Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Round 2 Scratch Match Play

Had a hell of a match yesterday.

Not feeling a big huge post, so just a quick run down.

I was playing Matt N from our club. He's a 3 handicapper who plays on the weekdays with a bunch of guys who are all over the map. Probably the most laid back guy on the planet. Great putter, seems to have a million different types of shots in his bag, and overall great player.

I knew I was in for a tough one. Steve mentioned to me before the round that I would handle him easily, but i quickly corrected him saying it wasn't going to be easy. Matt talks A LOT and is so carefree it throws you off a bit.

Anyways, here goes.

#1 - Matt was down the right hand side in the fairway, I bailed out of my tee shot and was deep into the trees on the right. We both have to hit low runners. Matt was short, I was way left behind the traps. Matt got up and down, I hit a horrible makable par putt. Matt 1 Up.

#2 - Matt had 180 to the green came up short. I was right behind a large tree/bush up the right side at 150. I hit a great running 5 iron that ran out about 100 yards a finished 8 feet from the cup. Matt missed his par putt. All Square.

#3 - Decent drives by both. Matt got to the front of the green playing to a back left pin. I got mine to about 10 feet. Matt just missed par putt, Harris 1 up.

#4 - We both ended up Par. Harris 1 up.

#5 - I would find myself directly behind a small tree on the right hand side. Had no shot at all. I made bogey, Matt made par, All square.

#6 - Both made nice pars, All square.

#7 - Matt came up just short and right of the green. I was about 15 feet for birdie. Matt couldn't make the up and down, I made the 2 putt par. Harris 1 up.

#8 - Matt was down the middle about 240 out from the green. He laid up. I was 240 out just barely right of the traps. I had a line to the pin so I hit rescue, it rolled just past the hole and settled at the back of the green to a middle pin. I would make a nice birdie to Matt's Par. Harris 2 Up.

#9 - I would miss a 4 footer for par to finish the front 9 1 Up.

I Started to gain some momentum on the back.

#10 - My birdie on 10 was good for the hole - Harris 2 up

#11 - I made a crappy par and Matt missed his par putt - Harris 3 up.

#12 - playing from the short tees, we both made par, I should have made a birdie putt, Harris 3 up

#13 - Of course, I put mine in the trees on the left scared to death of the right. Had a chance to win the hole with a par putt but couldn't putt today, so saw off the hole. Harris 3 up.

#14 - I hit an awful 7 iron to the green, ended up in the trap on the right. Matt was centre of the green. Awful shot out of the bunker. Easy par for Matt and the hole. Harris 2 up.

#15 - Both of us had to punch out from the trees on the left to about 200 yards out. Both of us got the green from there with makable birdie putts. Neither of us hit them, Harris 2 up.

#16 - Thought I could birdie this hole to win the match. After we both laid up to about 60 yards. I would stick one about 12 feet for birdie. Matt was just off the green. He would get up and in. I rammed my birdie putt about 3 feet past the hole. At least i gave it a chance. Would make the slick come back to stay 2 up.

#17 - Thinking I would have the advantage on this hole with the black tees back around 235 (Matt only plays the blue tees which are around 200 every time) I was disappointed to find the tee up at the blue marker. Matt up first would pure a rescue to about 8 feet for birdie. I pulled my 5 iron into the bunker on the left. Made a great out to about 4 feet for par. Matt literally stopped his birdie putt on the edge of the cup. I had 4 feet for the win. I saw it was breaking slightly to the left. I went straight at the hole, just missed. Harris Up 1.

I hate the 18th hole. I can't drive on it. there is no worse scenario for me than to take a match to the 18th hole. There is out of bounds to the right and not much room for someone like me who has a wicked fade off the tee.

