Posted by: linleygolf | September 10, 2020

Bounce Back

A while back I got an email from a good friend back in Toronto. He noticed that I had restarted my blog. I had promised to update the blog regularly, but after my round that weekend I was embarrassed to post up an entry with a terrible score. For the record I shot 92 and I barely hit any good shots. I did go out that week and work on my game. I connected with Nicky and I got him to bring me back to where we were. Unfortunately, I was letting my right hand weaken my grip, I was not rotating properly, I was rotating my forearms counter to what I had been learning. In addition, I could feel that I was NOT in the right positions, but I just couldn’t figure out why. I realized that the mechanics of my swing were wrong and reverted back to old swing. In addition, no warm up lead to a slide across the ball rather – a classic power killer. I resolved to do more Yoga 🙂

After the lesson I played on Sunday and shot a 79. I missed a few putts and I should have been a comfortable 75. Its OK ! I can’t complain. Funny thing is what when you get the mechanics right then the game is easy. I love where we are going with my swing. It is so satisfying. Last lesson, Nicky says he wants me in tournaments next spring. REALLY ???!!! It has been over 12 years since I was in a league. Back then I was a 6.1 index and playing well. I am just under 10 now and I working my way back down. I used to play on the best Amateur tour in the Toronto Area – Run by an awesome person – Mark Young. If you live in Toronto and want to get into some professionally run events in fabulous locations – then join the tour !

So, I did bounce back. And in golf its about the ability to bounce back.

Posted by: linleygolf | August 4, 2020

Improvements !

The last post about putting was a good lesson. I have taken to practicing chipping and putting as part of any session at the range. Of course that means more time at the range and you just can’t rush these things. The combination of practice and lessons is paying off, and it should! Since I moved to Florida I wanted to improve my game. Upon arriving in Florida, I was determined to find a swing coach and get that handicap down from a 6.1 to near 2. Unfortunately, that did not happen, not even close. My handicap index jumped from 6.1 to 15 or so… It was embarrassing and stunning to say the least. I needed help and Mary was some help. But I just wasn’t getting it. Try as I may, I was unable to convert the range session to a game. Worsening was my chipping and pitching. I was duffing chips and stabbing the club in the ground. My iron game was average – it used to be my weapon from 3iron all the way down to SW. I lost distance and even worse was my attempt to hit the ball with the driver. The only decent club in the bag was the 3 wood. It kept me in play and I was able to hit it far enough.

That didn’t last and finally I had enough. I wanted to get better. Then came Nicky. He took my grip, stance, tilt, rotation, club path and ball flight in a total different direction. I now had a strong grip, bowed left wrist at the top of the back swing, shut club face, tilted of the ball and less upright – all resulting in a much much higher ball flight with a slight fade. Add working out in the gym and I was hitting plenty far. In fact I can say my driver is not ideal but about 250 carry, 3 wood carry 235, 7 iron about 165 carry and all the way down. My irons are weak in their lofts and I don’t try and measure up against friends who are using juiced lofts so they can carry an 8 iron 165. You can check the lofts of my irons Taylormade P7-TW.

TaylorMade P7TW irons: You can now play the same clubs as Tiger Woods

These are good distances for an older person and I think there more there as I have hit each one of these clubs longer than these conservative averages. There is more in the tank if I dial in the swing and continue with working out. Oh and YOGA is part of my flexibility training. It takes time to do all this. I’ve been with Nicky for over a year and I have been in the gym since I moved to FL. But I am fighting Father Time so to speak. My golf bag is simple – Driver, 3Wood, 3-PW, 52, 56, 60, Putter, with Titleist ProV1 and Taylormade TP5x sometimes.

