I played nine today at an executive course in town. It has five par 4s, four of them over 300 yards, and four par 3s. I learned something on almost every hole.
On the first, I hooked my approach and had to pitch on. The green sloped away from me, so I opened the clubface to get more loft on the shot and have it stop quicker, but when you do that you have to hit the ball harder, which is counter-intuitive, and which I failed to do. The ball fell short of the green, so I chipped on and sank the putt for a bogey.
On the second, I hooked my iron into the green again, and chipped from thick rough. I got under the ball and just got it on the green. Two putts for a bogey.
Third, looong approach putt. I thought more about distance than line, and let a gentle break carry a ball hit with the right pace away from the hole. Three putts for a bogey.
Fourth, I air-mailed the green with my approach. The ball rested on a bare spot in the grass with no way to sweep the club through the ball. Also, the ball was below the green and the green sloped away. Playing the shot shown in this video, I chipped to five feet and sank the putt.
Fifth, a drive put me 64 yards from the pin. At my range, there is a post 66 yards from the mats, which I always hit to when I warm up. Oh, boy. Pitch to 12 feet, the downhill birdie putt stopped three inches short.
Sixth, air-mailed the green again, and had to chip across a slope to the pin. I left the ball four feet below the hole, which is golden. Uphill putts going straight in are really easy. Sank it for the par.
Seventh, a drive into the rough and a 9-iron into the green. I forgot to put the ball back in my stance, which you always do when hitting out of the rough. It gives you as steeper swing that puts less grass between the club and the ball. The approach landed in front of an elevated green with the pin in front. Normally this might be a little flip onto the green, but the grass was mown very short so I putted the ball on with a 24-degree hybrid to six feet. Sank the putt for par.
Eighth, iron on, two putts.
Ninth, dogleg right. I decided to fade the ball around the corner, but got set up wrong. You have to open the clubface and aim it at where you want the ball to start off, but I aimed it where I wanted the ball to end up. The ball went into trees and I had to chip out. The ball landed in rough, but this time I played it the right way. 9-iron onto the green to six feet and a downhill slider for par. I got too tentative and the ball didn’t hold its line. Bogey.