I was out of the office the past several days working on my golf game.
The PGA Tour Championship, which kicked off today at Atlanta East Lake, has nothing to worry about from me.
But it was nice to get out and hit the links here in Austin with my retired father, who was down Austin-way visiting with my mom.
Our first round was played out at La Cantera, which until this past year was where the Texas Valero Open was played. Gorgeous golf course, and now I can see why that course looked like there was so much up and down — because there was.
I shot a 91 at La Cantera, and dad an 88, before we turned our sights to the recently reseeded greens of Shadow Glen in Manor. There, I shot an 89, dad an 86.
But in the final two rounds, down at Grey Rock south of Austin, it was all Watson, Jr, shooting 84-83 to pop’s 90-86. Dad let me try his out new Taylor Made Tour Burner, which I ended up using for most of the last full round at Grey Rock. I was probably averaging drives around 250-260 yards with that sucker. Needless to say, I’ve already ordered one for myself.
Where I’m Doing Well: When I can hit it straight off the tee, my driving is fine, but I’ve been having some errant drives (both left and right). Hopefully the Tour Burner will take some of the errant shots out of my drives (although I recognize it’s not all club).
I’m still missing too much right on my long irons, especially my fours and fives. When I get down to my sevens and eights, I’m much more accurate. And with my pitching and A wedges, I’ve been getting downright lethal, even on ~ 100 yard shots (which used to be nemesis). I hit an A wedge to a well protected 17th green (par 5) in my last round at Grey Rock and left myself a short 4 yard birdie putt (which I sank).
I made a similar wedge shot on 18 for another birdie. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a round birdie birdie.
Where I Could Improve: Course management. I still make some stupid decisions that put the big scores up that are keeping me out of the high 70s and low 80s.
My putting is definitely getting better, but I could still make more of those 10 footers and less and eliminating three putts (particularly in long putt situations). And my short chips are keeping me from parring those holes that I don’t get on in regs and am too far away for easy two putts.
My risk/reward ratio for birdie and par putts that then turn into pars and bogeys is still too far off.
All that said, considering how much I’ve NOT played this year, I’m pleased with how my game has improved (including my mental game). With a little more play I expect to start consistently seeing the early 80s.
What does this have to do with technology? Very little — but a gentle reminder that this blog’s tag line does mention some golf thrown in for good measure.
My dad DID bring his SkyCaddy out to the course, which was hugely helpful on the un-GPSed Grey Rock. GPS is extremely helpful on keying in the yardage for those short and long iron shots.
So that I wouldn’t go into complete golf withdrawal after playing four out of five days straight, I went out yesterday and bought the Tiger Woods EA Golf for 2010 on the Wii.
If you’re into playing some virtual golf, I have to say it’s a huge improvement over the X-Box version.
The Wii controller stands in for a golf club, but because the game uses full swing, putting, and chipping motions just as you would play on the course, it’s much closer to playing the real thing than previous game box versions I’ve tried.
I think I shot 6 or 7 over my first round on the Banff Springs course, and that was not fully knowing the sensitivity of the controls.
Oh, and IBM helped build the microprocessor for the Wii.
Three more days for The Tour Championship, and then next weekend the U.S. and Europe square off for the 2010 Ryder Cup in Newport, Wales.
And then I head into the end of year major golf depression. Thank Heavens for college football.