I said all that to now show some of the results. Let’s take a look at 2 weeks ago –World Golf Village – Slammer and Squire playing 6660 on the scorecard – it was an interesting round. I started off with a couple of bogeys. there were 3 young lads up front who were playing very slow and I mean SLOW ! When we got to the 3rd tee, they were just making it to the fairway. There was nobody in front of them. By hole 4 they were crawling… and on saw them hitting extra balls on the par 5. I drove up to them on hole 6 and said you can’t do that and let’s pick up the pace, you are 2 holes behind a the foursome in front. The marshal came by at the same time and echoed that. But I was losing my patience and doubled holes 4 and 5. I was not 7 over. I was able to turn it around and go 4 over the rest of the way – which included a double from the greenside bunker. I tried to get too cute and left my bunker shot IN THE BUNKER and it came to rest in my show print. I got it out on the next shot, but 2 putted for double. Its OK as I was striking the ball magnificently. And when I missed, I missed to the correct side. It was such a good feeling. I punctuated that round with a fabulous 18th. Playing 412, I cracked a perfect 3wood 265 yds right into the elbow of the dogleg. I was left with 148 into stiff breeze. I pured an 8 iron sky high landing like a sack of feathers 2 feet from the hole for a tap in birdie. It was exhilarating! Final score 83. Not too bad and that includes 3 doubles.

The following week I played St. Johns which was playing 6800 yds. This was solid day. When I found mild trouble, I was able to extricate myself quite easily and make good shots coming in. The only issue was that the greens were punched a week ago – aerification. The greens were bumpy and not rolling nicely. I managed 1 one-putt and 1 three-putt, the rest were 2 putts. The one putt was great – I made that for bogey and it was from 20 feet. The 3 putt was from 15 feet for bogey. So the golf game “giveth and taketh“. I shot 10 pars and 8 bogeys, final score 80.

As you can see, all things are trending in the right direction. Golf is fun again. This week it may be ABCC or back to St. Johns Golf and Country Club. I’ll keep you all posted 🙂

Posted by: linleygolf | July 7, 2020


In my golf blog, I have described many aspects of my golf game.  I lost my swing – spiraling from a 6 index to 16 after my move to Florida.  I documented by distaste and lack of chipping deftness in Bermuda rough.  I went through some medical issues. I even figured that getting old was robbing me of distance and lack of skill. Through all this, I persevered and seem to be on the way back. 

As of late my ball-striking has been very good.  I am well-pleased and I have Nicky Martin to thank.  A shout out to Dan Pascale my fitness trainer as well.  I would say that between a whole NEW swing and a commitment to physical fitness (strength training and yoga) I am heading back to where I was.  

Unfortunately, every so often a round pops up which seems to derail me.  Its OK, as I mentally get over it quite quickly.  After these types of rounds, when I tally up the score, I am appalled at the raw score.  I feel like I hit the ball well.  But it becomes apparent that the poor part of my game is the putting.  I often watch pros bomb 10,15, 20, and even 30 footers.  I marvel at this because it is not about power or clubhead speed.  A 30 handicapped seems to be capable of making a long putt as anyone else.  Now granted, we don’t play on the same course with exacting conditions week in and week out.  Public course 1 vs Public course 2 vs Private course 3 could ALL have different green speeds.  

This is my main nemesis at present.  Let me illustrate, I shot 88 and had 41 putts.  Can you believe it?  9×2 putts, 7×3 putts and 2×1 putts. How is possible.  It has to be said this is not normal.  I hit the ball well, I just didn’t make anything.  And those 1 putts were due to chips to less than 2 feet. When I hit the green in regulation, I would 3 putt or 2 putt.  I had 4 bold lip outs and 2 that stopped short of the hole by inch.  On one par 5 playing 540, I hit 3 wood 245 into the wind, 4 iron towering 200 yds (Nicky would have been pleased as punch) and a SW to 25 feet.  My first putt was 8 feet by, the next putt was 2 short and right missing by 1 foot. I tapped in for bogey.

I can’t take all the blame.  The real issue was that ABCC (former home of the Series finale) which has fast and consistent greens had inconsistent green speeds.  I think this was due to the amount of rain recently.  It seemed as if they hadn’t cut the greens either.  My friend Kevin who is a member there, complained incessantly.  So what do I make of this.  Well I am happy with my game overall.  I will improve my putting/scoring by having ABCC do a better job managing the greens.  I am not disappointed.  I know I am hitting the ball well and it will come together.

