I Finally Did It...I Broke 80


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , | Posted on Friday, May 20, 2011

This is not a misprint. I finally broke 80 yesterday with a 79 at Arizona Biltmore Golf Club. In a recent post, I mentioned that Hank Haney told Ray Romano that the day Ray breaks 80 is the day there are no double bogeys and 3-putts on his scorecard. Well Hank, I did it with three doubles and four 3-putts. The difference was the four birdies I executed during the round.

I had never had more than one birdie in a round. Birdies neutralize the high number of double and triple bogeys. When I looked back on the round, I think there were three factors that led to the birdies which helped me reach my 2011 goal.

1) Quality tee shots - I have been driving the ball really well as of late. My total driving percentage is 49.89. In my last seven rounds however, I am hitting 70.83 percent of the fairways. Playing an approach shot from the fairway is obviously better than playing from the rough. The lie is better and you have more options for you next shot. I only hit eight fairways during this round, but my misses were good misses for the most part.

2) Knowing my yardages and improved course management - I am starting to really get to know the yardages for each of my clubs. The air is thinner here in Arizona, and the ball flies a little bit longer than it did in the humidity of South Florida. I struggled for a while when I first moved out here but it is starting to come together.

Now that I know my yardages, I can play smarter rounds. Arizona Biltmore has a GPS system on each cart. You get the yardage to the pin, yardages to the front and back of the green, and also to any hazards that the hole presents.

The greens demand that you keep your approach shots below the hole as most of the greens slope from back to front. Knowing how much it is to the front the green is helpful so that I can pick the right club that will leave me with an uphill putt. In the past I would get the yardage to the pin and use the club that would get me to that distance. If I hit it well, I would often be passed the hole, facing a slippery putt. Almost impossible to two putt from above the hole as these are some fast greens.

3) A simple swing thought - Mike Southern featured a video of Lucas Glover's swing. Mike was teaching about keeping your hands in front of you during the swing. There are a lot of good points in this post but one thing stood out to me. Mike said...
"When your wrists cock at the top of your swing, the club shaft should cross over your shoulder and point on a line parallel to your target line."

The part that stuck out was "the club shaft should cross over your shoulder..." In the few days leading up this round, I worked on how it felt to have the club in this position. I didn't care so much about if it was parallel to the target line. My only concern was getting the shaft above the shoulder and the rest would take care of itself.

My ball striking was very good for my standards. I hit some great shots which translated into 10 of 18 greens in regulation. This is something Mike and I have been working on getting better at. Hitting greens in regulation gives you a chance to make a birdie and I was able to capitalize on a few occasions.

I know I have a lot of work to do and by no means am I getting big-headed. My goals at the beginning of the year was to break 80 and to get down to a 10 handicap. If I continue to average around 83, 84 per round, I should reach my handicap goal as well.

I guess I have to set a new scoring goal since we still have seven months left in 2011. Maybe I'll get together with Mike to see what it should be. For now I am going to savor the moment and enjoy the fact that my hard work paid off. It feels really good to accomplish stuff. Have a great round and always hit your target. 

Photo found here.

Posted: 5/19/2011 Share on Facebook
Arizona Biltmore Golf & Country Club (Links) Tees: Regular, Slope: 117, Rating: 67.0
Attested By: Matt Bryson

Links Front Nine
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


3 7 3 3 4 6 4 4 5

# Putts: 1 3 1 1 3 2 2 2 2

Back Nine
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


4 3 5 6 4 4 5 3 6

# Putts: 1 1 3 2 2 2 2 1 3

Birdies: 4
Pars: 5
Bogeys: 6
Doubles: 3
Par 3 Avg: 3.6
Par 4 Avg: 4.3
Par 5 Avg: 5.5
FIR: 8 / 13
GIR: 10 / 18
Putts: 34
Putts per GIR: 1.9
Scrambling: 2 / 8
Bounce Backs: 5 / 8

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Comments (7)

  1. May 20, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    Congratulations! Too bad it took you guys so long to finish or I would have been there to help you celebrate. I guess you won't mind playing there again soon.

  2. May 20, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Thanks man. You guys must have played that round in 3 hours because we were done in 3 1/2. No worries. We will have many more milestones to celebrate.

  3. May 21, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    How come nobody is getting excited about me breaking 110?

  4. May 21, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Z, if we ever straighten out your driver, the rest of us are in trouble. You could be booming it out there over 300 yards easily.

  5. May 21, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Congratulations, Dex! I hope you had an appropriate celebration. Rewarding yourself when you successfully reach a goal is required -- it was in the small print on the contract you signed. ;-)

    My Rule of 67 is kicking in, isn't it? As you get closer to hitting 67% or more in your fairways, GIR, and scrambling stats, your scores will drop dramatically. Since you're moving in that direction, what we've got to do now is figure out what shots are causing those doubles.

    Putting's pretty simple to fix, despite what people think, so let's focus on the other problems first. Which shots put you in the situations that caused those doubles?

    I hope you realize that, if those 3 doubles had been 2 bogeys and a par, you would have shot a smooth 75. And since at least one of those 3-putts clearly happened on a bogey hole, that would have knocked off another stroke. That should motivate you to eliminate those bad holes!

    As for new goals... why don't you pick up Heather's goal from last year? Your handicap is 12.8 now, according to your sidebar, so why not make your goal to reach 9.9 (single digits) by the end of the year? I think that's within your grasp.

  6. May 21, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    BTW, part of the reason that "shaft over shoulder" tip is helping so much is that it helps counteract some of the forearm twisting you still do. ;-) Don't worry, we're going to work on that next.

  7. May 22, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Definitely trying to head down route 67 more often. Makes all the difference in a round. Let me try to remember what happened that caused my doubles. I didn't take notes for this round.

    The double on #2 came as a result of a poor drive which left me under some trees. I pulled my second shot with a 4 -iron that I tried to flight under the trees but ended up pulling underneath another set of trees.

    I had a 100 yards left and I took and 8-iron to keep my ball below the tree line. It was the right play but unfortunately my ball ended up above the hole and I #-putted from there.

    The double on #6 happened because I completely chunked my second shot with an 8-iron. The ball only went about 30 yards. My next shot ended up right of the green and after I pitched on, I 2-putted.

    The double on #13 started with a tee shot that found a fairway bunker. I got out and came up short to an elevated green. Again I pitched on and 2-putted. I should have clubbed up on this shot into the green.

    The 3-putts were a result of being above the hole and having impossible putts downhill.

    9.9 sounds like a good goal and I believe that I can do it if I continue in this direction.