#18 - Matt pures one down the centre (this guy is so steady). I think about hitting rescue but change to driver at last second. Get on the tee and hit as quickly as I possibly can to avoid thinking about my ball going on the highway. I hit a screamer at the trees on the left and it just barely misses them and lands in the middle of the fairway about 120 out. Matt had 16 and hit his worst shot of the day to about 15 yards short right. I put PW in my hand to hit to the back pin. Keep repeating in my head "middle of the green, middle of the green". I hit a decent wedge that I pull just a little and miss the middle of the green, however I found myself with an amazing shot leaving about 8 feet for birdie pin high. I laugh with Steve about the "miss". Matt had a chance to chip in and ran it by the hole about 10 feet just into the fringe. He would make the par putt from there leave me with a 2 putt for the win. I hit another awful putt (putting is awful I'm worried about it) but was good enough for the gimmie and the win.

Great match. Shouldn't have got to where it did, but regardless I won the match. On to the next round. Not sure who I play, but glad to be through to the next round. Up next is my Langley second round match on Sunday against arch nemesis Charlie. Last year I took pleasure in destroying him 5 and 4. This year I have to give him 2 shots, but I think I'll pull it off. Should be another good match, we will see.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting GOOOOOOD again.

This weekend was a success on the course. After an almost 2 week layoff since the marathon golf trip, i was ready to get back out there.

Saturday was spent with Cal and Thane. This was a pretty boring round. Basically spent the time talking with cal about the trip, selling him on the amazing experience of playing minimalist golf. Anyways, got a round the course pretty easily. A few hiccups here and there, but came out with a 76. 37 on the first 9 (played back first), 39 on the second 9. Swing felt good. The greens were awful due to them being punched earlier in the week, but over all good. round.

Sunday was my first match for the Langley Cup match play tournament. I was playing Gary P a long time playing partner that is known for being a solid player. I would have my work cut out for me on this one.

Started well with a par and win the first hole. Things got a little out of control from here. Standing at my second shot on the second hole i told Steve and Ryan that I was going to jump out to a 3 or 4 stroke lead by the 6th hole, I was just feeling good today. I'd do my best to make that come true by making birdie on 2 to go 2 up. Lost the third with a bogey, 1 up. Halved the 4th. I'd make a great birdie on 5 to go 2 up. Birdie 7 to go 3 up. Birdie 8 to go 4 up. Tied 9. I shot a 33 (my all time low for 9 holes) and was 4 up. Gary was in shock i think after shooting 37 and finding himself in such a hole.

On 10 i was pin high in 2, but screwed up around the green and made a par and only tied the hole. Think this through my rhythm off as i went down hill from here. tied 11 with pars. 12 we tied again with bogeys. Gary should have been taking holes from me here. And I'm losing my strokes to stay under par for the first time in 3 years. 13 was a mess. i would go into the left trap green side and shlubbed it out, schlubbed one on the green, and made a long put for 5. gary won the hole. I'm 3 up and 1 under for the round. 14 i over hit the green with a 7 iron. couldn't get up and down, gary did and I'm 2 up and even on the round. On 15 after driving into the 6th fairway I finally hit a solid shot again after what seemed like an eternity. I was able to get on GIR and 2 putted for a par. Gary had a 4 footer for par and some how the ball went in the hole and popped out. Felt awful, but it happens. I'd take the hole and go back up 3. I believed that I could just par the next 3 holes and win the match obviously at 3 up with 3 to play, make gary birdie. 16 I hit 3 safe shots to get to the green and below the hole. Lagged a makable birdie putt up to the 4 or 6 inches. Gary missed his long birdie putt and conceded the hole to me. Game over, 3 and 2.

I was reeling a bit for those 3 holes. Struggled to gain my composure which is weird cause I really like match play and don't tend to get to nervous. Oh well, happy to be through to next round. Looking forward to playing my scratch bracket this month as I had a bye through the first round. I have a feeling the scratch bracket is gong to take over as the most desirable trophy at the club. Time will tell. I for one would prefer winning that one, but then again I would prefer to win any tournament.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Best Golf Trip Ever?

Warning: grammer and spelling may be horrible. No time to edit.

