble hitting it and feel comfortable with this club. I go by Freddy's advise. If there is no trouble with a shot or club, you should not spend time working on it. So I moved on to my driver. The never ending story with it. My past rounds I did very well, hitting it straight and hitting those fairways 80 % and more. Little lack of distance. But as I wrote before and as we all know, distance is great, but fairway is better.
I worked on about 20 shots. Main goal is to increase the carry. I was very satisfied. All of my drives are straight and feel good. My distance is good and I feel that I am getting a little longer. However, I will only see that on Friday, when I play my first round at the Manatee County Open. I just have to pay attention that I am not getting to fast. Like I said. I am better off in the fairway 240 yards out, then 280 in the deep rough or behind a tree. Just have to remember that.
I concluded my practice session with about 30 putts and I do not see any challenges with it. So it remains a mystery to me why I missed so many putts.

At 4 I was on my way to Gulf Gate . The Par 3 shoot out in Sarasota. When we took of we had a huge storm and I was hoping it will be good down there and people will show up. I was not disappointed. There was no rain at all and we had 20 players who showed up despite very bad looking skies.
My goal at Gulf Gate was simple. Put it on the green, middle or close and then give every putt a good roll. This course is known for bad and bumpy greens.

To our surprise, the greens looked great. I walked up to my shot on 1 to putt for birdie and thought, wow, those greens look good. If I have good greens, my chances are much better. Missed my birdie putt though.
Had a great shot on 2 within 9 feet. Exactly where I was aiming. Uphill putt. I took my time, gave it a good roll and made sure I follow through the ball. Birdie. Good feeling. I missed the green slightly on 3 and almost chipped it in. On 4 I put it within 7 feet just on the fringe. Again gave it a roll, birdie. I was aiming for the uphill putt with my tee shot so I felt great. 5 I was aiming for the pin, just short, put it within 1 1/2 foot. A great shot and made the birdie yet again. I continued to play well and gave myself chances and opportunities.
Great shot on 12 over the water. Putting for eagle. That I missed , but made the birdie. This is a tough par 4 , but with guts you can get over the water and bunker and put it on the green. Which worked out great. Gives you confidence.

In all, I was putting well, hitting greens with my irons and just feeling good. The only drive you can play on this course is on 6. A short par 4 which they play as a par 5. However, it is a very narrow fairway. I played about 2 yards to much to the left and bounced it into the water. Not too happy about it, but on any other fairway that would be an acceptable drive. Thing is, I was not on any other fairway at that moment LOL.
I dropped one in the rough. Had an uphill stance, 123 yards to the pin, over the pond and bushes to a pin in the front of the green. Got myself in focus and put it within 4 feet. Missed the putt though. Thing is, the shot was tough and I got it done.

The round yesterday on that course really boosted my confidence big time. My swing had good rhythm, my turn was great, I was hitting solid irons and my putting was confident and to the hole. It really helped that the greens were in much better shape.

Made some $, which was very much needed and felt like I did my job. Of my 5 birdies 2 skins held up. Very exciting also is the fact , that I played a 5 under par 53 on that short course.

Today I have about 2 hours at Terra Ceia. I will keep working on my short game and finish with about 40 shots hybrids and driver. The driver will be a key aspect for me this weekend. If I can get it in the fairway , I have a good chance to give myself opportunities on and around the green.

Later this evening I will do about 100 or so putts at home on my putting mat.

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