I do have one final thought on this subject though.  I am told often that I am a good putter.  Generally, I rarely 3 putt.  But I rarely make the long putts. In fact, I usually hit my irons pretty close to the flag – so my proximity of quite good.  And I come darn close often.  So I ask, how come I make so few and others make so many?  I don’t miss wildly.  I am often close. My speed and distance control on putts is excellent but not excellent enough.  I don’t make 50% of my 6 footers.  When I was getting fitted for my clubs at  Club Champion, they measured my stroke numerically as in Pro range.  It seems my arc of swing, speed of ball, and roll was literally within all the pro categories.  The guy was quite surprised.  I think he was even more surprised that I was using the Nike Origin putter.  I may switch back to my Scotty Cameron, I have 2 of them.  Well, I have a Professional stroke on the ball but I am holing much less than a professional number of putts. Maybe it is confidence.  Maybe its all in my head.  Maybe the machine was wrong and I am not professional numerically after all.  Who knows?  But I will keep adding putting practice time to my practice sessions.  I need to get things sorted. As Nicky says, “Brother, you’ll be in the 60s soon enough!”  To which I reply, “I will be glad to be in 70s regularly again.  Its been a long time since that was the case.” 

I have improved my iron play, I have improved my chipping.  I have improved my driving of the ball (though there is work there to be done).  Putting is next. 

See the source image

See the source image


Posted by: linleygolf | June 1, 2020

Back at it !

Getting time to write is difficult for some reason. You would think with the pandemic, that I would have more time. My friend Jim of “The Grateful Golfer” is able to make a post every night ! Alas that is not the case for me. I had intended to write some, but one thing or another keeps coming up. As such, I have to give a comprehensive update on 4 rounds. 3 of the rounds were pretty good and one was terrible. I begin with the round at Marsh Landing – playing around 6600 yds, I turned in a decent round. It was my first time in a while, but I was fresh off a lesson and I was feeling good on the range. I was so sure I would have a good round.  

That was not to be the case.  I kicked managed to finagle a 4 iron to the middle of the fairway, but it was not a good strike and I was just a mere 9 iron to the g

reen. I was well aware of the poor hit.  I hit a 9 into the left bunker. I splashed out and missed the putt for par.  I followed this up with quick transition 3 wood into the drink. Argh.  A re-teed 3 wood was ripped and a PW from 128 into the wind was 4 feet below the cup. I missed the putt and settle for double.  I managed to have a poor swing on the ensuing par 3 and that led to a triple bogey 6. How does one come back from that start?  Well you go with par, par and BIRDIE on the par 5.  I smashed a drive and it carried about 280 and rolled out another 10 yds. I hade 210 to the green.  I took a cut with the 3 iron and came up with a slight weak shot that was just on the right front of the green – chip and putt and I was in for birdie.  I did OK the rest of the round with a few pars and the odd bogey.   ON a par 5 on the back 9, it plays as a  double dogleg. Unfortunately, I hit my 3 wood through the fairway and I had to punch back into play.  I was left with 176 over water ALL the way there. I landed 12 feet from the hole, high soft shot.  YES !  obligatory 2 putts was in for par.  On the following short par 4, I took 3 iron off the tee willing to lay back a bit, but I mishit the shot and I had 179.  Playin a little heated, I stuck a beauty and stuffed the 7 iron to 5 feet.  WOW.  I shot 45/39 and I was happy.  

The next round was held down in Daytona and I was at LPGA – The Jones Course.   Again we played from about 6600.  This time a young kid from the IMG Golf Academy joined us.  He was very talented and was there to play a warm up round for a tournament this coming weekend.  On the opening hole he hit 5 wood and had about 125, I hit 3 wood and had about 135. The kid had some distance.  With my new swing I generate very good distance for weak-lofted irons.  He and I were close but he hit hit driver further than I did.  I get the odd driver to really launch, but I not to the same effect I do with my irons. I will have to work on that.  I usually only practice my irons.  I will have to hit more drivers.  It may be timing or maybe technique.  Well the day was a success, though I missed about 5 birdie putts from inside 6 feet.  I shot a 79 and I was very comfortable with that.  I made 2 great putts to save BOGEY. I did not want a double, let alone a triple. I think the kid shot the same score as I did. The course is a sort of wide open, but it was windy and the holes into the wind were tough.  The last hole is a heck of challenge from the Blues – playing 440. I made solid contact carrying the ball about 250 and rolling about another 20 yds or so.  I had 190 into a stout wind.  I came up flag high and on the worse possible lie.  A downhill lie with a somewhat elevated green from where I was.  I hit it high and soft moving the ball a total of 12 yds at most and rolling by the flag.  my putt rolled off the green and I putted on to 6 feet and made that putt for bogey.   

