I'm driving it better than I ever have (see the stats page at lukeswilor.com/stats), but my approach shots have been hit or miss. Today it was miss. My pitch shots have been poor, but today I was hitting them solid. Problem was, I wasn't playing for the solid hit and check pitch shot. They were hit better than I thought they'd be, so they were checking up short of the hole. Pretty much good news, except I didn't expect it today. So I had a lot of 8-12 footers for par. Didn't make enough.
The game is pretty good, though. I'm getting back some feel, and the long game is really quite solid. I need to trust it, and plan on hitting good shots. Planning on the mediocre shots stopped working last week.
My dad gave me a call this morning and gave me a heads up that the NASCAR boys were testing in Las Vegas. Wow. I couldn't pass that up, so I headed over to the track for an hour before my 11 o'clock tee time. It was a blast, and I wish I had more time to stay at the track. Less than three weeks before the first race, and I have my recorder ready (hard to watch the races live when I've got work to do).
Dale Jr. is "my" driver, so I was pumped to see the 88 roar out of the pits. It's pretty strange seeing him drive a different car, but it looked good out on the track. I can't believe how much I've gotten into racing, but I was pumped up when I left the track.
I'm excited to play tomorrow. I had a bad finish last week, but in golf there's always another tournament. A good round tomorrow will wash out a lot of the bad taste.
Was a bit of a nightmare. I felt good to start the day. It was cold and windy, but nothing like last week's torture chamber on the Wasatch Tour. I was in a spot without a lot of pressure, so I was ready to play.
I hit a bad drive on 1 that led to bogey. I hit a few more bad shots on the front, but nothing that I couldn't recover from. Excepting a few miscues, I hit the ball pretty decent all day, but I wasn't getting it close to the hole. The conditions were tough, so I wasn't in a bad spot after nine holes. That's when my poor short game came to haunt me.
My short game is normally a very strong part of my game. My putting especially has made huge leaps in the last few years, and my chipping/pitching has always been strong. From the start of this year, though, I've really had a hard time getting my touch back. It cost me today.
I couldn't get up and down to save my life today. When the wind is blowing hard, you need to rely on your pitching to save strokes. Bad news when you're struggling with the wedges.
I grinded all the way around, but I wasn't able to save a decent round. The oil started to leak more and more, and I lost control of it towards the end of the round. It ended up costing me, and I finished in a tie for 7th.
This is why I'm glad to be out of the horrible weather we've been having in Salt Lake. I NEED time around the greens to get some touch back. My technique seems to need a little tweaking too. A lot of work for me around the greens the next little while.
My ball striking is getting pretty solid though. To be honest, I was much more worried about that coming into this week than my short game. There is always something to work on, and it sure seems to switch around a lot in this game.
Quite a frustrating day, but the week had a lot of positives to pull from. I need to get back to playing consistent golf, and I know what to work on.
I had a little trouble making good reads today, so that kept me from shooting a really good score, but my 71 moved me up into a tie for second. I didn't lose any ground to the leader, either, so a good score will still give me a chance to win.
It's supposed to be cold, windy, and rainy tomorrow. Time to bear down and shoot a good one.
I made birdie on one, chipped in for birdie on two, and stacked a wedge for birdie on three. Nice start. I played almost flawless golf for the rest of the round. I burned a few edges, but ended up with a very solid -4, 68.
Wow does that feel good. It's been way too long since I played a round like that. I felt "normal" on the course for the first time in months. The rust is beginning to come off, the last part to work on is the "half" shots when I'm in between clubs. Still not real sharp there, but it will come.
So, back in the leader group tomorrow. 64 was low, but I'm right in there. Two rounds left.
And...Hey!...Kenny G commented on my last post! OK, it might not be the musical one, but still. Click on the link to the comments and you'll eventually end up on his blog (I'm typing on my phone, so links are tough).
I've been a Packers fan ever since I read Jerry Kramer's "Instant Replay" in the second grade. My dad passed this gem of a book down to me from his childhood. It was one of the things that got me into reading (I was already into sports), and I've been a fan ever since.
Golf Note: I had a great practice session today. Sometimes that's all it takes, so I'm looking forward to this week.
But it's not all bad. I need to get some rounds under my belt. The course was so tricky that the loose winter shots ended up costing me way too much. I hit the ball fairly well for two days, but I just wasn't very consistent. I didn't make the putts I needed to the second day, and I ended up in 4th, just out of the money.
The club is starting to feel normal in my hands again. I'll be playing a tournament pretty much every week the rest of the winter, so that should work towards me getting into "mid-season" form fairly quickly.
Next up: Butch Harmon Tour, Paiute Golf Course, Las Vegas Nevada.
Interesting trip sidenote: The toilet in my hotel did something I've never seen before. I've stayed in a lot of hotels, I mean A LOT. But never has there been a toilet that flushed not once, not twice, but three times with the pull of the handle. It would flush, fill up with water, and flush twice more. Bizarre. What are they worried about?
I got off to a decent start, and was in the lead after 11 holes. That's when the conditions cost me. I hit two shots over the green and out of bounds on 12. It's a blind shot. I thought the first shot would be okay, and I thought the second shot would be close to the hole. Ouch. Then I hit it in the water, dropped in a divot, hit it into a footprint in the bunker all on the next hole. Brutal.
I made a couple birdies coming in to end up with 79. Scores were insanely high, so it wasn't pathetic, but I played a lot better than that. I hit it pretty decent, and I putted great. I was a bit worried about how I'd putt, but the putter was in good shape. The conditions wore me out, but for my first competitive round in two months, my game was pretty good.
So, I'll still be in the final group tomorrow, even with some huge holes. There's an outside chance of a win, with a pretty good chance to take second. It was a terrible looking score today, but I came out of the round with a lot of things to be happy about. It'll take some time to work off the rust, but my game isn't that bad considering my lack of play.
Hopefully the weather will make tomorrow a little more bearable. Either way, I think the odds are pretty good that I'll lower my 08 scoring average tomorrow.
It's been a LONG time since my last competitive round, so I am PUMPED. I feel like this is going to be a great year.
Got a little practice in this week. The weather's been pathetic around Salt Lake, so I went south to St. George for a few days. It felt good to just hit some real shots and play a little golf. My game isn't great right this instant, but it's not bad either. The real test will be next week when I play my first tournament of 08.
I didn't take any pictures this week, but I lifted this off a little video of my swing:
I want to liven it up around here this year, so I'm going to try to take more pictures. I always think this, but don't end up taking any. I'll try.
So, home for the weekend. Down to Mesquite on Monday for my first tournament of the year. It's a new little tour that will bounce around Utah called "The Wasatch Tour." The field will be small, but it should be a nice little tune-up to get the season started.
Hello! I've been out of action pretty much the whole holiday season, but it's that time again. The 2008 season is about to get underway. I've gotten plenty of rest, and I'm more ready than ever to get out and play some golf!
The first tournament for me this year will be a little two-dayer in Mesquite, NV on the 16,17. After that I'm going to try out a couple of Harmon Tour events in Las Vegas. Maybe more of them if I like the tournaments, we'll see.
It has been the worst winter for golf I can remember in Salt Lake. We've been under snow for over a month, and the temperature has barely gotten above freezing. Winters haven't been like this, usually after snowstorms the temperature rises enough to melt the snow for a week or two. Not this year, so no golf.
So, in order to get ready for a steady diet of tournament golf, I'm planning on heading south for 4-5 days to get in some work on my game. Should be leaving early next week, and after that it's all golf all the time.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!