Saturday, March 29, 2014

Club Championship at Terra Ceia Golf Club

The last two days I was busy playing the Club Championship at Terra Ceia Golf and Country Club in Palmetto, Florida. You could call it my home course. However , it really is the place where I have my handicap and where I practice.

I like to work on my game there and at times I play there. Certainly I signed up for the Club Championship. It was to be held as a stroke play tournament, which is my preferred format.

The weather did not look good on the morning of the first day when I got up in the morning. But before I took off it cleared up and no rain in sight. The round played pretty tough. Not because of the 14 water holes, the tightness of the course, the small greens or speed of them, but because of very strong ever changing winds.

It was pretty difficult to find the the right line and distance. But I navigated nicely through my front 9. The two holes deserving to be mentioned here were number 5. A short par 4 with plenty of water to the right and only a tight opening to lay up and OB to the left. I had a not so good hybrid which luckily did not go in the water, but stopped in the deep rough close to a tree. I had a clear shot, downhill lay. In order to avoid landing in the water when hitting it too short, I played it to the left of the green.

Gave myself an outside chance to save par and took a bogey. Considering the tee shot and the lie I had as a result, the bogey was acceptable. The very next hole is one of the toughest par 3s. Tee box, water, green. Wind from all sides and you never know where from. On that day clearly it blew right into us. 170 to the pin. Took a 5 wood and gave it a good punch.  Was just left of the pin. Downhill putt and made it. There was hope.

The 1 over par on the front 9 was OK with me. I gave myself some opportunities to make birdies and made one good one. Saved par when I needed too.

The back 9 started different. Bogey on the first two par threes, one of them a 105 shorty which often causes trouble because of the wind. Followed up with a good par, another bogey and another par.

There we are at 15. Short dog left right. Hit a good drive, leaving me 65 yards to the pin. But , I was a little too long and ended up with a palm tree in front of me. Now here comes a bad decision. While the shot I can do best is a 7 iron pitch, I decided to take a SW and play a high  lob like shot over the palm tree. Ended up hitting the tree and the ball came back . This time  a downhill lie. Miss hit it and ended up over the green behind yet another palm tree.

Only chance was to pitch between the trees on to a mount to the right of the green, hoping that the ball will roll down towards the pin. The shot was great and it started rolling towards the pin but stopped 10 feet from it. Missed my bogey putt.

Only chance I had to stay in the match was to play 3 pars minimum. In my mind I decided to shoot 3 birdies.

The last three holes are all around a little lake. Water comes into play all the time and to the left is OB. Tight and tough. I got myself a par on 16. Chipped in for birdie on 17. Faced with a similar shot like on 15 after my drive I this time took my 7 iron, pitched close to the pin and made birdie. Here is the good news. I learned from my mistakes and did better. 67  was my first round and I was good with that.

Today was the final. 3 players had a realistic chance for the title. My front nine worked out well. Played pars and a birdie. Made a bogey which was again on 5 and this time got myself a bogey on 6. Different wind, different shot.

7 and 8 I saved par despite not so good tee shots. Thanks to my LW. 9 looked pretty simple this time. I hit a good drive and was 29 yards from the pin. Right in front of  a small trap. The fairway on that spot felt a little solid. Like concrete. My first thought was to chip it with my GW to the right and two putt. However, I decided to take my LW again after hitting it well and lob it over the trap right to the pin which stood and the narrowest spot of the green.

I missed the shot and my ball ended up in the trap. My first trap shot. I like bunker shots. Really worked on it and it paid off. I just did not realize that there was not much sand in this one. Even when stepping in it. I did not catch much sand and hit it not only OB but on to the roof of the house behind the green. So I had to hit another one. Again I learned from my mistake and hit a good shot out to leave me a putt for a 6, which I missed. This 7 almost took me out of the match.

Needless to say that I had some mental issues to fight. But I am currently working on getting my mind under control. 10 worked out just fine. Had a bad tee shot. Used my LW again and left it just short of the green on the fringe. I made the putt and felt my confidence coming back.

The short 11 is not my favorite hole and this time I took an extra club. Still I missed the shot and ended up in the water taking a 5. Horrible to say the least. Bad tee shot on 12, but almost made birdie. Great tee shot on 13 and made birdie. Poor tee shot on 14 and yet another bogey.