I played 2 days later and I was expecting another good round, but alas St. Johns GC stuck it to me again.  It rained for the first 6 holes and it was difficult for me.  I 3 putt the first hole and proceeded to make bogeys and double bogeys. I shot 49 on the front.  On the back I shot a 41 but the damage was all done on the front. It was damp, humid and HOT.  I’ll get my revenge on that course.  My friend Colby shot 76.  He was solid all day.  It was fun to watch him make solid contact.  

This weekend I got back into a decent round at Atlantic Beach CC.  This is this former home of the Tour ending event.  I play here quite often.  I started out OK with bogeys on the first 2 holes, a double on the third and fourth.  But I settled in after that.  I made some pars and bogeys.  The 9 hole was playing 410 into the wind. I hit a very very good 3 wood and still had 185 to the hole.  My playing partners who hit driver were 20 yds behind me.  That should indicate the wind factor.  I hit a perfect 5 iron that landed on the front of the green and rolled up flag high and 10 feet away.  From there I was off and really running.  I made triple on the short par 3 but still managed a 41 on the back.  I shot 44/41 for a total 85.  My game is now back to some semblance of a decent golfer.  

Most of the credit goes to the Nicky Martin.  He’s been a huge help in helping me re-tool my swing.  A few adjustments to the chipping have also been helpful.   I need to work on the driver and more chipping from close.  Playing out of Bermuda rough is really difficult.  I am committed to this swing coach and swing pattern.  I will put up some videos later.  

Posted by: linleygolf | March 27, 2020

How Long has it Been?

Well it been a heck of a long time since my last entry – February 16, 2017. I  had been to Kiawah Island.  There hasn’t been a real reason for not writing.  I simply just got tired of it. I didn’t think I had anything to say.  In addition, my golf game had been going nowhere.  I was stuck at a 12 handicap and it was disappointing.  

But things have changed.  My scoring is better and I have a new swing coach.  Nicky Martin is his name and he is awesome.  He is also a talented golfer – not just a teacher.  He is an excellent communicator and we get along really well.  He pushes me and I respond.  Years ago when I came to Jax, I was told to go to Nicky and one other person.  I went to the other person and it was OK.  But my game is really improving under Nicky.  Get this, we are working on mechanics of the swing more like Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.  Now I am not hitting it as far as either of those two, but the motion is the same.  The result is higher ball flight, greater distance and more consistency.  What a triumvirate!  Its such a good feeling.  I have no complaints.  I have gone out and played a few rounds with him as a friend and its been great.  His in his early 50s and he can still crank it out there.  He is pure with his irons and has great touch around the greens.  He did play on the Asian and Euro tours.  I am fortunate to be working with Nicky.

In addition to a new swing coach (about 6 months),  I have a new set of irons.  Just take a look !  My bag is Nike Fly Vapor Pro Driver and 3 Wood, Taylormade P 7TW (3-PW) with old school lofts, Titleist Vokey Wedges (60,56,52) and Nike Origin Putter, Titleist ProV1 golf ball, Nike Golf Bag.  SO far, many scores in the 80s and with some chipping and putting I will be back in the 70s.


Posted by: linleygolf | February 16, 2017

Kiawah Island

Fellow golfers, I recently was privileged to get up and play 4 rounds of golf in 3 days at Kiawah Island.  This was a great golf experience.  Without any doubt I can recommend playing golf in this area south of Charleston, SC.   When I lived in Canada, I never thought I would be interested in golfing at Kiawah.  But with Rory winning the PGA Championship and stories about the Ryder Cup in ’91 made me want to play the course.  We played 4 courses in 3 days and it was highlighted by a round at the Ocean course.  We drove up from Jacksonville and played in the afternoon at Turtle Point.  We played the Ocean course the next morning and another round at Osprey Point in the afternoon. We finished up the next morning at Oak Point and then drove home. Phew !!!

