Saturday, October 24, 2009

Club Championship Results Overview

Sorry I missed a couple of days with posts, but I just got off of playing in my club championship this past weekend. It was actually a 3 day event. Here's the stats:

DAY 1 - Windermere Golf Club (139 slope)
75 Score
11/18 GIR
9/13 Fairways
31 putts
2.0 Putts/GIR
3/6 Scramble
1 Three-Putt
2 Double Bogeys

It rained off and on throughout the round. The FootJoy Rain Gloves were excellent. I highly recommend them as they work great in the rain. I only wore the left hand glove as wearing both gloves felt uncomfortable and I'm not sure how Tommy Gainey does it. While it was raining and windy, the weather was pretty warm which didn't make it too bad. Struggled a bit with the irons, hit the driver pretty well.

DAY 2 - Olde Atlanta Club (139 slope)
76 Score
12/18 GIR
11/14 Fairways
35 putts
2.0 Putts/GIR
1/6 Scramble
2 Three-Putt
1 Double Bogeys

Very cold, windy and wet. The first hole there is 450 yards par-4 uphill. I hit Driver and a 3-hybrid, but wound up missing the green and then 3-putting for a double bogey. Too tentative and lacked confidence out there, but avoided double bogeys after that to keep my round a respectable score. I actually had the second lowest score that day (74 was the lowest). OAC isn't nearly as long as Windermere, especially after the 1st hole. After that, I had three 4-irons into approach shots, but everything else was usually between a 6 iron to PW.

DAY 3 - Windermere Golf Club (139 slope)
75 Score
13/18 GIR
9/13 Fairways
35 putts
2.0 Putts/GIR
1/5 Scramble
2 Three-Putt
0 Double Bogeys

A gorgeous day out with very little wind and I tied for the 2nd lowest round. The winner shot a 70 (-1) that day. Everybody else shot in the 80+. Started out striking the ball very well hitting the first 5 greens and sticking things close. A 3-putt on #2, combined with a poor chip that cost me a birdie on #3 didn't help matters. I birdied the par-3 #5 hole. Then hit a perfect drive on #6, only to miss a somewhat easy green with an 8-iron. I then hit a nice sand shot to 3 feet and missed the putt. So that puts me at +1. Then on #7, a par-3 I struggle on, I hit a decent tee shot off of the green and a weak chip causes me to go +2. Then I struggled with my driver from holes 8-12 and that sealed my fate. I then finished the round going:

- lipped out a 15 footer for birdie on #14
- lipped out a 10 footer for par on #15 (3-putt from 75 feet)
- Made a 30 footer for birdie on #16
- lipped out a 6 footer for par on #17 (3-putt from 30 feet over a ridge)
- lipped out a 10 footer for birdie on #18


- The biggest things I need to improve are length off the tee and with the irons along with putting. While the statistics show differently, I really didn't putt that bad, I just couldn't get putts to fall to the point of it being a bit ridiculous (Day 1 & 3 were great examples). But where I was at a disadvantage was in driving distance. The last day I played with the winner and the guy that finished in 3rd place, each out-drove me by about 20-30 yards on average. The winner just graduated college and is turning pro next month. The 3rd place finisher is a former golf pro in his 40's. Recently there has been some talk about whether or not a golfer should considering hitting the ball with an upward Angle of Attack over at Brian Manzella's forum. The argument falls that some think that hitting upward with a driver will increase distance, but decreases the margine for error. Blog reader John Graham pointed out that if you can gain 30 yards off the tee and maybe miss 2 more fairways a round, which would you take? Interesting debate for sure. But I'm agreeing with John Graham at this point in time.

- Coming into the last day I figured that I would need about a 70 or 71 to make a run at the championship (I was in 3rd place by 5 strokes coming into the last day). I actually needed a 68 to tie. Anyway, I broke that down to needing at least 14 GIR, but probably 15 GIR to shoot that score comfortably. I kept thinking about the racing horse Secretariat winning the final leg of the Triple Crown by an amazing 31 lengths.

The one thing that caught me about this was people close to him and who followed him saying that his jockey, Ron Turcotte, just needed to 'let him run, let's see what he's got.'

That was my theme.

If I was going to go down, I was going to go down swinging. Great moments are born from great opportunity and you really can't have great moments playing tentative. All of the work you put in on the range and on the putting green should be so you can 'let him run' and see what you really have got. Otherwise, you're really doing a disservice to yourself and all the hard work you put into their game.