There was 15 again. I went back and forth with my club selection and still took my driver. Again I was too long, overshooting the fairway and ending up in the bunker. Downhill lie, one foot in the trap and one food outside about 1 ½ above. Palm tree in front of me ( same as the day before) 68 yards to the pin, OB to the left. The correct shot : PW ion to  the fairway, chip on and put for par. My choice: 8 iron, going for the pin. The shot felt good and looked good. But when I got to the spot where I thought it was I saw that the ball was OB again.

I was later told it rolled of the mount and hit the cart path. So I went back. Same club, same shot, got it out and left it short behind the same tree again. Only shot available : PW fade around the tree. This I actually made happen. Still needed another chip and 2 putts to save an 8. That was it. Finished with par, par and birdie. Considering I just had an 8 , it was good golfing to finish par , par and birdie on those water holes.

73 on the second day gave me a 3 place finish with some $. I am never happy to not win. I only needed to play par on those two holes to win that thing.

Overall I must say my game improved. Better turn, more power, longer shots with all clubs, putting is much better than just a few weeks ago. I made many good decisions and scrambled nicely.

I surely learned an important lesson from those two holes. Play the % . I knew it before and did not follow through with it. I guess that is what mental strength and ability is all about. Whenever I played the higher % shot on any hole, I was right and finished well .

The wind was tough, but it was for everyone the same. We had no rain and the greens were running nicely. There was really no reason to not win this tournament.

3 place is not a bad thing and I take  any price I win :).  I will take some good points from this  two rounds and remember all the great shots I hit and putts I made.

What really is worth mentioning is the improvements I saw on the course. The greens were in good shape despite all the rain. Nice and firm and green. The fairways looked OK to me as well. Compared to last year this course improved a lot. I reviewed last year or so and it is like a different track.

Tomorrow we are at Laurel Oaks Country Club to play a practice round for the West Florida Amateur Event on Monday. I am excited about it. This is one of my favorite clubs. Nice people, great course and always good players to compete with.

Monday will be the beginning of a wonderful tournament series.

Laurel Oaks Country Club, Sarasota

Belleair Country Club in Clearwater

Sarabay Country Club, Bradenton

Lakewoodranch Country Club , Sarasota ( 2 times)

Really feeling blessed that I am able to play all those golf courses and tournaments.
What is on the list today? Just taking some notes about those rounds and my improvements and things to work on. Rest. Write.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Terra Ceia Bay Country Club - Practice round and getting ready

We had way to much rain over the past 7 days. So when it got better a couple days ago I though this will be a good opportunity to practice and play a round on Terra Ceia Country Club in preparation for the Club Championship the tomorrow and Saturday.

But what we found first thing in the morning was not sunshine and warm. We found cold, clouds and rain. Not exactly what we were looking for. But this time we did not stay home. We packed our gear and were on the way.

This one day a week golf we get together needs to be hold on to. Arriving at the course, the rain actually was a lot more than just 15 minutes before. Never the less we decided to play anyway. Golf is an outdoor sport and rain happens. Additionally it is good practice for me. Tournaments do not stop or are called off just because of some little rain.

My plan was to work on my 5 wood for long par 3s, get used to the slow greens on the course and get the tee shot in the fairway on those tight par 4s. All of my goals I accomplished. I was able to get my 5 wood going nicely.

Still too short with that club, but at least I am straight and have good confidence in the equipment. Keeping the ball in the fairway was no challenge today. Although it was windy I pretty much hit all of them. I think I missed two and was able to get par out of it.

The two most difficult tasks were chipping and putting. The greens were much better then last time, but still slow compared to the country clubs we usually play. I left some putts short again and my chips seem to check so good , that the ball pretty much stops on the spot.

Second can be an advantage at times.

Most important about this round I found that we were playing together. It was relaxing and nature again was incredible. Endless birds and on top one large alligator. It is relaxing to play with family just for fun. At least for me it is.

Tomorrow's game plan is simple. Keep it in play. There are only 4 holes where water does not come in to play. It is tight, greens are small and fairways can be difficult if they do not cut them down. My hope is that the greens will be rolled tomorrow morning and that they prepare the fairways.