The round at the Ocean course required a caddy ($100 USD).  It was so cool to play with a caddy.  I had a caddy when I played Chambers Bay.  My caddy, Robert, was awesome and he gave me great reads and fantastic advice.  I began the round with a triple bogey despite sitting in the fairway and having 155 yds to the green.  I then proceeded to birdie the par 5.  Playing with friends and a professional caddy can be a bit unnerving.  Robert kept telling me to breathe and relax.  I did have some messed up holes, but I did make some great shots. I finished with a 91.  It was the lowest round of all the guys (12) on the trip.   There were 5 players in single digits and 2 guys below 5 index.  5 shot over 100 at the Ocean Course.  The wind was blowing quite hard and that is what makes the course so difficult.  You have to hit it solid ALL the time.  I was very satisfied with my round.  I could have scored better.   I missed some birdie putts.  I was nervous about playing these rounds.  I am in the middle of a major swing change and it is difficult to commit to shots when you haven’t perfected the swing.  It was a good test of the swing.

It had been a while since I played so many rounds in such a short time.  It took its toll physically and mentally.  I need to keep working on my fitness and keep practicing my swing.  Here is a sample of the need for food and stretching after round 1 and starting round 2.  I began Osprey point with a par and then I shot 3 triple bogeys in a row.  The food kicked in and then I made 7 par and 4 bogeys in the next 11 holes, then I got tired again and end with 2 doubles – LOL. I love this game and will keep trying to improve.





Posted by: linleygolf | January 14, 2017

New Coach !

When I first got to Florida, I decided to improve my game.  Having arrived with a 6.1 index, I foolishly arrived expecting to “tweak this and tweak that” and all would be smooth sailing to a scratch level.  I signed up for lessons with a former LPGA star golfer from the 80s and I was ready to rock.   Mary is an excellent teacher and a great communicator.  I learned that my swing was not as good as I had thought and slightly more than tweaks were necessary to seriously improve my game.  We went for the basics and revisited , setup, grip, posture, etc…. I made good improvement right away and my handicap skyrocketed to 18.something !!!  OK does that seem right?  NO it doesn’t.  As it turns out this negative “improvement” was NOT Mary’s fault at all, it was ALL mine.  In re-tooling the swing, we uncovered some major flaws.  I was able to slap the ball around with my old swing and score decently, but that was not what I was searching for.  So over the past few years, I began to improve and slowly move back towards my old handicap.  It is now at a 12.7 so there is a long ways to go.  I have focused solely on full swing.  There is alot to improve in my chipping as well, as that has deteriorated due to the disgusting Bermuda roughs I have to play out of here in Florida.  I am supremely confident on Bent grass but totally gun-shy in Bermuda.  Inevitably my scores will get lower when I chip and putt better as well – at least like I used to.

I actually have had a lesson in over 2 years and Mary works out of Florida during winter month and Wisconsin in summer months.  In addition, work has kept me far too busy, and I have had little time to actually work on my game.  Well I have decided again to get serious about golf and work on my swing.  I begun looking for someone to help.  I saw some people on Instagram and Youtube.  I checked out potential golf schools here in Florida.  I wasn’t sure who to go with.  Then 2 weeks ago, my friend asked me if I wanted to share a lesson wiht him.  Seems that guy teaching will divide the hour and we can split the $150 fee.  I said great lets do it.  The guy actually gave us a lesson that lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes.  He would tell my friend something and then he would work on it while I received some instruction.  The teacher is Dan Carraher and he is pretty good, at least that is my first impression.

So what did Dan do that makes me feel good about what he has to say.  Well he pointed out the flaws that I knew existed.  He was able to tell me after a  few swings and some video what my strengths are.  As it turns out, I am a loose and flexible person and my friend is the exact opposite.   He is stiff and tight and I am loosey goosey.  That is so funny, since I always thought of myself as a technical swinger of the golf club.  Since this post is of my improvements lets take a look.  Here in the stills below you can see the difference.  What you see on the left leads to pulls to the left and probably a little lower.  On the right side is the winning combination – coming from the inside and hitting high draws and shallower divots.


