Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 3Jack Prepares For Golf


This year I plan on trying to qualify for the Florida State Amateur Match Play championship. Last year I played in the Florida Mid-Am. My end goal is to make the match play portion of the US Amateur, but I project that my game will not quite be ready in time for me to seriously qualify for it this year.

I will likely forego qualifying for the Mid-Am this year because the qualifier is held at a private club (Legacy at Alacqua Lakes) and I don’t care to pay money and take time off from work to play a qualifier at a course that I will likely only get 1 practice round in. The Florida Amateur qualifier is at Metrowest, a well known public course in downtown Orlando. Furthermore, the actual championship will be held at the Country Club of Orlando. If I qualify, it would just be a short 15 minute drive from my home.

First, let me once again thank the Florida State Golf Association for the excellent work they do. They treated us tremendously last year and once again, their Web site is so efficient and user friendly and helps make things easy for us competitive golfers in Florida. They really go all out for us.

Here’s the scorecard from MetroWest.

Also, here’s a link of their ‘course tour.’


I’ve only played MetroWest once, but I plan on playing there at least once a month up until the qualifier this year. It’s a Robert Trent Jones design (and pretty typical one). Even though it’s in downtown Orlando, from a central Florida perspective it’s probably one of the hilliest courses you’ll find in the area. Overall, I would recommend this course to vacationers. It’s not as good as say Shingle Creek, World Woods, Orange County National or Reunion, but it’s a slight step below those and probably above places like North Shore, Eagle Creek and Falcon’s Fire.

Anyway, one of the things that stands out about MetroWest is its long par-5’s. I believe that we will not play fully from the back tees (although I will practice from there).

#4 will likely be moved up to no further than 568 yards (probably more like 580 yards).

#10 will probably be moved up. And #17 will probably be moved to 198 yards. The committee usually moves up 2-4 of the tees to help keep the pace of play moving.

Still, when you see long par-5’s on a course that is only 7,050 yards I think the overall theme is that it will be tough to go real low here. Also, MetroWest clearly favors the bombers, in part because of the long par-5’s. The good news is that I’ve picked up distance switching back to a Wishon 919THI 9* driver with an Aldila RIP Beta shaft in part to better launch and spin conditions. I’ve also been hitting the Wishon 929HS 3-wood quite well and long (topping out at 270 yards off the deck, but more like 255-260 yards). In preparation for MetroWest, I will be practicing a lot more with the 3-wood.

Since I have only played there once, almost 2 years ago, my memory of the course is still a little fuzzy. However, I think the problem holes are:

#4 610 yard par-5 (pictured above)

If I recall, it’s an elevated tee and then the second shot will go around a bend. So the dilemma becomes how much the golfer can cut off on the 2nd shot without going in the water.

#6 429 yard par-4

IIRC, this goes uphill. So I believe a Danger Zone shot on the approach is likely.

#8 178 yard par-3

Danger Zone shot

#9 405 yard par-4 (first picture)

Another elevated tee with the hole going around water. This time the water is on the left. I believe to go in a straight line from the tee to the green is about 330 yards and John Daly actually drove the green with the driver. But, the ‘normal’ play is to hit down the right side. I don’t think you hit driver if playing down the fairway because you’ll likely hit it too long. Here’s where the 3-wood or hybrid off the tee play may be a factor.

#10 584 yard par-5

I just remember this hole being fairly tight off the tee with a lot of difficult downhill lies on the 2nd shot.

#15 – 196 yard par-3

Danger Zone shot.

#17 – 226 yard par-3

Very difficult shot. Particularly into the wind. I believe they will move up the tees to 200 yards and still a difficult shot into the par-3.

Other than that, for now I’m going to keep working on the swing. But, I will set aside 1 day a week for just putting practice (probably on Wednesday). From there, just keep tweaking equipment and keep the mental and course management sharp.


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