The format is stroke play. Gross and Net winners. Not many players, but some of them really good. This course can be played at par and better. But it also can get you in trouble really fast. Putting a ball in the water is for the most part not a huge challenge on the par 4s. All of them are reachable with your 3rd shot.

It is just a matter of keeping the cool if you do hit the water. Just because of the fact that there is so much of it.

I am looking forward to play. Competing is what I like to do most. Got some good rest today and with some good night sleep I should be in good shape. The weather forecast is not that great. Let us hope they are right and the rain and thunder will come late afternoon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Brand new start, brand new plan, brand new golf training aide , here we go again

I am up early and running hot. Had a not so good night. For some reasons my nerve in or around the right shoulder feels like it is pinched and gives me some pain. In combination with the same feeling around my lower back, my nights are becoming a little more difficult. I really have to work on that.
First step is that we are back in our diet beginning tomorrow. I still have over 40 pounds to get rid of and it needs to happen ASAP. Not only so I can swing my club easier, which is not always the case once I lose weight, but because of a feeling I have and because I saw a friend yesterday who is some 10 years or 15 years older and lives on pills, not feeling good at all times. Most because there is plenty of weight he is carrying around. Came a long way already, but there is work to do and we start today.
Saturday I received my Cradlz Smartphone holder. Great item and I will write a review on that one which I publish soon. What it does is, it attaches to a practice stick which you then can stick in the ground behind  you or in front of you and place the phone it to record videos. This in itself is not to exciting and nothing new. However, I also got the V1 Sports mobile App. This App allows me to analyze my swing, compare it to swings from over 50 pros and show side by side videos to look at my progress or what I need to work on.
This is another step forward into technology to help me progress faster and in a more positive matter. I was shooting videos with my JVC cam a couple days ago. It is interesting and it works. But it is a hassle to get those video on my laptop and I have literally no option to analyze it. So I am very limited in working with that video. I will probably put it on YouTube for myself and see what I can do with it. This week I will start building my practice cage. Got the wood for the frame. Just need some tarps ( nets are too expensive) and some other hardware and there we go. This will help greatly and give me the opportunity to practice more at home. We are still working with one vehicle, which makes it difficult to get to my practice when I want to and the time frame is shortened. So we will supplement.
I think the combination with my V1 and Swingbyte will be very beneficial. A launch monitor or Simulator would be the right way to go. But despite checking out many options, I was not able to find a way to get my hands on a product which is good enough and affordable or financeable or would be sponsored. Once I found one I would need a building anyway to actually put it up permanently. Like a large shed which I could make into a simulator shed. I will keep working on ways to get to that.

Starting this week I need to get a better routine going. I am not talking about my pre shot routine, but my daily work routine.

I have no real plan. Just doing things every day and this is not productive. Get up earlier. Get some writing done, get some advertising done and all other admin stuff. Next I need to get to the range and work on my game for at least 90 minutes. Back home and breakfast. Then do some work at and around the house. Go for an 1 walk, do some weight and gym training at home, practice in my home area and then call it a day, at most keep writing.

This is what I kind of have in mind. Combined with my golf tournaments and practice rounds, that should be a good routine to go by. Only thing keeping my at times is still constantly arising question on how to keep the project going with $. But in the end , I will try to keep my focus on the goal and how to get there as fast as possible.

So today is a new start. New daily routine, new training aide to try and work with. If someone would here about options on how to get a good launch monitor or simulator. I am open to suggestions. Further we will seek a Truck Camper this year. Possibly with hanger. But that needs to be determined first. We are not sure what we will pull and if it should be something which will create income on the road. But I am looking for input. Maybe someone out there has a Simulator to sell, lease or to make available.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Terra Ceia Golf Club - Practice round just for fun