Dan gave me a drill to do indoors and I am working on it most days.  Here is video showing the driver in action.  I hit the ball far and it does lead to more consistent contact. The key thing that Dan says will happen is that I will hit the ball flush more often.  In the past I would be creating opposing angles sometimes and that lead to loss of distance.  I am working on this and I hope to make it back to single digit.

Tomorrow I will be playing with some friends visiting from Toronto.  We will be playing at LPGA International Course – The Hills.  It will be my first time playing this course.  It is down in Daytona Beach so I have to drive about 90 minutes in the morning – my friends are driving over from Orlando.

Golfers will find challenges at every turn on our companion 1997 signature Arthur Hills Course. The par-72 layout is a classic at 6,984 yards. Hills used a superb natural setting to create a masterpiece in playability and variety. It features natural wetlands, narrow pine corridors, small greens and strategically placed water hazards.

The Hills Course calls for the player to use mind over muscles. Good strategic planning rewards the player with good results and an enjoyable round. Each hole is unique and memorable. The Hills Course, played from the proper tees, poses an appropriate challenge to more accomplished players and fairness to high handicappers, seniors, women and junior golfers.

Par 72

Yards Ratings Slope
Men Black 6,954 74.1 143
Blue 6,536 72.4 138
White  6,255 70.7 130
Gold 5,802 69.2 119
Red 5,036 65.8 111
Women White 6,255 77.1 144
Gold 5,802 74.6 138
Red 5,036 70.6 121



Posted by: linleygolf | November 20, 2016


I had 3 rounds in a row that were absolutely horrible! It was embarrassing to say the least. My ball striking was so poor. My impact position – wait, let’s say I had NO impact position. The key to a solid strike is to square up the clubface at impact and ensure that maximum speed takes place at that point in time. In many cases that is the difference between a 170 yd. 7 iron versus a 135 yd. 7 iron. I have been leaning more towards the 135 side of things (actually 160 yd.) The reason for me stems from a major flaw – the lateral move through the left side rather than a post up on the left side. This has plagued me since I had some meniscus removed back in 2000. After the surgery I was told by the doctor that there would be nothing to worry about, the orthoscopic surgery was successful. Sometimes I think that I subconsciously slide through at impact in order to take some of the pressure on the left knee. Some days I don’t slide too much and other days I slide more. I have worked hard to strengthen my legs, hips and glutes to ensure successful post up on the left side. Along with that comes the need to not slide towards the right side on the takeaway. I have been guilty of that as well. In addition to my working out, I have been working on my footwork, hip turn, shoulder turn, takeaway, wrist set, club set at the top, transition back to the ball and a solid plant on the left side.

            The last 3 rounds have been relative success. The scores have come down into the low 80s and it will be a matter of time before I am into the single digits for my handicap and my scores are regularly in the 70s J Let me illustrate. I am back to playing courses at 6800 + yds because the driver is back. It feels so good. On the par 5 playing 502 yds I stuck two beautiful shots. After a 300 yd drive I was left with about 200 yds in. The drive was to a generous part of the fairway. Being 200 out meant it was go territory. But there was one catch – it required a 195 yd carry. There is no way to run up the ball because there is a large marsh area fronting the green. I have seen a few friends go for it and nobody has made it. I pulled a 5 iron and struck a sublime shot that landed pin high and 10 feet from the hole.   When the ball landed a loud clap went up. It was not for me, as there was a wedding being held at the clubhouse patio. We all laughed after I bowed to the crowd 200 yds away. We drove up to the green and I gauged my putt. I burned the edge on the eagle putt and tapped in for birdie. These were not 2 lucky shots. These were 2 well struck shots indicative how well I have been striking the ball as of late.

            There are 2 things I am working on which are working well. 1 – I am keeping my right foot planted and rotating around my spine. 2 – I am finishing my takeaway and making a smooth transition back to the ball. When I combine these two things with my previous skills, I feel pretty good about my game. I won’t go into more descriptions of shots, I will save those for my next entry.

