August 27, 2012
The Friendly Major took place this weekend and it started off the way I wanted it to. I shot my first round in the high 80s, but missed a lot of short putts that could have put my score in the low 80s very quickly. I felt good about the way I drove the ball, my irons felt decent and my putting was mediocre at best. Regardless, my score allowed me to survive my 3 shot handicap deficit to my buddy going into day 2.
Day 2 was a little bit different. I didn’t feel like I hit many great drives or iron shots on the front nine, but when it was all said and done I shot a 39 with 2 birdies. I really didn’t think I was playing that well, but the difference was the putter. I was making all of the short to mid range putts that I had missed on day 1 and the score was showing it. Of course, I made the grave mistake of looking at the score and started to think about breaking 80, making more birdies and all of the thoughts I didn’t have on the front 9 that let me play so well. I followed that 39 up with one of my worst 9 hole scores of the summer and a string of double bogeys that I am still furious about.
Once I started thinking about it, all of the putts I was just rolling in on the front 9 started to miss and each shot carried more and more weight to it. I could just feel the round slipping away and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I ended up tying my buddy for the day, but because of the 3 shot handicap I lost by 3. I feel like I gave away what could have been one of my best rounds of the summer.
We tried to go out and play the third round yesterday at Cog Hill, but we got rained out after 6 holes. I had made up 2 shots over those 6 holes and was feeling good about making up the remaining 4, but the rain was too much. We were playing through puddles of water on the greens and when drivers started flying out of rain soaked hands, we called it a day. The final round won’t be played until after Labor Day. I have my work cut out for me, but I was starting to feel really good about my swing and if I can roll in some putts I think I have a great shot to finish this thing off and win my second Friendly Major.
August 21, 2012
Two years ago, my good friend and I started to play our own version of a what we now affectionately call the “Friendly Major.” I have written about this before, but I will share a brief explanation. Every year we try to play one or two trips to a destination for three days of head to head stroke play golf.
The rules are fairly simple:
1. Played over 3 days
2. Played on 3 different courses
3. Lowest score after the 3 rounds wins
4. Loser must buy the winner a shirt of his choice from the pro shop of the best course of the 3 played.
The punishment for losing might seem overly simple, but when you play with someone a lot and they constantly wear a shirt that you had to buy them from losing it really stings. I would say that half the time I play with my buddy he wears his bright blue Nike shirt that I had to buy him from Torrey Pines. I try to wear my Cape Cod national shirt as much as possibly to fight back, but the fact still remains, I hate seeing that shirt out on the course.
The first year we played two of these “Friendly Majors”, the first was in San Diego and the second was in Cape Cod. I lost the first one in San Diego and won the second out on the Cape. Last year we didn’t play one because my buddy wasn’t playing very well and it wouldn’t have been a fair fight.
This summer has brought some of my friend’s golf form back and he is ready to commit to this years first “Friendly Major.” The wrinkle for this one is that we are staying local and playing a home game to settle the 1 -1 tie. We are also brining our handicaps into this one so I have to spot him 3 shots a round which I am not happy about.
As of now, we are possibly scheduled to play this upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Our last round will take us out to Cog Hill where we play often and know we can put up a decent score. It will make for a great Sunday finish and I will post some pictures and updates throughout the weekend as the competition takes place.
August 17, 2012
Yesterday morning started off with a solid 9 before 9 in with two of my normal playing partners. I didn’t play great and lost to one of my buddies I normally beat. Naturally that forced me to hit the range that night and work on my swing. I was hitting the ball decent at the range but everything wasn’t feeling natural or great. I had far too many mechanical thoughts going on and wasn’t able to single out one swing thought and go with it.
I moved on to hitting my driver and was hitting a monster slice, which was funny since I missed all my tee shots to the left that morning. Go figure. Here is where the driving range tip comes in. Normally I am not a fan of interacting with people at the range in general since I don’t want to get instruction or tips from just some random guy who is more likely than not, not a great golfer themselves.
My frustration level was spilling over when a guy came up to my stall and asked me if the driver I was using was the new Ping i20. I said that it was and he immediately made a swing move to show me to swing it around my body and not so up and down. After that, he pointed back to the tee’d up ball and said try it. I was very confused about the brash approach, but turned around and gave it a try. Dead solid perfect tee shot. I was stunned. I haven’t hit a ball that straight in a few months and I turned back to my new friend only to get a thumbs up from him as he picked up his bag and walked away.
The entire interaction was hilarious in my opinion based on the fact that we exchanged very few words, the tip he gave me was spot on and he gave me the tip in a very non intrusive manner. I still think I will be skeptical of the random driving range tip, but for right now I remain pleasantly surprised by my latest trip to the range. I guess you just never know with this game.
August 7, 2012
It has been about a year since I posted my swing from last season and I figured it was time to give an update. Since my last swing update I have been fitted for irons by Club Champion and switched my driver to the Ping i20. I’m still not completely happy with the way the swing looks on video, but I do see some improvements.
For the most part the iron shots look ok to me and I have removed a lot of the forward sway I used to have. I feel like the swing is more in control, shorter and I get more weight to my right side. The release of the club is also much better than it was a year ago.
The driver is still not great in my opinion. I take it way too far back and I get across the line. I don’t feel out of control while I am swinging the club, but it certainly looks all over the place on video. I guess this is why taking a look at your swing can be helpful. The other thing I noticed with the driver is a late set of the wrists at the top of the swing. I think this might be a cause of me getting across the line.
Any and all tips or comments are more than welcome.
Check out my swing from the beginning of las season here
August 2, 2012
I always thought that the first time I wrote about a hole in one on here it would be for my own. Unfortunately I am writing this post about a buddy of mine, who I have played a good amount of golf with over the years. Rob was out this past weekend playing with a different group than our normal friends while our normal group was out playing Cog Hill. As our own round was wrapping up I checked my phone and saw this.
Rob had hit his very first hole in one! To make it even sweeter, it was the day before his birthday. Talk about a cool birthday present.
I called Rob to hear the story and he explained that, “It was 140 yards over water and I hit a smooth 9 iron and the ball started fading towards the hole. As it was in the air I thought it might be good enough to win closest to the pin and when it went in I freaked out.” When I asked him to describe it in one word he chose, “Picturesque.”
After seeing a picture of the hole I am inclined to agree with him. Can you picture a better hole to card your first ever Ace? I’m hard pressed to find one at the moment.
Congratulations Rob! Give him a shout on twitter @lifeofbecker as well.