It’s been a while since I posted an update on my journey through Strokes Gained Retired. Your Golf Hack has not been able to play as much as he wanted in April but was able to get in two (2) tournaments, one official and one not so. I had mixed results in the DSGA Spring Classic as well as the 2021 Hootie, but played well enough in a couple of the tournament rounds to see my handicap drop from 5.5 at the start of the season to 4.0 currently. Unfortunately, this was followed in the past couple of weeks by some awful play. A bad round of 87 last Friday at the Creek was followed by an 83 yesterday – losing strokes and losing money is not a good combination.
I track my stats through the Blue Golf app. Let’s take a look at the good news and not so good news. I’ve played 14 rounds this year through yesterday. After making 30 birdies, I calculated by average birdies per round to be 2.1. Unfortunately, I have also made 38 double bogies and 5 triple bogies – 3.1 doubles or worse per round. This includes 19 penalty strokes which always lead to higher scores. When you have an average of 1.3 penalty strokes per round, you’re not hitting the ball consistently for sure.
Here is yesterday’s round as a good example of this:
I started out with a birdie, but 3 jacked #2 for a bogey. A sloppy bogey on the easy par 5 4th and then bogeys from the fairway on both #5 an #6, followed by a birdie on the par 3 7th and then a horrendous double on #8. Some would call this a pyscho-scorecard. I was playing with the Senator and his guest in a larger skins game and a $10 2-down with the Senator. Having to give the Senator 3 shots a side is tough enough without this kind of play. Luckily, I only lost one way on the front.
We were back and forth on the back nine until the 14th, when the Voice arrived to join our group. I’m not the kind of person to blame poor play on someone else, but I was sitting 100 yards from the green in 2 on #14 and proceeded to dump my wedge into the hazard fronting the green – double bogey again. Your Hack then proceeded to bogey out and lose the back and the match to the Senator. When you go 6 over par in the last 5 holes of a round, how can you not blame the Voice?
But I digress. I’m hitting 48% of my fairways and the misses are evenly split to the left and to the right. Not great, but not horrible either. However, I’m only hitting 45% of greens in regulation and averaging 33 puts per round. In addition, I’m at 9% in sand saves and 39% in up and down saves around the green.
I’m absolutely convinced that most of this is in my head. When I hit the ball well, I really hit the ball well. Same with putting and chipping. It’s the inconsistency of everything that is killing me. So what do we do?
I’ve ordered a putting mirror and plan to religiously practice putting alignment and stroke to bring my putting stats down to 30 or fewer per round. I currently have 1.4 3-putts per round and am averaging 33 putts in 18 holes.
In addition, I’m spending more time in the short game area to work on chipping, pitching and bunkers to improve my up and down percentage.
Lastly, I’m putting the driver away for most holes at the Creek. It’s not really needed and I tend to get myself in too much trouble off the tee.
Let’s see how this plan works next month and I’ll report back as usual. Tomorrow, the Senator has cobbled together a foursome for the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation tournament at Plantation Lakes. The Senator, the Jr. Senator, the Voice and your Hack will attempt to break 60 in a four man scramble. Stay tuned and keep it in the short grass.