Posted by: linleygolf | October 27, 2016

1 Step forward, then fall apart !

You would think my latest round is a disaster with a score of 99, and yes it is a disaster. After shooting comfortably in the mid 80s for the last few rounds I was excited for the round at Amelia National. A private course that is a Tom Fazio design and always-in great shape. I had gone to range the day before and I was striping the ball. I was so pumped on the drive to the course, that I said out loud, I think I should be able to shoot in the 70s today and I don’t mean the temperature. Oh BTW – it was in the mid 70s temperature wise 🙂

We had about 30 minutes before we teed off so off to the range. I was hitting it so pure – wedges, mid irons, long irons and woods/metals. I quickly ran over to the practice putting surface to work out the speed of the greens. They were quick relatively speaking. That was fine by me, I like quick greens. We chose to play from a little over 6800 yds. No worries, my driver was working and I comfortable from that yardage. First hole was a 401 yd par 4.   There was a decent breeze  into our faces and I hit a 3wood out to middle of the fairway which left me about 168 yds according to the laser finder. Playing into the wind, I figured it was playing about 175 or so. A large cavernous bunker was blocking access to the flag on a direct line. So the wise shot was little to the left of flag and that meant a longer putt. A 6 iron would be perfect and it was. I landed softly and had 25 feet up towards the flag. 3 putts and I was in the hole with a bogey !!!! These greens were slower than the practice area and I was a bit miffed. Mistake #1. A sinking feeling was starting to happen… OK off to the par 3 which is playing 176 and requires at least a 160 yd carry over water. Again a 6 iron should fare well. The club slipped in my hand and I ever so slightly blocked the shot and it carried flag high into the water along the  side of the green – NO !!! I re-teed and hit it to left side of the green  and rolled into the collar, a chip to 1 foot and the tap in was a double bogey.  Not surprising that the first tee shot was right that the second tee shot would be left.  That sinking feeling got worse. Two holes, two mistakes and now I am 3 over. Hole 3 was a 411 yd par 4. For whatever reason, I rushed my tee shot, probably trying to get a little extra from it and I smothered the ball into the ground and it landed in a pond to the right about 50 yds away. I could not believe it.  I was flabbergasted.  I stood there for a bit just looking at what happened.  After gathering myself, I took the same club and re-teed and smacked a lovely 3 wood, leaving myself with 157 yds. Here I was in the middle of the fairway and I was siting 3.  It was downwind and I didn’t need to try and kill the ball, WHY do I make these mistakes?   I decided to go with an 8 iron to the pin and I pulled it a little. I was flag high but in the rough 😦  Now this rough is brutal. The Bermuda rough is gnarly and difficult to navigate – oh how I long for the Bent grass. I chipped to 4 feet and missed the putt. Yep it was a 7. 3 holes, 3 mistakes and +6 already.  On the next hole a straightaway  par 4 playing 395 back into breeze, I hit 3 wood again and I had 170 to the flag. I struck a pure 6 iron and was 5 feet short of the pin – dead on line. I missed a very easy putt. They don’t get any easier that that. 4 holes, 4 mistakes, though I didn’t lose a stroke.  Hole 5 was a 211 yd par 3. I took a 4 iron out to the right and was unable to get that tiny little draw I needed.  There was water all along the green on the left side so a pulled ball was not ideal.  I was flag high but I needed to chip it from the tightly mown area to the flag which was at the back of the green. I chipped it and it landed on the little down slope and didn’t check. It was 4 feet from the hole, but it had rolled off into collar, 2 putts and I was in for a bogey. 5 holes, 5 mistakes. You see where this is going.

It was like this every hole. For 18 holes of golf there was not a hole that I didn’t make a mistake, no matter how slight, I paid dearly for it. I actually 4 putt one hole. I was on the par 5 in regulation and I 3 putt.  On another par 5, I was 145 yds out and a simple 9 iron would have put me on the green, but no such skill, I pulled the pulled into the hazard on the left.  Amazing anything other than a pull left would have been fine.  It was strange since I had a fade lie out of the rough – the ball was below my feet. Penalty drop, one chip, and 2 putts is a 7.  No matter what I did, I managed to make a mistake. How could this be? I had done so much preparation. I was hitting the ball so well. Even in this horrific round, I hit a ton of good shots. But I also hit some very bad ones and it was punishing.

