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Deja Vu All Over Again


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#46 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 07:43 PM

First round of the Cairns GC championships today. Lots of run on the course with good lies everywhere. It may be my imagination but the greens seemed a little too bumpy to be running as quickly as they are. The greens also seem to be firming up and demanding well struck shots to hold the ball near to where it lands. Then again maybe I just had a bad day and a five hour round.

 

86 against par 72. Many shots and putts where my post shot routine started with bewilderment at the bizarre shot I'd just played. Lots of bearing down to find a feel for my weight shift and plenty of focus on club head path and basic ball striking.

 

I like to look back to find the highlights. A nice hybrid into the breeze to about thirty feet on the 10th (365m). Up and down out of the bunker for par on the 11th (151m). 8I to about 5 feet on the 14th (328m). Nice hybrid to about thirty feet on the 15th (404m). Nice 9I about thirty feet behind the hole on the 1st (278m). Nice finesse shot from left rough near the green to about a foot on the 3rd (348m). Nice hybrid into the breeze to about thirty feet on the 4th (385m). Nice 8I on the 9th (364m) from a flier lie and a big hop to the rear of the green on landing. A great lag putt down the very slippery slope to about two feet followed by a perfect putt right into the middle of the cup to finish.

 

No birdies. Only six greens in regulation. Looking for better in the second round tomorrow.



#47 Toph

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 07:45 PM

Lots of good shots there
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#48 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 11:37 PM

Lots of good shots there

 

Yes, I was surprised even though I'd really like to create more birdie chances. I'm definitely working hard to accentuate the positives when things don't go my way.


Edited by Forrest Gardener, 18 August 2018 - 11:39 PM.

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#49 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 19 August 2018 - 08:24 PM

Round two of the Cairns GC championships. Fine day around 28C but a bit breezy. Course in good shape but getting firmer and faster by the day. Greens seemed to run a bit more smoothly. Yesterday was five hours. Today was around five and a quarter hours. I particularly enjoyed watching two of my playing partners put on a display of power hitting. Irons into three of the four par fives. A drive almost into the front trap of the 325m second. A 300m drive and pitch for birdie on the 404m fifteenth. Great stuff.

 

My highlight reel included a 240m drive into the breeze followed by a 35m pitch to about five feet and a downhill breaking putt for a birdie 3 on the first (278m). A nice drive and hybrid into the breeze to the middle of the fourth green for a two putt par (385m). A par saving pitch from 80m to three feet on the sixth (471m). A great flop shot up and down for par from green side rough on eleven (151m). A good pitch and putt from 60m on the twelfth for a birdie (487m). A great flop shot up and down from green side rough for triple bogey on fourteen (328m). Finally a nice drive and 6I to twenty feet for an easy two putt par on fifteen (404m).

 

84 against par 72 for nett 77. Five greens in regulation. Two birdies. Lots of room for improvement. Very tired. Two competition rounds in two days is too much for me at this stage. My plan is to rest up for a day or two then see what I can do better next weekend.


Edited by Forrest Gardener, 19 August 2018 - 08:33 PM.

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#50 Forrest Gardener

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 06:16 PM

Today was a rest day but temptation got the better of me. I did a full evaluation of my putting as set out by James Sieckman in his putting book. A while back I did the shorter 25 ball test of rolling putts over a 5c coin two feet away (uphill 6ft and 15ft, right to left and left to right 10ft and downhill 6ft). This longer version also tests putt reading and speed control.

 

The results were interesting. The 25 ball test part was better with 23 out of 25 hitting the coin. The misses on downhill putts last time were all hits this time around. Sieckman says that four out of five on each type of putt is good enough "to be the best putter at your club and even outperform some of the Tour players I coach". Sounds good to me.

 

The next part tests putt reading skills. Five balls are set around the cup and a 5c coin goes two feet away on the line you read. You then compare your subconscious read when you get over the ball with the conscious read you made earlier. Then you putt to see whether your putt goes over the coin and you compare the actual break with your two reads.

 

I'm pretty good at getting the two reads to agree. My problem is that my coin always appears to be left of the line I have chosen. For the life of me I can't figure out whether it is my setup, the way I turn my head to look down the line when I'm over my putts, or something else but it is quite disconcerting. At any rate most of my putts hit the coin but some of my reads were way off, both under and over reading the break.

 

The last two parts of the assessment are about speed control. I found it surprisingly difficult to get 30, 40 and 50 foot putts within three feet. I did better getting 10 and 15 foot putts either in or about a foot past the hole.

 

In conclusion I knew my distance control needed improvement but it is pretty clear my green reading skill needs work too.


Edited by Forrest Gardener, 20 August 2018 - 06:19 PM.

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#51 Forrest Gardener

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Posted Yesterday, 07:34 PM

Following up on yesterday's putting evaluation, today was my on course follow up. One of the reasons was that the evaluation includes 30, 40 and 50 ft putts and the practice green at Cairns isn't big enough to make those putts. The other reason was that the evaluation showed that I needed some improvement on my distance control.

 

The course was pretty quiet so I decided to work in some evaluation of my wedge play as well. Rather than playing the course I went to the 100m marker on each hole and hit my P wedge from there. It was a bit windy again so on some holes 90m was as far as I could hit. On other holes I could hit 120m without too much difficulty. I also hit a couple of finesse wedges from 30m on each hole.

 

My putting on the first few holes was a bit unreliable. It was interesting that after hitting a 30, 40 and 50 ft putt on each hole, after a few holes the 30 ft putts started looking pretty manageable in comparison to the 40 and 50 ft putts. I also discovered that my stable left hip wasn't so stable after all. In fact I was rotating my hips slightly at the start of the back stroke. That made it hard to hit solid putts. I was amazed at the difference it made keeping my left hip in position at the start of the back stroke. All of a sudden I my action felt much smoother and I was hitting solid putts. All of a sudden my distance control returned. All of a sudden my feel returned and most of my putts were finishing inside a putter length from the hole.

 

I used my laser to measure 35m for each of the finesse shots made up of 30m flight and 5m roll. It was interesting just how different shots from the same distance on each hole can feel so different. Some times 35m felt quite short. Some times 35m felt quite long. Logic dictates that flying a finesse shot 30m will require pretty much the same swing every time but trying to groove a 30m swing felt like a revelation.

 

I'm not expecting magic improvement immediately but hopefully in a month or so I'll see some improvement in competition rounds.


Edited by Forrest Gardener, Yesterday, 07:46 PM.


#52 Weetbix

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Posted Today, 11:02 AM

Nice to be able to practice like that
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#53 Forrest Gardener

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Posted Today, 11:58 AM

Nice to be able to practice like that

 

Yes and thanks to riding in a cart I did 16 holes in about two hours. Mondays and Tuesdays are good days to play at Cairns GC if you want a quick game.






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