Next up The Winter Classic!

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What a month of golf October was, not only for me but the game in general!

The new 2013/2014 season kicked off with a few stops out here on the west coast with the Fry’s Open and then the Shriners here in Vegas. I love the fact the PGA has decided to start the season this way. It brought some much-needed “hype” to the Vegas event and it was great seeing some of the bigger names back on the Vegas stop.

For me the month was a slow one as far as getting out on the course, which entirely sucked because October in the desert is amazing! The weather is outstanding and after the over-seeding the courses are in tip-top shape. Well, almost. This year was a bit rough on many of the courses in town. We had an unusual amount of rainfall back in August and it really put a twist on the over-seeding process. Let alone it nearly wiped out one of the best facilities in town out at Paiute. Good news is they now have two of the three course open and running with the Wolf course scheduled to be back in the mix starting January 1st.

I took it easy this month because Wade and I have been working on fine tuning a few things and I’d much rather be concentrating on that then playing. Sounds funny I know but after making some very good progress with the swing transformation I’m just a tad bit in love with practicing. Not a bad thing by any means.

The progress has been great. I’m gaining the confidence in my swing every time I step up to the ball and I’m really starting to find a consistent and fluid motion that is improving my ball striking very much. Shots that just 6 months ago I would have never hit I’m now executing with success. Most notably my hybrid which has been a round wrecker for me going back to the first time I picked one up.

When I played Southern Highlands on the very first hole I had an approach shot of 191 yards to green that was protected by water on the left and I was hitting the shot from a downhill lie. As soon as I hit the ball I knew it was a solid stroke. The ball never left the stick and I had a 12’ putt for birdie. I said to the caddie “I’m glad you saw that because nobody will ever believe me when I tell them what just happened.” Not even six months ago but just a few months ago that would have been a 6i layup to the fairway in front of the green.

The last couple of rounds I’ve played (minus the debacle I participated in at Conestoga) I’ve really cut down on the mental errors and because of the confidence level I’m hitting shots that are helping me score better. My putting has been on fire since I made the permanent switch to the Odyssey Versa, I’m averaging 31 putts around since making it the only putter in my arsenal and my 3 jacks are down to just one a round over those 11 rounds, that’s a huge contribution to my progress.

This is all of course leading up to the 2013 Winter Classic. This year we’re playing a little bit earlier than normal, Pat was able to head West for Thanksgiving so we’re going to take advantage of the warmer temps in November vs. the crazy stuff we’ve been playing in the last few years. Remember the 25° tee time we had last year? Hopefully that won’t happen this year!

Everyone, excluding Randy, has been on a run of great golf. Randy, our defending champ, has been so tied down with work and family he hasn’t been able to get out and play since Death Valley. You would think that would be an advantage for the rest of us. Sad but that’s not the case. Randy’s a great Ball striker and even with a 4 month layoff he’s going to compete for the title once again.

We’re even more balanced this year. Currently this is where the group sits.

  • Bill  – 5.6 HDCP – avg. 83.2 over his last 20 rounds
  • Pat – 9.1 HDCP – avg. 87.4 over his last 20 rounds
  • Mathew –  13.9 HDCP – avg. 92.7 over  my last 20 rounds
  • Randy – 15.6 HDCP – avg. 93.7 over his last 20 rounds

Everyone has had a really good season and the stats all show that.

As soon as the course lineup is set in stone I’ll let you all know where we’re playing and what the odds look like for me to be the first two-time champ!!

Back to the grind!!

Follow Mathew Wangrycht:

Writer and founder of the golf blog The Breakfast Ball. My wife will tell you I'm obsessed with the game, she's right! It's that obsession which drives me to become a better player and make this site enjoyable for everyone.

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