- A big focus on improving power. I will try to do this from working on my swing, which will include:

1. Increasing hand speed
2. Maximizing Trigger Delay
3. Improving Pivot Action
4. Improving use of Ground Forces
5. Work with Trackman to check on clubhead dimension numbers, particularly Angle of Attack

This will probably included some equipment changes. I could see in several instances, with the ground being so wet, that my carry was pretty good. In fact, I would out-carry other competitors, but still get hurt in distance which is an indicator that my spin rate is too high (also partially due to AoA numbers).

- Putting will be worked on as well. Some more times with the SAM Puttlab. The only time I used the SAM Puttlab I had a different putter and different putting stroke. I will also get to understand how to find the Zero Points line and how to use it to my advantage.

- Lastly, I plan on taking about 30 pounds off. Hopefully this will improve my pivot, but I'm more interested in doing it to increase stamina as the tournaments I plan to play in next year (US Am, US Mid-Am qualifiers) don't allow carts (the courses I play have mandatory carts since they are impossible to walk).

Overall, not bad for a guy who quit the game for 8 years and just got back into the game in January. Furthermore, I had not played a legit singles tournament in 9 years and just came off of shanking the ball a week before. So this was a good way to assess my abilities and weaknesses and now to adjust to them. I appreciate everybody's kind words on the subject and would like to say again I could not have gotten to this point without Ted Fort's help.



DanL. said...


First ... congratulations on a great return to tournament golf!

My suggestion on reviewing your performance ... your GIR for the tournament were 11, 12, and 13 ... that's good enough to go low. Sure it would be great to hit 15 or 16, but with a good short game, you should be able to get up and down at least 50% of the time you miss a green.

An old guideline (Golf Digest I think) about GIR is:
4 GIR to break 90
8 GIR to break 80
12 GIR to break 70

The area I see from your stats that needs the most work is putting. You did have five three putts. And I understand one of those were from 75 feet. But the fact remains that with 35 putts on two of the days, there is room for improvement. Your GIR stats show that your ball striking is very solid. You've got to analyze your putting further to better understand your weaknesses.

Maybe you could get with Pat O'Brien over at or David Orr.

Great tournament though. Keep up the good work!


Unknown said...

Congratulations on a very good start on your competitive career.
For your swing to hold up that well under pressure is a very good sign that are on the right path.

I noticed from a previous post that you had a lesson and decided to work on your distance beginning next season. I (although not nearly as accomplished a player as you are) am struggling with distance as a hitter. Are the things that you mentioned in this latest update to improve distance, the things that most of use would benefit from. Thanks

TeddyIrons said...

Well done Richie! Not a bad score at all. How did you feel pressure-wise? Did you feel like your swing held up when the pressure was on?

Rich H. said...

You can be a 'hitter' and still hit the ball long. Ted Fort is a hitter and he hits it quite long, easily 300 yards on average off the tee. Kenny Perry = hitter and is very long off the tee. I think a big part of it is maximizing trigger delay and increasing hand speed on top of that along with improving the pivot. That's with irons. With the driver the same things can help, but you also need correct equipment and a good Angle of Attack.

Pressure wise I felt pretty good and wasn't bother too much by it. The big problem I had was I was only 1 week removed from the shanks and the first two days I didn't quite have my swing, with what I worked on with Ted, where I wanted it to be and I would get a big tentative. On day 3 I was 'letting it ride' and hit the ball pretty well outside of 4 holes.

I absolutely need to work on my putting. But I think it's more of a speed and aim issue. Seemed to read putts quite well all tournament long. I definitely miss left to right putts on the high side consistently. I wouldn't say I'm really short off the tee (I'm about 280 yards on average in the summer and I hit my 8-iron 155 yards), but I think if I could gain 25 yards off tee and an extra club with my irons, I'd be 'dangerous' and it would take a lot of pressure off the short game and give me better birdie and eagle opportunities.

Anonymous said...

hey man--I rarely comment but have read ALL your posts---great stuff
good little info on the the rain gloves too--do you have a favorite grip that works wekk in the rain? I love the winn excel softies, but they pretty much suck in the winter---any ideas?

Rich H. said...

I'm a Lamkin Crossline cord guy.