After a routine par on the first hole we came to the second, which actually wasn't much different from the first, maybe just a little longer :
|The second green at Meadowbrook Farms|
The third hole is a par-4 that turned into a crosswind from left to right, not my favorite. My drive was pushed a bit and missed the fairway to the right but fortunately not so poorly that I was at risk of finding the hazard :
|The third green as seen from right of the fairway|
I then butchered the par-5 fourth. I was just left of the green in two and then semi-shanked a pitch. Another underwhelming effort left me on the fringe where I managed to get down in two for a bogey. I still haven't figured out why I do that, its kinda like rolling a 1 on a 20-sided die with those shots. Its irritating for sure.
After a solid par on the par-4 fifth I came to the first par-3 of the day at the sixth :
|The sixth at Meadowbrook Farms|
|The seventh green, as seen from my position from the fairway|
|The isolated look of the eighth green|
I then hit my worse drive of the day on the ninth, weakly flailing it off to the right into the wind. I then hit a solid 4-iron just past the green, staying on the fringe. I was still about 40 feet left of the hole and had to chip over about 15 feet of said fringe as I was at an odd angle with the back of the green. The chip was decent but not that great and I missed the putt and made bogey. However, I shot 38 on the front, a score I'll gladly take.
I forgot to take a photo on the tenth but it was an odd short par-4 that dogleged right. I could figure out what to hit off the tee for the life of me. I tried 5-wood and hit it well but went through the fairway anyway. I was lucky enough that I still had a shot to the green. My wedge was a bit long but I managed to get down in two putts from about 35 feet for par.
On to the eleventh, another shortish par-4 that had me wondering what to do. I considered just hitting driver but the water down the left side looked as if it would come into the fairway a bit so I went with 3-wood instead. I snapped it left, over the trap and into some tall weed-like grass. I hacked it out toward the green, pitched up to about 5 feet but missed the putt. That would have been a nice save but it was not to be today. Next up is the par-5 twelfth :
|The 12th hole. as seen from the tee|
After a par on the par-4 13th hole (where I hit yet another really solid-feeling iron shot) I came up on a foursome that until now hadn't been in my way. Fortunately they waited for me on the tee and let me play through immediately on the par-3 14th, shown here :
|The 150-yard par-3 14th at Meadowbrook Farms|
|The driveable par-4 15th at Meadowbrook Farms|
|See the white dot in the right-middle of the lower left quadrant? That's where my drive ended up on the 15th hole|
Another good drive led to a solid 7-iron approach into the par-4 16th, where I two-putted from 20 feet for another par. The 17th hole came next :
|The short but somewhat dangerous 17th hole|
That brings us to the closing hole, the par-5 18th. I hit another strong drive, the wind helping from the left. The problem was that I hit it too far and ended up through the fairway, leaving me with a downhill and sidehill lie from here :
|The view of the 18th green|
I suck at downhill-sidehill lies with my 3-wood.
I was lucky to get over the creek. I don't know if I hit it heavy or if the ball just shot itself down into the rough on the other side and just stopped. Well, it did manage to bounce out far enough to get into some manageable grass but I was now about 165 yards away. I still had a chance to hit the green with 5-iron, thinking the wind, the lie and the elevation pretty much cancelled out. There was only one problem.
I hit the damn thing too well.
I might have hit the green on the fly but I think it actually landed on the fringe and then kicked into the rough over the green. It wasn't an awful shot, in fact I was only about 15 feet left of the hole so the line I took was pretty good. I wasn't grossly over either, I was still only about 25-30 feet or so from the hole, maybe. The swing was good, I guess I only needed a 6-iron on this one. If that keeps up it'll be a good problem to have.
The chip wasn't easy. I had a downhill lie. The green was uphill to the hole but just past it the green sloped away again. I had to hit the ball into that hill and have it just run up with just enough speed so it could settle around the hole before it could scamper away. I figured my best chance to do that was with my lob wedge, which is a shot I commonly like to hit around the greens anyway. The was only one problem.
I couldn't spin it enough to check up.
I had to hit it pretty firmly so that I'd get the ball to check up, the problem was with the downhill lie and the iffy lie I couldn't catch it cleanly enough, or so I suppose. I think I also hit it too far and landed the ball too far up on the hill. Naturally it rolled past the hole about 12 feet or more, leaving me an uphill putt for par. I still had a chance but of all things I left it short. I think I would have missed left also but to leave that putt short irked me. I thought I hit it firmly enough but I really should have been sure to get it there.
So, after that disappointing bogey finish I shot even on the back for another 74. Again, the course wasn't long but it was a decidedly "better" 74 than the one last week. The main reason I say that was because of how I hit the ball, everything just felt so much more solid than it had been. I don't know if I hit it that much further but everything was definitely higher, which for me has always been indicative of how well I was doing with the irons.
What did I do differently? Good question. I tried to change how I took the club back in an effort to get myself a little more inside. The bigger deal was on the way down though. I tried to make a concerted effort to lead with my hands to the point that I felt I was getting the handle to the ball first, leading the clubhead into the ball with my hands out in front more instead of flipping my hands at impact. Meh, I'll never explain it here. All I know is that I felt I was able to use my shoulders more and not simply try to hit the ball with arms and hands alone.
Yesterday (which was Tuesday) I went to the range and really tried to get this same feeling. I came away pretty happy by the time I finished. I don't own it yet, far from it, but I was able to repeat and maybe even improve on what I did on Sunday when I did it right. I still hit some of those flailing drifters at times but at least I feel like I have an idea of what I'm trying to do. I'll try again tomorrow or Friday and then see if I can bring it to the course on Sunday. Either that or I'll go down in flames and crawl back to the drawing board. Tune in next week to find out!