Jim, Jarvis and I practiced and played nine at the crack of dawn this morning before work, at The Practice Tee in Plano. We hit a few balls, putted and chipped, and then hit the course on this cool, partly cloudy, breezy morning.
Since I arrived before the fall opening time of 8AM, I chipped and putted until the ball machine was unlocked. I chipped a few dozen balls, tending to leave them a bit short (except for one or two that I skulled across the green). I then ran my usual putting drill, which went pretty well. By that time, balls were available, so I got a small bucket and started hitting 3/4 sand wedge shots, working on keeping my lower body still and my hip turn moderate. I had some difficulty with consistency in distance, though direction was pretty good. I then got out the 7- and 9-irons, and again had difficulty with getting a consistent strike on the ball with my “new, improved” swing (as usual, making a swing change makes me worse before it makes me better).
With my last few balls, I got out the longer clubs and hit some balls off tees with the 5-iron, 2i and 3i hybrids and the big stick. I struck the driver well, though tending to fade the ball. The hybrids were pretty poor, either hitting slices or chunking them. I hit some good 5-iron shots, though tending to draw them. Out of balls, we hit the course.
The course was in pretty poor condition due to the drought and on-going maintenance. The first hole is being reconstructed and is currently replaced with about a 50 yd first hole. Two other holes had half the green stripped off and the sod used to reconstruct the first hole. The fairways, if they can be called that, were a mix of bare spots and deep cracks from lack of rain. The greens were in pretty good condition, though the tee boxes were pretty much suffering from overuse and the drought.
* Hit green in regulation.
- Tee shots. I was pretty pathetic off the tee, hitting only one green in regulation on the 50 yd first hole with a 3/4 lob wedge. Mostly, I was short and right, as my “new, improved” swing isn’t, yet, “new and improved”. I also didn’t do a good job of judging the wind today, either.
- Wedges. Very mixed. Chunked one, hit a couple long and over the green. In general, yeech!
- Chipping. I had one very nice chip to tap in distance, but otherwise not very impressive, as indicative of my score.
- Sand shots. None, didn’t hit into any bunkers today.
- Putting. The only positive note today was my putting, taking only 13 putts today and no three putts. The results could have been even better, as I lipped out at least 3 putts for par. My only birdie putt of about 11 ft was left 6″ short. My longest putt hit was a par putt from 15 ft on the 6th.