Monday, August 25, 2008

TPC Scottsdale $99 Summer Deal 36 Holes

Last weekend I went to TPC Scottsdale and took advantage of their special summer deal. $99 for two rounds, one at the Champions Course and the other at the Stadium Course (where the FBR Open is played), lunch included.

We started around 7:30 AM and then ate lunch, showered, changed into fresh clothes, and headed back out to the Stadium Course. It wasn't until the last four holes that I really felt the heat...I was drained!

I shot a 79 at the Champions course! It was the first time I broke 80 for at least a year. We played for money on the overall 36 hole score and I won the pot. We also played greenies, skins, and birdies and I won a few of those as well! I had two birdies on the Champions course and one birdie on the beautiful par 5, hole 15, with the green surrounded by water!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Highlights at Whirlwind

At Whirlwind, I didn't get a full round in before it got dark, but here is a highlight of the round.

On the first hole, I hit a great drive down the center of the fairway. On my next shot, I shanked the ball, which I haven't done in a long time. I was disgusted. Since I was the only player out there, and probably the last of the day, I pulled out a practice ball and landed it on the front of the green.

As I approached my ball, I realized I was about 78 yards from an elevated green (from where I was standing) with a small tree in front of me. I pulled out my 60 degree wedge and knew I could fly the tree. As I hit my ball, I saw it launch right at the flag. Since the green was elevated, I couldn't see if I was short or long, or what happened to the ball after it hit the green.

I climbed the small hill to the green in anticipation. There a ball lay on the front of the green, quite a distance from the pin. "Oh well" I thought and I went and pulled the pin out from the hole only to hear a ball settle in the bottom of the cup where the pin had been. "Who left their ball in the hole?" I wondered.

All in one moment I saw that the ball was mine, and realized that the ball in the front of the green was the practice approach shot that I had hit previously. I looked around to see if anyone had witnessed my ball go in the hole, as I definitely had not. No one was around, but I gleefully marked a 3 and circled it on my scorecard!

Practice Weekend

Last weekend, I didn't play golf, I practiced. I actually enjoy practicing golf, which I hope will translate to me becoming a better golfer.

This time I practiced my short game heavily. I started off on my chipping in different positions around the green. Uphill chipping, Downhill chipping, to a short pin and long pin. I then moved out to 40, 55, and 70 yards approximately. As I am writing this, I realize that I don't remember the exact yardages now! I need to go re-verify on the practice range. I found out that if I go "L to L" my distance is about 45-50 yards, and if I go from what I call "L to T" which simply means I have a full follow-through, my ball reaches the 70 yard mark. For the shorter, 40 yard shot I can simply do the same "L to L" routine but have my feet very close together so as to limit my lower body in the shot, which reduces the distance to around 40 yards. "L" simply means a half back-swing where the arms are parallel to the ground and the club with the arms forms an "L" shape. The "T" is where on a full, follow-through, the club actually is more parallel to the ground and the club with the arms forms a "T" shape.

For my putting, I practiced some longer-range "lag" putts. Trying to improve my feel. One thing I have heard that you can do is simply "lag" the ball to the fringe on the edge of the green. I didn't do this, however, because I wanted to get close to a pin (which simulates what happens in a real game situation). Then, I pulled out a home-made string with stakes, so I could practice my alignment as well as putting down the line, rather than pulling or pushing my putts. This practice was ideal because I realized that "where my eyes go, the ball goes". In other words, if my eyes follow the line I want the putt to go, the ball will follow.