You better believe it. Sorry to my boys who attended the Arizona golf trip of 2007, but for golfing purposes, this last trip to tiny Holyoke Colorado and Mullen Nebraska was by far the best trip I've ever been on. Getting a chance to play Ballyneal and Sand Hills was amazing. I don't have the ability, or time, to do a full crazy write up of the courses. That is best left to Jim C at wegoblogger #31 which is linked in my sidebar for Ballyneal, and Check on Matt B at Now on the Tee in a few days when he posts some of the 700+ pictures he took of sand hills and does one of those crazy long posts over the course of 3 weeks.

I'll sum it all up right here. BEST GOLF COURSE EVER IS SAND HILLS. Sorry Jim if you're reading this, but it just was. Don't get me wrong, I loved every second I spent at ballyneal, loved the course, and would love to get back one day and play in different conditions, but Sand Hills was something on another level. Ballyneal would be the very best top course outside of Sand Hills.

AS for the golf, I actually played rather well for the 11 rounds over 4 days, which was almost to much golf but not really.

Matches between matt and I went 36 holes each day and we played for dinner each time. As some may know, and as Matt would point out to anyone listening, our last golf vacation didn't go so well for me. I ended up buying dinner every single night. This trip, I was determined to make a change.

The first day didn't go so well. Maybe due to about 3 hours of sleep, or the excitement of where I was, I couldn't put it together. Matt would win the first day of golf I think by a few holes. He was treated to a steak dinner and drinks.

The second day would prove to be the best of all in match play terms. After a much better sleep and a solid breakfast I was set to challenge my nemesis once again. Today we would be paired up with Matt S, a member at Ballyneal and participant in the group of 14 or so we had on the trip, and our caddies. Mine on the day was a kid named Andy who had been looping there for 3 years and was a welcome change from the guy i had a day earlier on his first ever loop. That turned out interesting have 2 guys go around the course for the first time ever, talk about the blind leading the blind.

Anyways, back to THE match. Things would go ok for the first few holes. Lots of trash talking, lots a great shots. Both Matt's were getting in on it against me and my caddy and by the 7th hole I had enough. I was i believe 1 down to Matt B and decided I would open my mouth, "I'll take on both you guys no problem." Oh shit, did I just say that? Im going to have to back this up. Next thing I know we are walking down the 7th fairway and I'm playing against 2 guys straight up. I've got my work cut out for me.

We played a lot of golf so I can't really remember the whole round. I do remember the last few holes. Going into 15 I would find myself 1 down. Matt B was on the green, I was just right of the green, and Matt S was in some junk. After our second shots, I was about 35 feet away and matt S was just in front of me by about 5 feet. Matt B had about 6 feet for par. Matt S went to line his putt up but changed his mind and used some gamesmanship to mess with my head and picked up in an effort to avoid showing me a line. Smart move you sly fox. Everyone including myself found this to be awesome with even some high fives between the Matts. I'd end up missing the putt and falling behind by 2 with 3 to play.

16 a long par 5 was reachable all week for me. I'd get up to the easier Green side bunker this time and give myself a makable birdie putt from about 9 feet, but it wasn't meant to be. Luckily Matt was putting like it was his first time ever to play golf and easily missed his birdie putt. 2 down 2 to play.

17 was a long par 4 dead into a violent wind. I found myself about 220 out and looking at a sucker pin tucked behind one of the ugliest bunkers you've ever seen. I went at it anyways. I hit my 2 iron rescue but skipped it off the mound about 10 feet in front of me, it would shoot way up in the air and I lost sight of it. My caddy said it landed up near the green but wasn't sure where it ended up. As we all climbed up to the green one ball was about 6 inches from the cup. YUP, it was the titliest 2 with an Orange dot. Tap in, 1 down with 1 to play.

This was only a 18 hole match, so a tie would be considered a victory against 2 guys. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. I would have a 15 footer for birdie that would have given me the tie, but it couldn't make it and ended up losing 10 a piece to the Matts. great round none the less. More importantly, I was even with Matt B on the 36 hole match.