3 days after the debacle, I went out to the range. I went through my regular routine and I hit 98% of the balls solidly.  The adjustment to my grip is working out nicely. Even when I made an off-centre hit, I hit the ball where I wanted it. So now what? I don’t intend to give up after this horrible round. But that was a disheartening round no doubt. I do know where the mistakes come from. When I revert back to elements of my older swing, it leads to a very very bad situation. I am then stuck between patterns” – LOL   Those of you who follow Tiger’s cacophony of prepared answers know what I mean by “between patterns.” Per a blog entry I read lately by my friend Jim, I won’t give up. I plan on keeping up the workouts in the gym and time on the range. I expect to be a single digit handicap soon. The weather in Florida is perfect and I will be getting out to practice and hopefully play more often than I have been. I should be able to own my swing and do whatever I want in the very near future. I am sure of that. I just need to bring the consistency of the range game to the course.

Whatever ugly monster this round turned into, I don’t think it was indicative of what I have accomplished as of late. I am putting much better as of late, I am driving the ball well again and my iron play is much more consistent these days and I am getting better pitching/chipping from this darn Bermuda. This is a round to throw away score-wise, but it is a round to remind myself that I need more work on my game.


Posted by: linleygolf | October 15, 2016

Golf golf golf

I’ve continued to work on my game and improvement is showing up  – regularly! Golf is fun again – yes, there are some frustrations, but my game is making an appearance.  Handicap is 12.9 and last  few rounds were in mid 80s.  My Driving is markedly improved.  Today on the par 5 526 yds, I hit a beautiful drive 302 yds.  I was left with 224 to the middle of the green 🙂  Last week we were playing in a scramble and the hole we started on (#14) is a drivable par 4.  The laser told us it was 295 to the flag, but I was convinced that it was more like 275 – 280.  It required a carry over water all the way.  There were bunkers surrounding the front of the green form that angle.  The normal play is 3 iron or 3 wood to the middle and a wedge in – playing about 355.  The beauty of the Scramble is that you get to go for it.  The first guy hit a driver to the middle of the fairway.  Then I was up and I hit the green on the fly and it rolled just off into the fringe.  Not bad huh??? Then when we were done our round we had finished at #15.  That meant we were at #14 again and the guys wanted to take a crack at it again…  Again I drove the green and I was the only one to hit the green.  A few balls in the water and one guy was in the bunker.  What I have noticed is that I now have the right club/shaft combination and I am confident.  Now I have made a few slices and a few mistakes.   But generally speaking driving is back !!! A critical component is to have a firm grip – in the past you may recall I went through a stage where I was almost letting go of the club at the top and then re-grasping it on the downswing – specifically with my right hand.  When I was taking lessons, the teacher saw it on video and pointed it out.  It is strange that I do that. But when I keep that firm grip I can deliver all the power of the golf swing at impact.  This is applied to my irons as well.

We survived the Hurricane Matthew.  Out condo at the beach here had no damage and we are thankful to the Lord for that.  As the hurricane came up the coast of Florida, we packed up and left for Orlando.  While there got in a round of golf and my wife got some shopping in as well – heck I got some shopping in as well 🙂

While there, my friend Kevin who also evacuated the beach to Orlando, we played Champions Gate.  There are 2 well known courses at Champions Gate – David Leadbetter Golf academy is there.  They just finished building a new course on the property which is open to the public  for now but will become private once they finish the homes they are placing all around the course.  It was recommended to play since you won’t be able to play it in 6 months.  It was a good course but the wind was up that day – remnants of the hurricane.  If you are nearby at Disney, then get out to this course. 

The last month has been tough to get out with a lot of things going on, but I do need to get back to the range and I have plenty of confidence these days.  Like I said golf is fun again.  I know that rounds in the 70s are on their way.  SO – finish the backswing, don’t let go the club, fire the hips !  BTW – my putting has been solid.  The Nike driver, 3 wood and putter are working these days.  I just have to improve that short game.  In regards to the chipping in the Bermuda, I have begun using a 56 wedge with more bounce and it is working.  I tended to use less bounce and the leading edge was important.  I have noticed that in Bent grass areas of the country, that method is very effective. It is coming together. I will keep working at the gym and I will keep practicing.  It is such a great game !




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