Entries Tagged as 'score update'

Do we let goals go OR defer them?

At the end of August my handicap went out to 8 for the first time since 1995.  Now it is exactly 7.8.

Then it was over eight because I resumed competition after a six year lay off. Now I have just changed my home course.

Then I had good reason to be 2 or 3 shots over my previous playing mark. Now there are other factors, but none of them add up to the difference  (or at least I don’t think so).

Then I wanted to get my handicap below 8. Now I have a goal to reduce my handicap from 5 to 2.

Do I give up that idea entirely, or just shelve it for now?

Back to the course

After a couple of weeks it will be good to get back on course to play 18 holes where only MY score counts.  First it was fousomes, then a fourball aggregate, and then a week off. With weather warming up a little, depsite snow on the mountain, a day on the golf course is looking good.

My last round was passable – 34 points.  Sitting back when the game was over and analysing the round it was fairly obvious that I actually played well!  How can that be?  After a great drive down 13 I wiped the hole, one bad shot, a bad bounce (= one shot penalty), and too much aggression on my approach meant I had one shot too many. A poor shot was followed by a poor thought process. That is a recipe for disaster.  SO…ignoring that hole I still hit 8 bunkers and had over 30 putts. With that background 34 points was a good result.

Highlights and shots to remember.

  • Birdie, birdie sequence on 16 and 17. Both birdie were set up by three-woods to the middle of the fairway.
  • Nine iron approach on 6  that finished pin high and ten feet to the right of the pin.
  • Nine iron approach on 7. The swing felt good, and the ball flew on a line direct to the pin, struck the top f the flagstick and dropped finished about six feet passed the pin.


FIR: 50% GIR: 33%  Putts: 31 Score: 34 points  Handicap: reduced by .1 to 7.1

Still going the wrong way…

For the first time in weeks my Fairways in  Regulation hit 50%.  Unfortunately the statistic that didn’t move forward was Greens in Regulation, a mere 30%.  Alongside these numbers were 29 putts, an overall result that was passable but included two three-putts on my back nine.

The bald statistics only tell part of the story, and three holes blew my stroke score out of the water.  I did not think that the cold I was struggling with was a factor, especially after being only 4 over at the turn. Two double bogeys, two three putts, and a shanked chip conributed to bogey golf over the last nine holes, and a final score of 85.  It is not a score that satsifies, and the impact on my handicap was severe. Another 0.6 was added and at 6.8 the handicap is as high as it has been for over 7 years.  A combination of new handicapping system and a new (and tougher) course has all contributed to this dose of reality.

At the turn  things were was positive. A front nine of 4 over (including two penalties) was not disastrous, and I had been playing fairly consistently.  What followed was a litany of bad luck and poor golf that did not reflect the first nine holes, nor my ball striking.  As always, it’s not how – it’s how many.  How many? Too many!

Memorable moments:

On the par 3 15th a pushed tee shot ended in the tea tree. With an unplayable lie I oicked the ball up and retreated about 30 metres – there were no alternatives as the ball was deep in the  scrub. Faced with a 50 metre pitch my aim was to get the ball on the green.  Unfortunately I came off the shot a touch, and hit it low and straight into the tea tree again. I found it 10 centimetres from where I had picked it up just moments before.  Another drop, a pitch and a 10 metre putt had me marking a 6 on the card. It was a good six!

Shots to remember:

  • A pure 8 iron on 4 that covered the pin, and settled 8 metres past the hole and directly on line.
  • A chip from the rough on 18. In the rough and fifteen metres from the hole the chip landed neatly over ridge and stopped just over one metre below the hole.
  • My focus on the 6th tee was good. I selected my line, established my key swing thoughts and swung through the ball. despite hitting into a slight headwind from the back tee the ball started just right of centre and drew slightly into the left half of the fairway. With just over 200 metres left to the green the 230 metre drive was one of my best for the day.

Related posts:

Target 2…now further away.

Weather forecast 8-15 degrees, with showers in the afternoon.  It’s a little cold early in the morning, but 15 degrees seemed to be OK.  The day started with hope.  Another stableford at Royal Hobart, the course in good  nick and no breeze. 

