I had planned to write about one of the mentals A’s, as I call them, this week but my week was so odd I have decided to write about that. Usually I am not into decribing golf rounds in much detail because I think they are generally boring except to the person who is playing the round. I played two 18 hole rounds this week that were such studies in contrast, that I am compelled to go through each round in some detail. Now I am not sure what conclusions can be drawn from these 2 rounds but I will just describe them, and maybe that will even help me figure it out.
The first round was on Wednesday at Pittsburgh National, a course that I have not played all that much, and from the tees we played from, the course is rated at 71.2 and a slope of 135. It was a beautiful day for November with lots of sun, temperatures in the mid 60’s and with a little bit of a breeze, that kept you on your toes. I was also coming off the trip from San Diego the day before so I was a little tired. We had an 8:50 tee time. The first hole is a 369 par 4 fairly straight away. I hit my drive to the right around some trees. I had an opening over the trees and hit an open faced 8 iron over the trees and it hit the back of the green and spun forward about 12 inches. Another 2 to 3 yards and I wound have bounded way over the green and I would have been lucky to make 5. Instead I 2 putted for an easy par. From that point on I had a very good rhythm, and my thinking was very good. I had a great lay up on the second hole a par 5 which gave me a good shot in which I put in about 8 feet from the hole. Missed the birdie but made par. The next 2 holes were routine with drives in the fairway and on the green for 2 putt pars. The next hole I hit a great drive but it went through the fairway and with a downwind I thought my wedge would jump more and I left it 8 yards short of the green to an upfront pin. I elected to putt it and left it about 6 foot short but made it to save par. On the next hole a par 3 I hit a beautiful 7 iron to about 4 feet and made birdie. On the next hole I messed up a short pitch on a par 5 and made bogey. I finished with 2 routine pars to shoot even on the back. I cooled off on the back but it was mostly due to losing some touch on the greens and a couple of bad breaks but a four over on the back led to a nice solid 76 on a solid golf course. My thinking was pretty clear the whole day and I hit the ball well, especially the irons, crisp all day.
The next day I headed for Scenic Valley, basically my home course, that has a course rating of 70.0 with a slope of 131. The day was completely different. It was chilly with temperatures in the mid 40’s with the wind being pretty strong at times. The wind was really not predicted. First off I was not dressed warm enough considering the wind. I was not that uncomforable during the round but I was not prepared for the wind. The drive on the first hole was perfect right down the midddle. Then I hit the pitching wedge fat. That led to an opening bogey. I parred the next hole but faulty thinking got me 4 straight bogeys. After a great drive on 10 the rest of my game with South. To make a long story short I shot 84. I can’t say I can blame this on the cold but I completely lost feel for the game. The best was on 16. I hit a nice low 7 iron into a stiff wind about pin high and around 40 feet from the pin. The putt was fairly flat. As I was taking my practice swing my putter literally felt weightless, like there was nothing there at the end of my putter. It was one of the weirdest feelings I have ever had on the golf course. Naturally I could not stop play and say I feel like I am on the moon, but I wanted to. I left the putt about 5 feet short and missed it. The next hole a short up and down par 4, I hit a horrible duck hook and then kind of a sliced 5 iron from a downhill sidehill lie in the rough. But them I hit about a 50 yard pitch about 5 feet from the pin and made a nice left to right putt for a par. That was short lived as I butchered the last hole.
Now maybe this was some kind of delayed jet lag, and yes I did have some physical issues with the round, but my thinking was way off, when on just the day before it was spot on. Like I said before I am not too sure what to make of this, but it was such a contrast in just a 24 hour period. I was playing the same group of guys for the same stakes. This is one of these posts that I will have to think about just a little more to draw any real conclusions if I ever do. The week is not looking great, but the end of the week may be playable. See you next Sunday.