It has been over a year since I went out with my wife and I tell you , I miss it. There were times when we played almost every day and those were some happy times. Funny how good we played after a while doing that. Well today was the day. Still had a certificate I won some time ago. Won the closest to the pin price on a tournament. So we decided to go out and use it. Besides having the opportunity to play together, it also gave me an opportunity to play the course in preparation for the Club Championship March 28th and 29th. Not a huge tournament, but certainly one I would like to play and win. Who does not want to be the club champion?
My goal today was to keep it in play, try my new 5 wood. A club I received from my brother in law for our wedding. I need a 5 wood and at first wanted to have a matching club to my Jet Speed 3 wood. But since it was a gift , why spend another 250 $ if the club works for the distance I am looking for ? It has a wonderful feel to it and the shaft is something special. I really like it.
Christiane's goal was to play a round without loosing to many balls and get some pars in. Good news. Christiane played well, had fun and actually made a couple pars, including one on a par 3 which I bogeyed.
My round was good. My drives where in the fairway and I gave myself opportunities for birdies. First time I used my 5 wood was a trouble shot which was designed for that club 170 uphill lie in the rough and a large tree in front of me. Could be a 3 iron, which I do not play. This was exactly the shot I was looking for in order to practice this club. It worked out well and I got a good par out of it.
We played along well on this course. Both playing some good shots. Putting was tough. Greens were very slow. Like carpets, but we managed well. Had two more chances for the 5 wood. Number 8 par three. 195 to the pin from the blue tees. Usually a 3 hybrid, but we had plenty of wind, so the 5 wood was the right choice for me. Unfortunately I put the first one in the water. Gave it another go and put another one in the water ( at that point feeling like JD LOL) I hit another one and put it next to the green as I planned all along because of the pin placement. Last shot felt great and confirmed my feeling for the club. Next time I could use it on number 12. Short par 4 . Usually I go for the green with the driver, but I will play it smart from now on. My 5 wood was perfect. Straight as an error to the left side of the fairway, which is the spot to be. 200 yards. Right in the distance bracket this club needs to be for me ( 190 to 210) maybe even longer , depending on how my swing progresses.
Made a nice par with a good birdie chance.
We had fun. It was relaxing and I saw the game again as I should, as a game. At times I get to tied and then nothing goes. We simply had a good time and that is why we played good. My iron shots where all good except one which I put to the right a little. Chipping good, putting OK with those greens. Driver very good and in the fairway. This was an important round. For us as a couple and team to go out again, for me to get a practice round in and most important to get some confidence back after the last round at Bradenton Country Club, which was not a good golf round.
Now I am looking forward to practice and to the next few tournaments again. It will be fun and I have what I need to play well.

Monday, March 17, 2014

West Florida AM Tour - Bradenton Country Club tournament.

Standing here and waiting to be picked up to go home. Thunder and lightning starting at 12, but we could play on for a while before they stopped the tournament. Had a tough time to find my focus. Found it on 9. Too late then. Only the front 9 will count. That was the worst 9 I have played in many years. It is tough to have fun when shots seem to go the other way as well as putts. Justq couldq not focus on the task the way I have to. Had 1 regular drive on 11 . That was the only tee shot which is like me. Found the water a few times. Had ok shots towards the green and mostly a chance to save bogey if I had too. But I did not make any putts on the front 9. It was very windy, but I do not even mind that at all. Some of the iron shots were good. A great example of mental error would be the long hole number  5. At 427 this is a long par 4 and we were playing into the wind. My drive was not pretty and short. I had 217 to the pin on an elevated green placed behind the trap. I had a good  fairway wood just rolling off the green behind the pin. Leaving myself an uphill LW shot from about 10 yards. A actually one of my favorite shots. I left it short facing a downhill putt breaking right to left. Misjudged the speed and had a 7 foot uphill for bogey which I missed as well. Difficult to settle your mind after that. So I did some good stuff, but no reward. Followedup with a par on the par 3 . That was a good par. Hit the green. 35 foot lag and 6 inch par putt. Next tee shot: water. Unbelievable.On the back 9 it was better. I was able to get my swing under control a little bit. Had some ok drives, good shot out of had situations like fairway trap, tree trouble etc.. Lightening accompanied us beginningw at 12. We gotq called off on 16. Overall another interestingw experience. Nothing to remember. 

The plan for the next week's is standing. We have 3 more West Florida AM Tour Events, 1 Florida State Golf Association and the Club Championshipw at Terra Ceia Golfq Club. A good line up and preparation starts today.

