I’ve decided to simplify my analysis of my golf game heading into 2017. Previously I’ve kept track of everything I do – from fairway hits to putts taken to sand saves and all that. At the end, what is the point? The point is to improve right? I’ve been tracking stats for years and still I play like a monkey humping a chicken. So, maybe the point is to clear your head from these numbers and just hit the damn ball. It worked for me for the second half of 2016 when I began to see more birdies on my cards than normal – generally when I started to stop tracking my data and just play golf.
So for 2017, I’ll do it simple: track the good, track the bad. Anything in between, doesn’t matter. The good = Birdie or better. The bad = Triple or worse. I will assume par, bogey and even double will be the normal course of my game.
For the first game in 2017 at Kota Permai, I played 47-46 for a 93. Both good and bad occurred in the first nine (back nine for us). Firstly, the birdie on the par 3 14th. It’s a beautiful hole actually – it plays downhill all the way, the smallish green around 125 – 130 meters but protected by bunkers. On that day, we were playing slightly nearer, around 120 meters, and with downhill and no wind, I hit a gap wedge to around 12 feet from the hole to the left. To be honest, two other guys on my flight hit it nearer. The putt however wasn’t an easy one. Kota Permai was playing very fast that day due to a Taylormade tournament. It was a double break and I hit it just right and it dropped into the cup on the right side – I didn’t even read it correctly so it was dumb luck that I got it in.
Unfortunately, in the next par 3 17th which was a reasonably long one, I hit my seven iron short to the right. It was in rough but it wasn’t bad rough, but slightly buried. I skulled my pitch across the green, the chunked my returning chip. Wasn’t even on the green and hitting my fourth. I rammed my fourth past the hole, and missed the fifth and tapped in for six – my first triple.
Game 1: 1 Birdie, 1 Triple.
For Game 2, I played at Palm Garden, and unlike Kota Permai, their greens were undergoing maintenance so it was absolute horror to putt. I played a lot better and actually had 4 – 5 opportunities to birdie – i.e putts less than 10 feet but always missed. It didn’t help that I was trying out a RM50 putter I bought – an old B61 Ping which looked older than me. It didn’t have good weight (I have since added Lead Tape to it) and I struggled a fair bit on the greens. I played 41-44 for 85, with 8 pars and 1 birdie.
My triple came first on the index 2 Par 5 13th. I know how to play this hole but because I just got a par on the previous hole, I felt pretty grand about my chances. I usually would hit a 5 or 3 wood but decided to go for the driver. Instead of my usual draw, I blasted it straight into the water on the right. I dropped, hit a wood 5 to a greenside bunker. Chunked my fourth out of the bunker to the apron, chunked my fifth chip 20 inches. Hit my six on the green finally but was horrible. Missed my seventh and tapped in my triple. Stupid hole.
I came back at least with 2 pars in my next two holes including a par 5 par on the 15th after hitting into another water. I managed to drop and recovered by hitting a sandwedge into the green on my fourth and tapped in.
The 16th was where I got my birdie. This is a very short par 4 and we usually drive it to around 30 – 40 meters away from the downhill green. I hit a not so great drive – hooked it and it kind of rolled to around 80 meters from the green but at least on fairway. I used my 60 degree lob wedge and hit it to around 2 feet from the hole, similar to the one I hit in the previous hole. From there, a simple tap for birdie #2 for 2017.
Game 2: 1 birdie, 1 Triple.
Overall: 2 games, 2 birdies, 2 Triples.
Time to knock off those stupid mistakes!