Monday, June 9, 2014

Bobby Jones Golf Complex, Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club and Tatum Ridge Golf Links - 3 days of golf and competition

After 3 days of playing in 90 degrees plus I took it easy yesterday in terms of practice. I have to say that my physical fitness is pretty good despite the fact that I clearly have to much weight.
I started the weekend at Bobby Jones Golf Complex with a single skins game. Because it is a quota game it is not my favorite format, but since only birdies and better  pay I find it motivating and a good opportunity to shoot for the pin. Points are not paying well there, so although I like to play good, my main objective is to go for the pin at all times. It was very hot. Still I warmed up 30 min before going out. It is crucial for me to get my back stretched and my mind and timing dialed in. The round was not as good as I hoped for. The main reason being my tee shot. Through the entire round I never felt comfortable when addressing the ball. So I was never really ready ( mentally).
That had a big impact on my swing thought and then on my swing. My short game saved me many times again and my shots in trouble situations are getting better and more confident. There was no winnings for me but I was satisfied with several aspects of my game. Mainly the fact, that my touch around the green is improving and that I make better decisions when in trouble. Like when I am behind a tree, on gravel or sand and so on.
With those positive thoughts in mind I took of Saturday morning to Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club. I was signed up for the 2nd Clearwater Highschool Tornado Football Celebrity Golf Tournament. This event was a 4 men scramble . The reasons to start there were simple. Good prices ( both for hole in one and raffle), the potential to meet some interesting new people and playing a course I never have played before. I think also  the opportunity to play my driver without blocking thoughts was a little factor.
You can read about the course and the tournament at in the next few days. In regards to my game, I am satisfied with my ability to keep the ball in play and my good touch around the green. My part in the team was to get the ball in play so our longest hitter can let his tee shot go. I successfully hit 12 fairways. I also was able to play great chips and bunker shots. In the end all this helped us to shot a 64. A good round considering that our group played without Mulligans. It was not enough to win anything. But I felt good about my work. I have to mention though, that despite me hitting all those fairways, my drives were not as they should be. I was holding back, blocking and simply not releasing. That kept my tee shot shorter than I wanted. But the key was to be in the fairway, both for this event and in preparation for the City Championship in Bradenton which will be played on Riverrun Golf Links, a course there you are either in the fairway or out.
My Sunday round I played at Tatum Ridge Golf Links in Sarasota. Again I was not finding my comfort zone at all. I did hit 13 fairways yet again. But I missed all par 3s. Chipping and putting was good as always. But even with getting the ball in the fairway and a good short game, I was not able to make anything happen to win $.
As a result of those three days of golfing I would say that my short game keeps improving. 90 to 40 yards are my favorite distances and I can make things happen. That will be a huge factor on long par 5s.  A huge challenge is the green speed. I practice on greens with stimps of 11 and up. Yet some of the rounds I play in competition are on super slow greens ( I would say 7 to 8 on a stimpmeter). I would say that I lose about 5 strokes on a course with slow or damaged greens. Maybe even more. I will work harder to learn how to deal with that. I am convinced, that I can get my putting and chipping to a point so I can judge greens better and act accordingly.
My tee shot remains my #1 challenge. I can hit fairways all day long but am way to short. It is mentally draining to not be able to hit consistent tee shots. There are days I release my right hand and arm and hit long beautiful tee shots all day long and then there are days I am not sure what I am doing there. Not acceptable. On par 3s over 190 I am not accurate enough to give myself enough opportunities. Everything below that I feel comfortable and for the most part am in range to get a birdie and for sure a par.
There are plenty of  tournaments coming up soon. So I need to get to work and fix my tee shot . Once I have that under control, things will change dramatically. I will start with a swing analysis at GolfTec. Hopefully this week. Anybody tried that before? Let me know about your experience.

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