My first (the tenth) was a wipe with a double bogey. After leaking my first tee shot right and having to hack out square, a poor chip blew away the chance at a point.  At the turn I had gathered my wits and started to play consistent golf. Two more poor chips had not been costly and I had 16 points on the card. 

A little bit of drizzle had come and gone, but the sky was  not looking good.  Drizzle turned to downpour as we ventured down the first hole and the game got harder. Putting through casual water was standard fare for the next four holes. I coped OK for the first two, despite drives just easing right. Then it fell apart. Three points over the next five holes effectively wrote off my round. What went wrong? 

  • Tee shots -three to the right, two to the left. Three shots gone….
  • Chipping – one badly short, one long. Two shots  gone…
  • Putting – a six foot downhill putt (on a dry section) became a nine foot putt back that missed. One shot gone…

At least I finished with three pars (two realistic birdie chances) in the last four holes!


FIR: 28%  GIR: 44%  Putts: 34  Score: 28 points Handicap: 5.5/playing off 6

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  • Greenacres
  • St Helens – Tasmania
  • So near and yet…

    A little extra bit of work and a serious start to lifting my mental game were part of this week’s preparation. Did it pay off?  Yes…and NO.

    Generally my driving was better.  50% of fairways hit doesn’t sound like a great deal of improvement, but only one of those five required a creative recovery. Even then it was only about five metres from the cut surface.

    My bunker play was good – with two sand saves, and one GIR from a  fairway bunker.

    For over two thirds of the round my thinking and approach was good – and my ‘course plan’ was sound.  At times I was let down by execution that was not quite right.

    So how did I go with this strategy? Answer: after the 15th I was on track to play to my handicap, despite missing a 2 foot par putt on 13. Three holes later another point had been added to my stableford score and five more shots had been taken than my handicap allowed.

    The statistics:

    FIR: 50%  GIR: 50% PPG in Reg: 2.22 Score: 31 points. Handicap: 4.9 for another week.

    Bad bounces and shanks…

    Week by week measuring of progress is humbling, but enlightening.

    Progress might be sensed on the practice range but needs to be realised on the course. The swing might feel more solid, the errors more ‘consistent’ (i.e. the default error is a fade, not a fade or pull), but the true test comes when the scores count.  On Saturday they counted. The strokes came out too high and the stableford points way too low.

    Looking back there are three glaring errors, a.k.a. shanks, which are not normally part of my game. The effect on my score was a needless three shots. What was most surprising was that two of them were ‘chip-outs’ from trouble! That should be an easy fix. The other shot I will discount as an aberration.

    The other aspect of my game that was disappointing was my driving – three shots ended up way right (two in trouble). After completing nine holes with my worst drive two metres from the short cut (sum total about 10 metres off the fairway from seven drives but only one actually on the fairway) I proceed to carve three of my next four drives towards trees on the right. But for a lucky bounce the pain would have been greater.

    Add in what were effectively two three putts (one from just of the putting surface) and the score wasn’t looking great.

    During the round there were two bits of bad luck. Approaching a bunker I was reflecting on the friendly design of the course bunkers and expecting to find my ball on a flat lie at the bottom of the bunker. Nope! I was plugged at the back of the bunker with a downhill lie in heavy and damp sand. I got it out, just. From there another shot was wasted as I took three to get down from the fringe. Two holes later and my 30 metre pitch landed close to the distance I wanted, but was half a metre left of the target area. Instead of bouncing softly off the grass it leapt into the air off a sprinkler head and bounded merrily across the green into a little swale.  The birdie opportunity quickly became a failed attempt to save par.

    With a little bad  luck and too many bad shots the end result was 30 points. Not the 38 I would like, but not the 28 it could have been. With three wipes and two one pointers on the easy par 5’s I walked away frustrated with parts my round, yet knowing that the good round could be the next one.

    The Statistics:

    FIR: 22%  GIR: 55% PPG: in reg 1.9  Putts: 34  Stableford points: 30 Handicap: 4.9 (unchanged).

    The Bad News:

    Under the new handicapping system one of my best scores drops off in three competition rounds. A good round is needed soon.