Monday, March 10, 2014

West Florida Amateur Golf Tour - Ritz Carlton Members Club Sarasota Tournament

It sure was a nice day out. Perfect golf weather. Front nine was tough. Hit 4 fairways and 1 green in regulation. There is not much you can make out of this one. Found two traps. Two burried lip balls. Putting was tough when not used to the speed . But more interesting was the pin placement. Just could not make my ball stop . I managed well. Back 9 was better. Found 6 fairways and 4 greens in regulation. Had to take a 3 putt. Which luckily was the only one. My putting count was not to bad. However I simply was not fast enough on the green. No doubt I need more distanceq of the tee. Another 30 yards at least. The good news is, that I know I have those yards in me. Just need to be a little more patient. Also I need to consider my current time investment. I should practice and play 7 days a week. Reality right now is, that I get little quality practice in and tournament play only. I am not  unhappy with my result. Today was tough to win anything. 68 was the best round.The only diffefence. Distance of the tee. 40 yards longer at times. That gives you short irons and shorter putts . Shorter putts. More opportunity. Now getting ready for Bradenton Country Club next week. Really need to get out more. The Ritz Carlton is always a nice golf course to be on. One thing I really liked were the new golf carts. Very comfortable seats, GPS and kind of laptop on cart and very fancy stearing wheel.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Golf Channel Amateur Tour at Lakewood Ranch Royal Lakes and Sunday morning thoughts

The clock was set forward and considering that , I am up early. But I simply could not sleep any more. It is daylight and I feel good. As a matter of fact I am excited. First thing I read when I started reading golf news, sports news and so on was an article about Miguel Angel Jimenez. Without a doubt one of my favorite players. For his game and for what he stands. Although there was all kinds of things written. The following words he said are significant to me, because they are pretty much a duplicate of what I say and feel:

I still enjoy what I do, that's the main thing,” he said. “I enjoy what I do in my life and I enjoy to play golf and I enjoy to compete.  That's probably the main thing.  Then I'm not lazy to go to practice or go to the putting green or go to the gym work. But the main thing is that you have to enjoy what you do in your life, and I do.”

Those words are the same I am telling people when they ask me about my golfing plans and about what I am working on and do. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy to compete and to improve. As a matter of fact, I enjoy my life  and love my life. That is why I work on my game, find ways to go play golf, get better and am in constant search of tournaments or any competition. When I am on the golf course , playing a tournament, any tournament, I am happy and feel good. Sure, I also feel good doing other things. Like sitting on the Zapfsaeule in Cala Millor, Spain, having some self poured draft beer, looking over to the ocean, being with friends and snacking jamon and cheese. There is plenty of things which bring forward this feeling of happiness.

But that is all different. When I get up in the morning on any given day and I get ready for a round of tournament golf. Make coffee, sit in my chair and play the course one more time in my mind, find the clothes I like for the day, pack my bag, have breakfast and do meditate for a few, I feel that I do exactly what I am supposed to do. I feel like I am doing my part. It is hard to describe the feeling. It feels right. That simple.

I also enjoy practicing. As a matter of fact I can practice for hours. I can make it a happening including pool breaks, beer breaks, chatting and nature watching. Yet it is also my job, my work and what I need to do to get better in what I am doing to make a living.

Miguel said it right and I can feel what he feels. I even developed an appreciation and taste for cigars. Unlike cigarettes, which I smoked a ton in my life, cigars are something to enjoy like a good rum or a good wine. But I will write a little about hat in my golf chat blog.

Yesterday I did what I described. I got up at 5 am after a night which did not bring me any good sleep. Not exactly sure why, but I think that my mind was occupied with things happening in our daily lives. That and some other issues made the night before the tournament not very relaxing. However, I did get up and starting my morning tournament routine. Something , everybody who plays tournament golf should have and most PGA pros do have.

Made myself some coffee first, sat down in my chair and went through the upcoming day in my mind. After enjoying more coffee I then read some news on the Internet. Nothing specific. Just browsing to see what the World is doing and golf results as well as soccer results. I then made myself some breakfast and a snack for the round. Picked out the clothes for the day based on the weather forecast and then off into the shower. Which was cold yesterday morning.

