That was my initial thought going into this round of golf. It’s a course I played and the penalties killed me. Twelve of them I had last time, I can only improve on that number. I did, I went from twelve to seven and that’s still way too many for this course.
I knew within the first ten minutes on the range I was going to struggle with my round. Nothing felt right, and everything I hit was going to the right, and bad. I switched it up and started practicing with my driver first. The last couple of times at the range I hit the ball way better after I sung with the big stick, so I gave it a shot. It didn’t help; I was all over the place. My irons were going nowhere, fat shots, bladed shots, shank shots, you name it, if there was a bad shot to hit I was practicing it.
I was so frustrated with what had been taking place I completely lost track of time and before I knew it we were being called to the #1 tee by the starter.
Since I was hitting everything right I decided to play that way and aimed my tee shot way left. Just like on the range the ball started out and sliced right back into the fairway, almost dead center. I was 255 off the tee with a sliced shot, not bad. That left me 118 to the green. To my surprise I hit a good wedge, the bad was it came up short. It was short and in a green side bunker about 60 feet from the hole. I stepped down in, got in my stance, lined up the shot and hit more than likely the best sand out I’ve ever hit. It came to rest four feet from the pin. Man I was happy with that shot. I got applause for Randy and Mike, raked up my tracks and headed up to the ball to mark it. Knocked in that four footer for a sand save par! That felt so good. That was my highlight of the day.
I did hit nine out of fourteen fairways, but zero greens in regulation. That has to change if I ever plan on shooting lower scores. I had my first blow up hole on 6, I talked about that hole before it’s a beast. I hit a fantastic tee shot that I couldn’t have placed any better and followed that up with an even better 3W that had me about 75 yards away for my third stroke. I hit a really poor wedge shot that went right and short, but left me a very manageable 4th shot that should have gotten me on the green. When I approached my ball I was a bit miffed at myself for choking on that last shot, instead of putting for birdie on a tuff hole I was hitting this next shot. I walked up took my stance and never even realized that my ball was sitting in a soggy marsh land. My feet, where I was standing, were on perfectly solid ground. Not the ball though. I swung and my club hit the ground and slide almost elegantly under the ball not making nearly enough contact to do its job correctly. The ball ended up about 10 feet in front of me. That hurt, now I was hitting my par shot from still way off the green. My chip shot from there left me with a very makeable 20 footer for bogey. That would have been a great result consider the last three shots I had taken, but I decided to three putt the hole instead for an eight!
Another blow up hole in #9 (that’s my new nemesis hole) then one on #11 and #12 I was tearing it up! I scored a nine on the easiest hole on the course, that’s playing well eh! Then Randy said something to me that really woke me up. He could see I was frustrated and struggling to get through each hole. It’s not fun watching someone struggle certainly not when it’s your friend so I was glad he said something. What’s become a joke with us is that he waited to tell me about it until the 14th hole! He says to me “Your hips are really coming though your swing fast.” And he showed me what he was talking about. I got excited, “Really? That’s awesome!” I was glad, that one thing that I’ve been trying to accomplish getting my hips to come through instead of staying back. “Yeah, but your clubface is WAY open at impact.” He replied. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. You stupid dumbass, stop and think about what’s going on and figure it out. I had been hitting the ball, with a slice, right all day long. What cause a slice? Open clubface at impact is a major cause. I wasn’t turning my wrist. It made so much since. I was staying back with my wrist and not letting them come through. I thought back to the range and what was going on there, same thing. Damn it I thought, if that’s it I’m going to be pissed at myself.
The next hole is a blast to play. It’s a downhill par 4 that doglegs left, elevated tee box and we had some wind at our back. That was something I forgot to mention, it was windy as hell out. #15 was the first hole we played that we enjoyed the wind at our backs. So I step up to the tee back and just rip a drive right down the middle. It felt awesome! I couldn’t believe I just hit that good of a shot after I had been playing so poorly for the last 14 holes. “So that was it, the wrist?” Randy asked. “Yeah, it just would have been nice if you would have mentioned that fourteen holes ago Ass Hole!” We both cracked up as we took off after our shots.
The next hole I blasted another shot and was feeling a lot better. I played a poor eighteenth and ended up shoot 110. A stoke worse than the last time I played, but with five less penalty strokes. Go figure. Five blow up holes and six three putts. What balanced that out was I had five one putts.
I’m going to look at this round as a extremely important learning experience. I have to realize what I’m doing wrong while I’m doing it and fix it. It was a poor choice to just accept the slice and play to it. Not that playing to it was bad, like I said I did hit nine out of fourteen fairways. It was just poor to not know that I had the answer to my error the entire time, I just didn’t see it.
Conestoga it’s still a very new course. The clubhouse is under construction so they are temporarily in a trailer until it’s completed. The greens are still VERY hard because they are so new, once they get some aging they are going to be perfect. Lastly, because of the no clubhouse there is of course no bar, so once that’s in place it will enhance the facility even more.