Golf Practice Round

My goal on this site is to track my progress to playing bogey golf.  I plan to do this at increasing levels of difficulty starting with your basic muni golf course from the white tees.  That’s a reasonable first goal for me and will basically get my game back in playing shape.  Hopefully I’ll progress to more challenging courses as I go along.  But along the way I’m planning on reviewing all aspects of my game – golf clubs, golf instructors, course strategy, putting, chipping, driving – and to cover golf and answer questions about golf in general.  I might also cover a bit of the tour when there is something good to add.

So to get starting this week I had plans to play my first round since a trip to Orlando for the PGA Merchandise Show in January.  For starters I warmed up by going to the driving range at my local golf course, Interbay Golf Center.  One of the things that makes this effort to get to playing bogey golf easier is that Interbay is 7 minutes from my house and on a route I travel a lot.  Always seemed like a waste not stopping in there.  The fact that they have a nice putting/pitching green and a 18 hole par 3 course is helpful, too.  But when Scott emails and said let’s get out and play, some warming up was in order.

Last Tuesday morning arrived at Jefferson Park Golf Club for our 6am tee time.  Which was great until I learned that our tee time was for Wednesday.  So on Wednesday I again traveled over to Jefferson Park.  It’s actually Freddie Couple’s original home course.  Which makes a lot of sense.  It’s basically flat but a bit narrow.  What I call a ‘driving range’ course.  You get to practice all of your shots like a driving range but you’re playing golf.

And my golf knowledge started coming back.  I tend to hit straight but a little right.  So I made an adjustment.  It’s too early for me to really hit my driver and the course from the white tees is only 5,800 yards.  So I left my driver in the bag.  I started dialing in my short irons.  And I had no feeling for putting.  But I watched Scott hit these velvet wedges with back spin that just stuck onto the green.  Ed brought his new Callaway driver and was crushing them.  And Eric putted like a laser and always showed good spirit no matter where his ball went.  In fact, it was a great foursome of easy going guys who can play.

I had to leave early but I pocketed a 50 on the front nine which is pretty good for a first round of golf.  Afterwards I knew I needed to work on my driver so I could use it out of the bag.  Also I have a lot of work to do on short irons, chipping and putting.  But the rust will come off.

I need to figure out a better practice routine.  Currently when I go to the range I get a small bucket of balls and focus on the short irons.  I then spend just as much time putting and chipping.  Which is a change for me to work equally on both parts of my game.  But that is what you hear whenever you read about practice discipline.  I still hear the suggestions of my first golf teacher Ron Akins as I practice pitching around the greens.  This week I’m especially interested in chip shots that are 6 feet off the fridge with another 1-15 to the hole.  I’ve had a couple of those shots and it was almost always 3 strokes to get in as I would chip way past the hole and 2 put back.  Except for the one that just went in.  But that’s why we play golf isn’t it.

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