My tee off for this one day Golf Channel Amateur Tour Event was 8 30 am. The lead group. So I had to leave early in order to have some time to warm. The set up at Lakewood Ranch Country Club is a little inconvenient. The range is at the main club house and from there you have to drive a few minutes to get to the other course. Not a big deal. I got there at 7 25 am. That gave me 35 min to warm. This is plenty . After all , before a tournament you warm up and do not work on your game. They have an excellent driving range with Titleist range balls. I really like the chipping green. It is not as flat as most others I know. So I spend most of my warm up right there. Did my usual line up on the range and although it did not feel perfect, I liked my wedges and mid irons very much no that day.

Being in the lead group is a good thing. I love it. Because  you set the pace for everyone and you are in control. I was teamed up with Dag Rasen from Norway and Russel Nicola. Both live in Tampa I believe. From the get go we got along well. I like the Golf Channel Amateur Tour. It is by far the best organized and very professional.

How was my round at Lakewood Ranch Royal Lakes?

I started of with an OK tee shot. The goal was to put it in play and gain some confidence. That worked out well. Made the only par on that hole in  my group and felt pretty good about it. After an OK hybrid into the wind and two good putts. My front 9 was OK. My tee shots were not exciting, but I put it in play and gave myself a shot at the green. Not many fairways of the tee and not too many greens in regulation as well. However, my short game , which is my best part, was in good shape. So I managed to play a good 39 on the front. I was satisfied but not overly excited. The shots I made from the waste areas were great shots, the shots from the rough were good shots and my chipping was OK. However, I missed a couple good birdie opportunities, one not so difficult par putt and had a three putt. Both par 5s I had a birdie putt. One long one and one from 7 feet. Both I missed by literally 1 inch and made par.
Best hole on the back was number 9. 410 par 4 on that day. My tee shot was horrible. I came over the ball to fast and putt it all the way left into the rough. The good news was that I had a clear short at the green. 217 years to the pin, up hill, into the wind which game front left to right. My plan was to hit an easy low 3 wood and land it somewhere left front of the green to get a putt or a close chip. Since my 3 wood was not the best club in my bag on that day, playing huge left to right shots, I actually decided to play exactly that. A left to right fade, almost slice. So I aimed about 25 yards left of the green and let it go. As a result I got myself a birdie putt from about 30 feet. The putt stopped half an inch before the hole.

The back 9 I started with a tee shot into another waste land , but hit a great 7 iron in between two trees and had a birdie putt again. Made par. 11 my tee shot was not too good. Followed by a bad approach but a good second approach and another good putt. I tagged along well on the back 9. Making the best with what I had, playing the game, having fun, working the shots. I was 1 over when I came to 15. Having missed 3 birdie putts I was looking forward to this short hole.

Put my drive in the perfect spot leaving myself a straight shot at the flag in to the wind for about 156. It was a downhill lie and I did not pay attention enough to that fact. So I missed the green to the right yet ending up in another waste land area. Here I made the biggest misstate of this round. After hitting 4 good shots from this gravel stuff, I was confident, that it was hard and I only took 1 practice swing to feel the ground. When I executed my shot, I went right under the ball. In the area I was in , the sand was softer !!! I did not evaluate my location enough. I chipped it within 7 feet then.

It was a side hill lie. Meaning the green fell to the right all the way and the pin was placed on that down slope. I missed my putt by an inch and thought that I have about a foot for double. However, the slope and the very fast green made my ball go another 7 foot downhill. I made this putt with confidence, but was glad to get out of this. Later I heard that the pin placement was so severe, that everyone was struggling and there even has been a 6 putt!
Again I was 3 over and not happy. I knew that I needed to shot at least 77 or better to get in the money. I made a par on each 16 and 17, again missing a good birdie opportunity on both hole. I only had one goal playing the par 5 18. Score a birdie and if a chance to get on the green , putt for eagle.

We had the wind against us again. Had a good drive, but had 250 to clear the water. So I decided to lay up. There it happened. I did not take enough time, came over the ball too fast and only with some athletic move was able to catch enough of the ball to move it forward at all. Luckily the fairways were nice and I got some extra roll. Had 110 to the pin. Knowing that there was a down slope right in front of the pin and the pin sitting up hill, the goal was to hit this down slope. That is exactly what I did , leaving myself 6 foot for yet another birdie.