    Related Posts:

    Close … but not there yet

    A magnificent day in Hobart, no breeze and a little dew adding a layer of moisture for the first five or six holes. Perfect for golf.

    After the normal warm up the game got under way.  On the practice fairway things were good, and the first drive split the middle of the fairway. Five shots later my first double bogey was on the card – not a good start in a stroke round. 40% of my handicap gone with 17 holes to play. 

    A birdie putt on 11 (my second hole) was on line but just short.  Blast!  Then followed a birdie, only to give the shot straight back with a three putt bogey. Four pars followed before bunker hopping to a bogey on 18. Three over at the turn was OK.

    Splitting the fairway on one was followed by a slightly mishit 3 iron, and a one meter putt for a birdie.  From two metres my birdie putt didn’t even graze the hole on  4, and the next two holes yielded two double bogeys.  A shocking drive precipitated the first double, and the next was poor course management par excellence.  Five shots were given away in just three holes. A fortunate bounce off a tree left my ball on the fairway at 7, and after a good aproach the putt dropped for a birdie.  That shot was  given back on the next hole after my chip landed on the putting surface instead of  the fringe and my four metre putt lipped the hole.  Six over with one hole to play. On the 9th (my last hole) one centimetre was all that stood between playing to my handicap or not. Right on line is no good if the putt stops short of the  lip! 

    The result was a 78, nett 73 – and my handicap went down 0.1 as  this round replaced a 7 over round in my top ten.


    FIR: 57%  Driving distance 237 metres*

    GIR 72%  PPG 1.833 (32 putts) Average first putt distance 22.39 feet.

     * Driving distance is based on two holes going in opposite directions as per PGA tour stats. Average drive distance for all open driving holes was 223 metres. Monthly medals are played off the back tees, and distances to the green are marked on sprinkler heads.

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    Facts vs. Feelings

    At the end of the day the ball striking was pleasing. Off the club so many shots felt good, and I was generally happy with my swing.  At least two birdie opportunities were from under ten feet. The score card told another story – 28 points!

    Statistics: FIR 21%  GIR 27%  Putts 34. None of them were good!

    After 5 holes I was two over, but on handicap. The next four holes included one penalty drop (unplayable lie) and 10 putts, 9 of those putts came from within 6 feet of the hole.  A downhill birdie putt from 4 foot on the 6th kicked off an appalling sequence which ended with a missed 2 foot bogey putt on the 9th. Six shots dropped in four holes. 

    Looking beyond the putting lapses there were 5 drives where it was not possible to go for the green. The fnal score was not helped by two penalty strokes – my one hooked tee shot ended in water on 14, and a sliced 2 hybrid on 9 (after a  magnificent drive that was on the fairway) ended in an impossible lie in the tea tree.

    In summary, the good is very good, but the bad was horrid.  It was one of those days. All golfers live for the day when it is all good. Roll on that day!

    Practice makes perfect?

    The old adage is not quite correct. It should read “Perfect practice makes perfect”.

    Swing changes don’t get established in one day, it takes much more than that.  Perfect practice is needed. Just two days (= two practice sessions) after the lesson I played a competitive round of golf.

    Result: 30 stableford points. Verdict: satisfied.

    Despite being six shots over my handicap, golf on Saturday was OK.

    The negatives:

    • One three putt – forgot about the downhill slope
    • Two  wipe-outs – one drive pulled way left followed by a thoughtless provisional, the other a ball (slight fade) we lost sight of in the air and could not find in the rough
    • Two approaches went long. Each shot travelled at least  ten metres further than anticipated. Is that just better ball striking or is it bad judgment?

    The positives:

    • 64% driving accurracy including 5 of the last 6 driving holes
    • Approaches between 50 and 100 metres (six shots) were all on line and covered the pin – just got to work on distance
    • Pin high for 2 on the reachable par 5’s
    • Shot shape good. The slight sliding fade that had developed was not in evidence.

    All in all a satisfactory golfing day, if not a good scoring day.

    What next?  Practice fairway twice this week, and nine holes Friday night.  No golf for me Saturday so the real test will have to wait for a fortnight.

    A place for the bunker rake

    The rake goes here.