Again, unsure of the details of the whole match. Lets jump ahead to the most important part and the drama part, the 15th. I'm standing on the 15th tee down 3 with 4 to play. I tell Andy (he was sticking this marathon out with me) i need 2 birdies in the next 3 holes to have a chance at this. We played a little forward on 15 and I hit an ok shot on the green but left myself 40 feet for birdie. Matt would chip on the green and have a makable (for most people, not matt since he couldn't putt worth shit at this point of the trip) par putt from about 6 feet. I read mine about 6 inches outside the cup. Stroked a perfect putt and it drops for a birdie and I'm 2 down.

Back to the long 16. I would find myself about 210 out after the drive. Matt and our other playing partner Andrew would layup. I didn't have that luxury, I blasted on towards the green. It was looking perfect in the air but came up a little short and went into the treacherous front bunker. This brought out a fist pump and and "AWESOME" from matt as he was in there earlier in the day an knew how brutal is was. To his dismay, I would get up to the bunker and play it perfectly to 3 feet. Of course Matt missed his 7 footer for birdie leaving me a chance. Of course I put mine in, 1 down 2 to play.

17 wasn't playing as tough as the wind dies down for the afternoon round. I was in the exact same spot as I was early in the day and hit a weak 4 iron that came up short. Luckily Matt was hacking it along the right hand side through the Yucca but found the green on his 4th and had a 4 footer for bogey. I didn't hit the best chip and left myself about 25 feet for par. I'd end up draining my putt just before I walked up blowing out the flames on my putter to emphasize the ridiculousness that I just through down on matt the last 3 holes. All square heading into 18.

Our tee shots on 18 would be side by side with Matt hitting his approach first. I'm not sure what went wrong, I'm assuming the pressure just got to him, but matt shanked it slightly to a tough lie just off the left of the green. I smoothed yet another 8 iron to about 10 feet claiming "It's over" before the ball even landed. An uneventful end saw me missing the birdie putt by about 3 inches, and matt blowing his 5 footer for par for me to take the match 1 up. Andy and I attempted the awkward Tiger/Steve high five, shook Matts hand and walked off with my 2 over 73 and victory. Sweet, sweet victory.

Ridiculous match. Most fun I've ever had on the course. Couldn't have been a better day.

After that we for some reason decided to walk another 18 holes to make it 54 on the day. That was cool yet a mistake. I was in some severe pain 3.5 hours later. I won't be doing that again.

That's it for now. Maybe I'll do something on Sand Hills, but for now I'll leave you with this was the best golf ever for 4 days.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

4 days to go.

This weekend was a bit of a bust for golf.

Friday i opted not to play so that I could get some work done around the house before it rained all weekend. I needed to mulch my gardens in the back yard before it flooded in the rain. Just in case you're interested, which you shouldn't be, i got it all down and it looks awesome. Especially now that it's all under water after a ridiculous amount of rain last night.

Saturday we played really early, 6:30Am. Maybe a little to early. I struggled a bit through the first few holes. Couldn't really get anything going on the front 9. Would make 2 doubles and shoot 42 with a birdie. Ya, that bad.

The front wasn't to much better but i grinded in an attempt to have a respectable score. Had it going for a bit. Birdie on 15 helped me keep it at even. Got through 16 and 17 with a par. 18 was a mess. I would end up with double on the hole to shoot 80 overall.

Haven't been scoring well lately. I'm not to concerned. I think I'm getting to a point where I found my squash game towards the end of the season. I seem to play a little better when something is on the line. Like a tournament. Not sure why this is. Maybe cause I'm concentrating more while in a tournament, or qualifying. Maybe I'm to tired playing so early in the morning. I don't know. Maybe its all made up. Who knows. But my game is there. I can play i just have to fix a few things. Obviously the range would help, but i don't go enough.

