Going into the qualifier I thought
that under part at Metrowest would probably qualify. I had played Metrowest
about 8 different times and struggled on 7 of the rounds, but managed to keep
the scores between 74-78. In the month leading to the qualifier I started to hit
the irons superbly. I was flagging about 3-4 shots a round, coming very close to
making a hole-in-one or jarring an eagle on multiple occasions.
killing me was the driver, but I was more inconsistent than anything. I would
have a lot of times where the front 9 would be a disaster driving the ball, then
I would start to 'get it' on the back nine and think I was cured, only to repeat
the same sequence in the next round. Or I would go to the range thinking I had
resolved the issue and sometimes I would hit the driver great and other rounds
it would be a nightmare.
My putting really started to come around, in
particular with the use of the AimPoint bubble which really helped diagnose
where I make mistakes (reading too much break and too much slope). And the short
game was getting really good in the last 2 weeks.
I knew going into the
tournament my success was going to come down to how well I hit the driver and
the long irons.
#10 - Nervous, I snap hook a driver so bad that it was
easily my worst drive all year long. I then just hacked a 7-iron out of the deep
rough about 100 yards or so. I then was thinking about trying to get the ball in
range to make bogey. I tried hitting a hybrid around the oak tree, but it caught
the tree and kicked out sideways.
Now, I figured I might as well get as
close to the green as I could and I hit a 3-wood from a lie below my feet. This
one cuts and goes into the bunker well away from the green. Now I have a
terrible lie in the bunker and can only manage to hit the ball into the other
I then blast a bunker shot to 10-feet. I had the read at
3-inches and had the line, but left it 6-inches short and make triple
#11 - I hit a ugly low draw that finds the fairway bunker. I hit
a good fairway bunker shot with a SW to 25 feet. I had the read at 14-inches
right and I just burned the edge and tapped in for par (+3)
#12 - I
tried to aim more down the right side to play for my left driver. Again, I hit a
low pull-draw type of driver. I had a very difficult shot as the 8-iron was a
tough lie and I would have to draw it around a tree. Instead, I decided to play
for the right side of the green and I missed a little right and a little short.
That was more of the line of thinking I should have had on #10.
though I had a lot of green in front of me, I hit a nice PW chip to about 3-feet
and drained the par putt (+3)
#13 - New hole, same song. This time I
find another left fairway bunker. I had a tough shot and a tough lie and hit a
really good 5-iron out of there, but it found the greenside bunker. There was
not much room to work with and the lie in the greenside bunker was crap, so I
hit it pretty well but it rolled past the pin and 2-putted for bogey
#14 - Ugly driver that cut a little, but found the fairway.
Decided to lay up since I couldn't get there and flushed a 5-iron to 110 yards.
Hit a SW to about 30-feet on a difficult shot to the green. I then had the read
at 0 and the read was true, I just missed by about 2-inches short and made par
#15 - When your +4 and you can't hit your driver, but hit your
irons well, I started to think about going for flags on the par-3's, regardless
of pin location. I flushed an 8-iron to 15-feet. This was a putt that was at 60*
up and then flattened out. I over-read the 2nd part of the putt and missed high
and made par (+4)
#16 - Another low pull draw into a left fairway
bunker. I hit a very good 7-iron that drew just left of the green. I hit a Rule
of 12 chip (9-iron) perfectly to 2-feet and tapped in for par
#17 - Again, I was thinking about going for the flag. I hit the
5-iron well, a little left, but it went long of the green anyway. I then hit a
SW chip to about 4-feet and saved par (+4)
#18 - This was an ugly
hook, but it found the fairway and was in good shape. Here I bailed on a PW and
found the left greenside bunker. I hit a good blast to 6-feet and had the read,
but left the putt short (bad stroke). And made a bogey (+5)
#1 - I
knew at the turn I was not looking good. The real killer is that I couldn't hit
the driver, so my odds of making birdie were really lowered. When you can hit
the driver, you can start to put yourself in position to do some things. When
you can't hit the driver, par-5's become almost impossible.
snap-hooked a driver that found the fairway. However, I had 180 yards into a
green that usually is meant for a wedge into it. I flushed a 7-iron onto the
green. Even my playing partner mentioned how difficult it is to find the green
from 100 yards, much less 180 yards. I then had a 30-footer that I think I would
have made if I didn't hit it off the toe and I made par (+5)
Another snap hook driver. What was difficult was I was trying everything I could
think of in order to not shut the face and I didn't have this issue with any
irons. I then tried to see if the attack angle was too steep and that didn't
work. Then I tried to prevent from swinging too far out to the right and that
didn't work. I just couldn't stop snap hooking the driver.
