Road Hole Shorts

Golf Design, golf, golf, GOLF

Golf in the Kingdom and my Personal Best Round

 

New Mexico State University Golf Course
HOLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 OUT 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 IN TOTAL
69.2/122

 Masters

349 170 350 476 348 133 373 483 324 3,006 370 160 473 357 365 489 413 154 404 3,185 6,191
Handicap 17 15 7 3 5 11 13 1 9   10 16 8 14 12 2 6 18 4    
Par 4 3 4 5 4 3 4 5 4 36 4 3 5 4 4 5 5 3 5 38 74
Score 4 3 4 5 4 3 3 6 4 36 3 4 3 4 3 4 2 2 4 29 65
+/-                                          
Net Score 4 3 4 5 4 3 3 5 4 35 3 4 3 4 3 3 2 2 4 28 63
Fairway     28.6%     71.4% 50%
Putts 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 1.9 1 2 1 2 1 2 0 1 2 1.3 1.6
GIR 88.9% 88.9% 88.9%

*the yardages and pars indicated above are from the white tees – I played from the forward tees that day.

This is my scorecard from the round I played last Thursday at NMSU.  As I have posted previously, I shot 65, my personal best and I am told a course record for the forward tees.  It happens that I have been getting coaching from my LPGA friend Joann Cox on my putting, but perhaps just as importantly on my state of mind.  I have also subscribed to “Spirit of Golf”.  While “Spirit of golf” seems not to conflict with it, it’s hard to discount the influence of GITK as I have only started reading it about the time my recent hot streak  began.  GITK’s Pythagorean connection, which in turn connects to my own feelings about Da Vinci’s man (an improvement for Vitruvian’s man) somehow has triggered a better approach to the game.

I was playing in our weekly Ladies Golf Association event.  We started on the 18th hole that day.  Until the 7th hole, my play was steady as I hit each green in regulation and two putted.  The only tester came when I misjudged my initial put (away from the mountains) and had to make a 7 footer coming back.  On the 7th, I nearly drove the green, as I often do, made a very confident and wonderful chip to a tap in birdie.  But, on the 8th, I bunkered my second on the par 5 next to the green.  The bunker shot was simple enough and perhaps I relaxed rather than played confidently as I didn’t accelerate through the shot and left it in the bunker.  My second bunker was much better, but I over-borrowed on my 8 footer and took a 6.  The 9th was again a steady hole and i finished the 9 even par.  Then on the 10th, due to my superior driving on the day, I decided to cut the dogleg and go for the green.  I rarely do this as out-of-bounds is on the left and that is where my “mistake” shot will often end up.  On that day, I hit a beautiful slight draw that landed just short of the green and ended up about 20 feet left of the front hole location.  Two putts again for an easy birdie.  I perhaps was over-confident as I addressed my shot on the downhill par 3 11th.  My vision of contact is specific and indelibly etched in my mind.  Sometimes when I desire that feeling too strongly, I exaggerate it.  That was what happened on the 11th and I nearly cold shanked the shot.  It ended up to the right of the cart path.  My pitch was too strong – as I had been feeling that I was not accelerating through these shots and thus leaving them short – and I ended up with a bogey.  The 12th, being my eagle hole as I call it, was a matter of destiny.  As always, I was on or near the fairway and I played a simple 9 iron to 10 feet.  The putt however was a twisting downhiller, but I confidently holed it.  On the 13th, I positioned my tee shot in the middle of the fairway with a 4 iron and proceeded to hit my 60 degree wedge a little fat, but just on about 12 feet below the hole.  I left my putt just short, but made an easy par.  The 14th is another hole I am confident of reaching with my drive.  This time, I bunkered my tee shot in the front bunker, just short of the green.  My explosion shot rolled to within 2 feet and I tapped in for another birdie.    With my driving being so beautiful, I confidently cut the dogleg on 15 and then rifled (a little thin) an 8 iron about 10 feet over the green in the extended collar.  My putt wasn’t the best and I was left with a downhill 6 footer, which I holed for another birdie.  The 16th was the highlight of my round.  This is a dogleg left hole of about 400 yards that is played as a par 5 for the ladies.  The tee is elevated and I often have problems keeping my tee shot in the fairway as it tilts slightly to the right and I often find myself in the rough, sometimes behind a tree and always needing to carry the right greenside  bunker to reach the green in two.  Today, I felt confident that I could carry the tree(s) at the corner and reach a flatter area of the fairway.  My drive was aimed directly at the corner tree and with the slight draw,  it settled in the middle of the fairway just under 100 yards from the center of the green.  The  pin was positioned just behind the false front and my 85 yard 60 degree wedge flew directly at the hole.  We were playing to the south and so the glare of the sun sometimes makes it difficult to see where the ball lands.  On this auspicious occasion, that was what happened.  I thought I saw the ball land.  I could tell that I nipped it nicely and that it would have plenty of back spin.  I instinctively called for the shot to stay, thinking it might back completely off the green.  When we reached the green, my ball was nowhere to be seen.  It was not down in front of the green where I feared in might be, but it was nowhere on the very large green to be seen.  Liz, one of my playing partners spied it in the hole and we all shouted and laughed at my good fortune.  While this was a double eagle according to our ladies scorecard, I normally will play the 16th and 18th (in my own mind) as par 4’s instead of 5’s as indicated on the scorecard.  Nonetheless, it was a 2, no matter how your score it.