I'm 4 days away from what might be the best golf trip I ever go on. Actually that's not true, I'm sure I will go on some ridiculous golf trips through out my life, but this one will be pretty special. I'll be playing Ballyneal and Sandhills Golf Club. They are in Colorado and Nebraska. I can't freaking wait. It's been a long few months waiting for this trip and the next 4 days are going to be unbearably slow. But this time Friday morning I will be in to my first of 10+ rounds over 5 days at 2 of the best courses in the world. I can't wait.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Better Results

Another weekend of perfect golf weather, and I didn't waste a day.

Friday i got out for 9 holes after work with Steve and a fellow member. The golf this day was relaxing and enjoyable. I just kind of smacked the ball around. tried some things, of course none of them worked. Think i was somewhere in the 39 or 40 range. Nothing to write home about. Was just great weather and nice to be out on the course after a ridiculously horrible day and week of work.

Saturday was again perfect for playing golf. I got out to the course early to hit some balls before teeing off. I figured I would fix my swing 20 minutes before my round. Unfortunately I didn't have enough time. I was on the verge of figuring it out but didn't. The round started out well. Actually, my whole group was great off the start with Matt, Cal, Wes, and myself. We were tearing up the front 9. As a group we birdied 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 (eagle). For the back it started off much the same. 3 birdies on 10, 2 on 11, and the wheels came off. I was 1 over after the birdies on 10 and 11. I doubled 12 and from there I was awful. Finished the round at 82 or 83. Not a great score by any means. Left very miserable for the rest of the day and drowned my sorrows in Bud Light.

Sunday was the second Men's Tour event of the year at Thundering Waters. I hate this course. Think it's a joke, with horrible conditioning, way to tough on some holes, and over all just didn't enjoy it last time I played. This time, I still thought the course was bad, but it wasn't as horrible. They did cut out 2 great holes to start and made the course about 1000 yards shorter all said and done. They added a couple par 3's I think and made some par 4's around 300 yards, shorten some of the par 5's. This course has potential, but it's just not going to happen. The greens were ok overall. Not very fast, not to slow. Pretty smooth for the most part. There is some ridiculous green complexes which I actually find kind of fun. Makes for some interesting chip shots.

On this day of golf I actually got to the range in the morning and had plenty of time to work on my swing. Good thing I did. I actually fixed it this time. It always goes back to some small stuff you forget from the year before. I seem to forget the same thing every year. Stand up taller, narrow stance, smooth swing. I figured out these 3 keys and kept them going through my head. Ball started flying straight with nice trajectory. Driver was flying perfect. I got the fix. So i left for the course.

I played much better in this one than the last and my last few rounds. I was aggressive all day hitting driver on every hole. My chipping was great. Putting was about a 7 out of 10. Iron play was good. If i could control my nerves I would have been better, but shot 77. This put me in a tie for 11th. Pretty good and I'm not totally disappointed. I for sure left 3 strokes on the course with some sloppy putting from 3 feet. I made a double on last par 3 16th by being over aggressive, not going to beat myself up over that. The putting was my downfall and something I need to continue to work on. I haven't been nervous in a tourny in a while. Think i was this time because i was only 2 over after 14 holes. I was feeling great.

Some small mistakes cost me in the end. My buddy Ryan actually was the last 76 to come, he was in the last group of the day, and he pushed me out of my first ever top 10 on tour. I guess I will have to play better at the next one.

Solid weather again sunday, I had a great playing group of guys. Bad news at the end of the round as at least 10 cars got broken into by some losers who thinks its cool to do things like that. I feel awful especially for Matt as he lost his whole set of clubs, and a camera with pics of his son on it. Jerks.

Playing a lot of golf lately. Hopefully it will be some good golf now that I got a swing back. Need some practice time, will get on that this week. The countdown to Ballyneal and Sand Hills is 10 days. I can't freaking wait.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I need to hit the Gym.

Just made it through a pretty decent long weekend if I do say so myself. Actually, a well deserved one as my week of work leading up to it was absolute hell. Just glad it's over.

