Pure joy, frustration, exhilaration, anger, fist-pumping, despair, and anticipation for the next round can all describe my last 2 rounds on the golf course. Golf evokes the widest range of emotions in a short 3-4 hours. I experienced all those emotions twice in the last few days. I can’t wait to go back.
April and May are busy months for me, so I wasn’t able to play rounds. I stayed on track with my plan, but optishot simulation is as close to the course as I came. Optishot is nice, but it isn’t the same as the course.
Round 1 – Choctaw Creek
I played a round at Choctaw Creek on Day 1. Choctaw Creek isn’t the best maintained course, but I found a great deal on Golfnow. Our region received significant rain the last couple weeks, so the fairways weren’t mowed low (or at all) and shots wouldn’t roll out. It played much longer than the 6000 yards on the scorecard.
The round started exactly as planned. I scored well on the optishot recently, so my expectations are high. I placed my first drive in the middle of the fairway. Great start. I hit the second shot poorly and left it short of the green. Chipped it past the hole. 2 putt bogey. Not terrible.
The second hole started a poor stretch. I pulled the drive way left. I didn’t get close enough for a chip, so I pitched it over the green. Couldn’t get up and down for bogey, so double. Third hole is an uphill par 3. I pulled an extra club because I wasn’t hitting the ball pure. The shot landed short. Chip up. 2 putt. Bogey.
The frustration begins bubbling. Every mishit or off target shot brings me closer to screaming. I double 5 and 9. Front 9 47. Choctaw Creek is not a difficult course. I take a deep breath and decide to make a swing change. I know changing the swing mid-round is a terrible decision, but this swing is not working.
As my Golftec post indicated, I have multiple different instructors’ swing philosophies duct taped together for my swing. I can tell I am out of sync and trying to manipulate the club with my hands. My lower body and shoulders turn faster than my hands move, so I get stuck. My shots are either wide right or hooks left. 2 way misses are unplayable. I decided I would swing what felt like only halfway back to keep everything in sync.
In the age of instant gratification, the change tested my patience. Hole 11 and 12 were terrible. I tripled both holes. However, I struck the ball more solid. My short game contributed a few of those strokes. My swing was more in sync. Pure strikes built confidence and my short game touch came back. I played the next 6 holes in 3 over par with 3 one-putts. I didn’t hit any GIRs, but I placed the ball close enough to get up and down. I strolled to 18 tee box planning to hit my last fairway, and I did. I still missed the green with an iron, but an up and down finished off the round with a par! 92 isn’t what I wanted, but only 3 over on the last 7 holes is exactly what I needed.
Round 2 – Guthrie Country Club
I found another good deal on Golfnow for Guthrie Country Club for the following day. The course is only a 9 hole course, but the slope is 133. The greens are tiny. The fairways are tree lined. The course is better maintained than Choctaw Creek, but the recent rain still meant the grass wasn’t short.
I finished strong yesterday, so I walked to the first tee knowing today would be better. The first hole is a long par 3. I struck a 5 wood reasonably well, but it landed short. Chipped up and 2 putted for bogey. The greens are moving a little slow, and my putter must be open at impact. All my putts fall right at the hole.
The 2nd hole is a short par 4. I crush a driver down the middle of the fairway. I flush a wedge to 30 feet. 2 putts and a par. My first GIR in 2 days. The joy is growing. The feeling of halfway back still works. Hitting it solid also means I am not losing distance.
Everything feels and looks better after an easy par. Then the 3rd hole happened. Crushed driver, but it faded too far right. I proceeded to hit every tree on the right of the fairway before finally taking my double. I proceeded with bogey, bogey, double, double, double. The exhilaration is gone.
I am on 9 with despair. My fix isn’t working. All my shots are pull hooks. I finally realize on 8 that I am significantly closing the clubface in the downswing while also pulling left, so I hit numerous pull hooks. Something must change. Again, I uncharacteristically make a slight tweek on 9. I focus on the club exiting right. I can handle the draw or hook as long as it starts enough right. I hit a pure 4 hybrid with a baby draw. The gentle breeze brought it back towards the pin to 20 feet. 2 putt par to finish the firsts 9 at 46. Not ideal, but progress is possible.
I played another 9 to get my 18 holes in. The back 9 got better, but I struggle with consistency. The reason making swing changes doesn’t work on the course is because the changes won’t happen every swing. My swing and emotions flipped back and forth with nearly every shot. I had great drives down the middle but mishit the approach. I had 3 doubles on the back, but also managed 2 pars going into 9.
My confidence rose walking to the 9 tee box. Water lines the right, but I hit such a beautiful shot the first time. I knew I could do it again. I pull the same hybrid, make the same smooth swing exiting right, and the shot came off the club even better. My ProV1 starts just right of the flag. A small curve left and lands 15 feet short and right. The ball rolls towards the hole and stops 3 feet short. Great Shot! I loved it. I sped to the green. I line up the 3 footer and sink the birdie! Great finish. 2nd 9 43 for an 89.
Immediate results with huge score drops don’t happen. I am happy I scored better my second round. I know my focus now. Feel like half swing to stay in sync. Club exits right, and I should focus on club hitting ground after ball. Improving those areas will consistently give me a chance to score well.
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