Monday, August 15, 2011

State of the Game: Dog Days of Summer Edition

My post count here at Now on the Tee has diminished quite a bit this year and much of that is due to the fact I'm not really writing about my golf game as much as in the past.

I recognize that it's a subject that only one person is really interested in and that's me. There's nothing worse than "that guy" who goes on and on (and on) about every shot he took during his round.

Talk about yawn-inducing!

That said, I have always liked documenting my tournament experiences for posterity purposes, especially my club championship results.

My game has been a bit mediocre this year - I'm not hitting as many fairways or greens and my chipping has been a bit off too. Putting has run hot and cold most of the year so round-to-round consistency has also been an issue.

With zero sub-par rounds to my credit in 2011, I made the difficult decision to play in the A Flight in the club championships instead of the Open Flight. We have a few kids that recently graduated from the junior ranks that are on full scholarships down in the US and I figured my chances of making the cut after two days were slim at best. Playing A would almost certainly mean I'd get to play all three days in the event.

I played average golf that weekend, opening with a poor 79 (+7) to sit in 6th or 7th place after day one. I'd need a good round the next day just to ensure I made the cut and my buddies jumped on me right away with the playful jabs, asking if I'd caddy for one of them if I missed the cut in "the ladies division". Har har.

I played a bit better on day two, shooting a 76 to comfortably make the cut but I was seven shots back of the leader going into the last round.

My target score was 69 (-3) but I knew that was highly unlikely considering that I hadn't finished below par all year.

I'd play a solid front nine but fall apart on the back, shooting 77 on the day to finish in a tie for 3rd place, a pretty disappointing result. If my game is in a bit better shape next year, I'll definitely be back in the open flight - I just seem to compete better against tougher competition.

My tournament season is now over and the rest of the year will just be regular golf. Of course, that means that my game has improved dramatically when I have nothing really to play for other than some skins money and a few other bets here and there.

My last five rounds have seen me shoot 77, 77, 72, 76 and 74 and my handicap index has dropped to a season-low 2.0. I made a little adjustment with my putter, adding some weight via lead tape and also a slight grip change and I've been consistently under 30 putts per round over the past two weeks.

I also got pretty energized by an incredible performance by one of my playing partners on Saturday. He just stepped off the Canadian Tour last year and went into the "real" workforce but came out on Saturday for only his fourth round of the year.

Showing how incredibly talented professional golfers are, he dropped an easy 65 (-7), making four birdies, two eagles and a single bogey - all I can think after a round like that is if THIS guy isn't good enough to make a living out of golf, just how good are the PGA, European and Nationwide guys? Just remarkable stuff and it was a true pleasure watching someone carve up our golf course.


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