After the 8th hole, even though I was using my Skycaddie (thus the scorecard above) to score my round, I somehow got past needing to use my score as a focus.  It was somehow pushed back away from my conciousness and I felt a certain calmness within myself.  I had played the back nine very well many times – I think my low score being 31 or 32 – perhaps the fact that I knew I would score well was a factor, but I’m thinking that the experiences I was re-examining in reading GITK may have been at work.  Over the last several rounds, I have been attempting to put myself in a very calm state of mind, going so far at one time to write “relax” on my golf ball (ala Stuart Applebee).  Being calm and relaxed and feeling my inner center as I pictured Da Vinci man seemed to put me into a scoring state of mind although scoring was the furthest thing from my conciousness.  Just before this round, I had been reading the part of the book where Shivas takes Michael to the base of the Lucifer’s Rug to find Seamus.  In one scene, Shivas is letting Michael hit shots with Seamus’ baffin’ spoon at a target.  He tells Michael to ” ‘feel yer inner body’ . My questions and puzzlement quieted…”  This is how I felt.  “I was aware that part of my mind had suspended judgement, that many questions were simmering still.  But it felt marvelous to swing that way, so absorbed in the pleasure and the feel of it.  And it was a relief not to worry about the results.”

I was in my inner place.  While I could absorb and relish my good shots, my not so good shots were merely there and I played on with no attachment to the results.

The 17th, a 118 yard uphill par 3 to a blind green, was my final hole that day.  The green had been struggling and was not in it’s best condition.  The green’s crew was busily trying to aerify, topdress and seed the surface between groups.  As we approached the tee, I imagined that the surface was probably rougher than its poor condition would normally present.  However, I was able to hit another “A” wedge crisply, with only a slight pull.  When we reached the surface, it was very rough, as it had been aerified using a slicing machine in two opposite directions.  My ball was exactly hole high 6 feet left.  As I approached the putt, I realized that the ball would normally break about a half a cup toward the front of the green.  My feeling was that I needed to just commit to that plan and there was nothing I could do beyond that.  With steady nerves stemming from a clear and quiet mind I stroked the putt into the cup for another birdie.   At the time, I really didn’t know my score for the round.  It was only after checking the Skycaddie and re-checking that I realized I had shot my best score ever – 65.

Now if I could only come to this feeling in my non-golf existence!

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