This time I made it and what an important birdie it was. Only 3 players in my flight shot 76. Which left me and another player in 4th place together. In such situation there is a card play off. Counting from 18 backwards. That is where my birdie came in handy. What do we learn? Every shot counts.

All together , I played a solid round. It was not pretty to watch. Most of my drives not being in the fairway and not being the longest I can do. But , hitting some good approach shots and certainly having lots of control over my chipping and putting. There was plenty of opportunity. In all I had 4 or 5 make able birdie putts and a few putts with outside chances.

Kept the ball in play, was relaxed and had fun. Considering , that I practice about 1 time a week and did not practice at all for weeks  other then occasionally hitting some balls, I am pretty excited.

It clearly shows, that I can play this game with whatever I have and shoot a good round of golf.
My last note: We only needed 3 hours and 37 minutes to play this round of golf.

We were never rushing, never under stress and took all the time we needed. ( Might use some more time for putting in the future). It was a pleasure to play. Everyone was ready to hit when the turn got to him, everybody was moving and doing things while others were getting ready for their shots. Professional, in focus and with plenty of fun. A good round of golf.

Based on that I am looking forward to Monday. The West Florida Amateur Tour Event at the Ritz Carlton Members Club in Sarasota. One of my favorite tracks where I have a history of winning and playing well. I will go, have fun, enjoy the preserved nature and play the game. That is what I do and I love it :) .
Today is resting and more day with an hour or so warm up practice. Watching golf and crossing my fingers that Miguel will shoot yet another good round. Proving that a 50 year old, cigar smoking, wine drinking and life enjoying golfer still can make it happen :).

Thursday, March 6, 2014

FSGA Tournament - Lakewoodranch Golf and Country Club , the Cyrpress Lakes Course

Got up at 5 15 am this morning. Made coffee and got myself ready to play. So excited to get out and right away on a highly rated golf course. I have never played on this course and so I was pretty happy to get a shot at this private place. Started with a coffee and a little bite to eat. After that I used one of my short meditation and mental practice videos to put myself in focus. It works great and helps me to get my mind into the proper state. There is still long ways to go in that matter.
I was picked up at 7 30 am by my friend Adam who was signed up as my team partner in this better ball event organized by the Florida State Golf Association.
Only took us 30 minutes to get there. It was raining on the way and we were hoping for better weather in Lakewood Ranch. We actually found just that. So we signed in and started warm up. While on the range the weather started to change. More clouds and more wind. It did not take long until we heard the announcement that the tournament was cancelled because of a storm coming in.
I was so disappointed. That was my 5th try to play on this course and again I was not able to get on it. We decided to use the time for some concentrated practice. They have Titleist range balls and a wonderful practice area. Nice chipping green and wide open range with plenty of targets. I thin we made it for about 30 minutes. But those 30 minutes were very productive. My focus was on short irons. 85 to 100 yards. That is a distance I shoot for on long par 5s if I am not sure that I can reach it or think that any closer there is trouble. It is also a distance range which I find when I put my driver into trouble situations and need to find a spot to approach the green safely.

It worked out well. Had my GW and PW under control. In between I took out my 3 wood and driver just to relax and added some 5 irons in between. But always went back to my GW and PW after a few shots. Once done we checked out the Pro Shop. Pretty much a standard country club pro shop. Expensive and limited selection. Off we went towards home.

It was raining cats and dogs and there was lightning and even some thunder. It was clear  that there was no practice in sight. I used some of my time to work on mental practice. Meditation mainly. Tried a new program which seemed to be pretty interesting. I can not write much about it, since I did my first session today. But I will keep you update.

Rest of the time I worked on my blogs. achims golf reviews and on educating myself on how to write better and more. I feel rested and refreshed and think that I will add to that tomorrow. On Saturday I again will show up at Lakewood Ranch Country Club. This time it will be the Royal Lakes Course. I know that one. Played it a few times and like it. A links style course with no bunkers ( all waste areas). Particular difficult when windy, which it mostly is.