I was maybe a little ambisious this weekend, attempting to get in 4 rounds over 4 days. Well I guess it's not that hard on paper, but didn't turn out exactly how I thought it would.

Friday was a perfect day to get out after work. Working on gettting Ryan and Steve to come out regularly, so far looks good, but not this week. Anyways, I have a great time playing with those guys. This week we were joined by the club pro Drew which was actually great. It was the first time the head pro from my course came out to play with me. He's a phenominal putter aside from have an all around great game. I actually played my best round of the weekend on friday. shot 41 on the front and then turned around and posted a 35 on the back to shoot 76. Ya, could have been lower with a better front, but I was happy with it. Made some great shots. On 11 I dunked a lob shot from about 15 yards off the back of the green for a birdie. Chipped in from the fringe on 12. On 16 I found myself 245 out right beside ryan. I tell him to make sure he hits a good layup cause I'm going for the green. He said no way it gets there. I ended up killing one perfectly at the pin and it landed about 6 or 8 feet away. I left the putt on the edge for eagle, still a great birdie. Ended up with a bogey on 18. Good times.

Saturday started off well enough, but I had to quit after 9 to go to work. I had people working that day and I felt bad being on the course while they are working. So i left and went back to the office. My attempt at being a good boss.

Sunday was a perfect day for golf again. We had phenominal weather friday, sunday and monday. I found myself to be a little tired sunday morning. Ended up dragging my ass around the course struggling to make good swings. Shot low 80's. Can't remember exact score, very unremembarable round.

Monday was more of the same except I was even more tired. Late nights early morning weren't agreeing with me this weekend. I schlepped my fat ass around the course again with little to no effort as I had nothing left in the tank. Shot 86 with a bunch of holes not even finished.

Not my best scoring, but definitly a great weekend none the less.

I'm a little worried about my conditioning. I got so tired playing only 18 holes a day. I'm going away with Matt for the most ridiculous golf trip ever in 2.5 weeks and we are slotted play a minimum of 36 holes a day. Probably expected to play at least 45 or 54, all WALKING. I walk every time I play but i've never walked 36 in a day. So i have to get some training in the gym or something. I think i need to stengthen my legs back to where they were a few weeks ago. The golf has killed my squash game so I've lost a good amount of endurance and put on some weight i lost. Not happy with my condition right now.

I've got a short amount of time, but i'm closer than most and will get in decent enough shape for the heavy amount of golf.

OK, let the mocking and ridicule begin. I'm ready for it and deserve it.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

My 2 friends?????

So i've got these 2 guys that I'm friends with. No reason to hide it, its Matt and Cal and they think there funny, but really they are a bunch of JERKS.

Cal being his usual prankster self gets this bright idea to make me feel like a loser and hurt my feelings by just being mean.

Long story short, Matt and Cal got a chance to play Hamilton Golf and Country Club next tuesday (top 3 course in canada) and thought it would be funny to pretend that they were arranging to go in front of me just to make me feel even worse.

HAHAHAH, real funny eh? As funny as Cal seemed to think it was I didn't find it amusing.

So how about this Cal, I HOPE YOU GET A BIG FREAKING THUNDER AND LIGHTNING RAIN STORM ON TUESDAY. and not the kind where it rains hard for like 10 mins and stops. NO,NO, i want to see a 5 hour, rain like you need to build an arc to survive, rain storm that leaves you driving home at 40 KMH cause you can't see the road due to so much rain. But I only want it to start raining just as you put your tee in the ground on the first hole.

And don't you get all upset that I wish such horrible weather on you. You should have just told me you were playing it and rubbed it in my face rather than pull that crap. Like I did with St. George and Magna, and all the courses I play that you don't.

Matt, I wish only the best for you. If there was some way for it to rain only causing cal to miss the round I would hope for that, but as I'm sure you realize that just won't be possible at this time. I'm sorry you have to be included in his misfortune.