I wound up
with a bad lie and to work some trees. I hit the shot pretty well, but I wound
up in the right greenside bunker. I blasted to 5-feet and I had the read at
1-inch and I think it broke about 4-inches. Must have mis-read the % of slope.
#3 - Flushed a 4-iron to 18-feet. Probably had a decent read,
but hit it too softly and made par (+6)
#4 - didn't quite pull or low
hook this one and found the fairway. But, now I'm deathly scared of the 3-wood
which I don't hit well. Now I have a 6-iron into this green, which isn't good. I
flush the 6-iron into the wall of the greenside bunker which plugged. Metrowest
is notorious for their bunkers needing repair and since they have been taken
over by the Hilton Resorts, they plan to make it the #1 priority to re-do the
bunkers. Well, that doesn't work for me here.
I swing as hard as I can
just to get it out. Then I chip on to 5-feet and save bogey (+7)
I finally said to myself 'lets hold the face off as much as you can with the
driver.' And voila...I bomb a driver that just find the right rough, but a good
driver nonetheless. I had the distance, but the tough lie put me pin high and
just off the green. Metrowest didn't really have a 'fringe', so you wound up
chipping on the fringe because the grass was too long. I just missed my 12-foot
chip and tapped in for par (+7)
#6 - I thought about 'holding the
face off' again and crushed this one about 310 yards. Both of the golfers I
played with were former collegiate golfers and that was the first time we all
hit pretty good or better drives and I just smoked it about 25 yards past them.
I then have PW into the green and I'm about 1-yard from perfect....but, it hits
the wall of the bunker and plugs again. This time it actually strained my groine
a little just to blast it out of there. I only got it to move about a foot or
so. I chipped on to 5-feet and to wound up in an old cup placement that wasn't
filled very well and it just broke way left and I made double (+9)
- This drive was hit well, but I pushed it and it over-cut too much into the
right fairway bunker. I hit a good 9-iron out of there. Then I flushed a 7-iron,
hitting it as high as I could at the flag. I then lipped out a 15-footer for
birdie and made par (+9)
#8 - Flushed an 8-iron to 15-feet. I had the
read at 3-inches. I lipped out, but it was a low-side lip out...meaning if I had
hit it harder it would have gone in.
#9 - Smoked another driver down
the middle. Too bad it took 14 holes to figure it out. I was gutless here and
bailed out right to avoid the water. My first putt from 45 feet went about
8-feet short. But, I snuck in the 8-footer so I didn't 3-putt all day
THOUGHTS: Obviously, that was very disappointing as for the
2nd tournament in a row, my worst round of the year occurred. And I haven't hit
the driver that bad since 2009.
I think therein lies part of the issue.
My practice sessions have been consumed with looking and analyzing iron swings
and ignoring the driver swing for too long. As far as I'm concerned, the driver
is the only think on my game that I have zero reliance on.
I didn't think
the course was overly difficult either, although the scores were high and to my
surprise, 75 qualified. I think the difficulty was that the fairway grass was
real long and caused a lot of fliers. I was expecting that though, but still
difficult to get used to hitting your irons 1/2 club to a full club longer than
normal. And I could see a golfer having a good round ruined by just missing an
approach shot and it burying into the wall of the bunker. Hell, I almost injured
myself from one of them.
I was happy with the fact that I putted well
and my short game was pretty sharp despite the fact I don't practice them a lot.
That shows to me that my thinking was right...I can get those up to snuff with
less work in a shorter amount of time.
So for now, it's back to the
drawing board and try to get ready for FSGA Mid-Am qualifying in September. And
on a final note, I just want to thank the FSGA for once again running a classy