This will be a Golf Channel AM Tour event. I like those events. Find my review on my review site. Very professional organized Amateur Golf Tour. I am so ready to play. Watched some golf today and one thing is for sure. There is nothing they do out there which I can not. Just a matter of working hard and sticking with it. On a good note. I had time to chat with my friend Adam Zaidel who is a very good golfer himself. Nice to learn more about his goals, the tournaments in Germany and golf in general. Always good to exchange information, tips, ideas and so on. Having a partner for practice is a nice thing and I am still working that. Anyone in the Bradenton area who has some big goals in terms of golf? Wants to open a range? Sells a Flight Scope or Simulator? Anyone who wants to team up?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Florida State Golf Association Tournaments and more - a new beginning towards my goal

Today marks the day which is the end of a close to 3 month stay of guests. Friends and family. We had so many things going on. Beginning in December and lasting through today. Including travels, wedding and more. It all was exciting and fun and we did a good job of entertaining and getting things done. We ate lots of good food and drank lots of good beer, wine and rum. Even had some cigars. It would be a longer story to tell you all the things which happened. One thing is for sure , all things which did occur were good and I am excited. Now there is a brand new start into a brand new round of reaching my goal. I am more determined and more sure that play golf  is all I want to do than ever. Talking to friends for many hours over the past months and listening to stories about work , life and so on, there is no doubt, that my thoughts are 100 % correct. Everything I believe in was confirmed as correct.
So, there is a new plan and a new approach. It will not be easy. As a matter of fact , the coming months will be more difficult and even more stressful. But that is the price I will pay without blinking to reach my goal and with that the life we are seeking.
Today I will use my time to just write, read, rest and get my mind settled and put it at ease. Preparing for tomorrow is also on the agenda. Getting my bag ready, writing a game plan and later this afternoon go to my practice area and get my irons and woods in shape. I feel great. My swing actually was good the last two rounds. I am not as settled as I like to be. It will take time to apply what I learned about mental preparation and how to get  your mind in focus on one particular task. Although I am good at it, the daily life and what comes with it , has a huge unwanted impact on my ability to play golf the way I like it. However, that is something everybody has to deal with.
So , I try some meditation today and just settle down. Put things in perspective.
Tomorrow we play a two men better ball event. Being a team will help to be more relaxed. After all we have two opportunities on every hole to get a good score in. I am excited about that as well. I will play with my good friend Adam Zaidel from Germany. Without a doubt a good golfer and simply a nice guy. So a good and fun round is coming towards us. This is also my practice round for the Golfchannel Tour Event this coming Saturday where we play the same course. It was pure luck that it happened like that. This course does not allow any practice rounds and it would have been difficult to play a stroke play event without ever having seen the golf course. We will see what happens. I am so looking forward to be on the course. The day I can do just and only that will be the ultimate accomplishment and day.
Monday I will continue on the West Florida AM Tour. At first I thought to skip all that and go to IMG for a week and get fine tuned and learn the maybe the one or other thing to progress faster and better. However, after thinking and talking, I will finish this particular tour on the golf courses they offer, about 7 events and give it my best shot to win the money title on that circuit. In combination with practice and maybe a couple other rounds I will work on finding my biggest challenges and errors. That will give me a better starting base to work on the next step with a professional swing trainer in a professional school.
Sounds all good to me. There is a few hurdles to take over the next few weeks. So cross your fingers that we find some more people for my team , which did not grow over the past 12 months and is in need of growth. For that I will apply some changes to my hole set up online and in business. More golf relations, less other relations, more golf advertising, less other advertising, more golf events of all kinds, less other things. The center of the entire project is golf in itself. My and my teams focus needs to be on that and that only. I keep listening to interviews and to teaching videos and one of the things I hear over and over again, is the fact that it takes a group of dedicated people to get things done. Just like a football team. All these minds have one common goal and put a huge part of their energy into this common goal. Only then , success will be accomplished .
Pretty good stuff and I am looking forward to draw people closer. Through my game, through my determination and through my unbreakable believe, that what I do is not on the right thing  to do, but also the only thing which will lead me and then us to were we want to go. Again, I am open to suggestions, ideas and more. There is things which need to be done and get organized. Money to be raised and people to be met. Anything you can suggest which might help? Looking forward to many more comments and communications. Next update : Tomorrow after the FSGA tournament at Lakewood Ranch.