36 Holes At Western Skies Golf Club And A New Personal Record

7

Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , | Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I was browsing GolfNow.com this past Saturday and I came upon a course I had never noticed before. The reason why it stood out was because they were having a killer promotion. $10 for 18 holes of golf plus the cart. The picture gallery for Western Skies Golf Club looked pretty good so I wanted to check it out.

It just so happened that a Facebook friend, we'll call him J.B. for now, wanted to play there the next day, but I was scheduled for work so I had to decline. I asked him to tell me how the course was as I was thinking about playing there the following day. J.B. got back to me that night and said the course was in good condition and on top of that he had a great round, shooting a 78. That was all I needed to hear. I called The Doctor and we booked the 10AM tee time.

It was a warm day. Unusually humid by Arizona standards, but I'll play in just about any weather so I was good to go. I can see why there motto is, "where locals bring their friends". Despite being a mostly residential golf course, the houses do not take away from the overall experience.

As J.B. said, the course was in good shape and it is very playable for all skill levels. They aren't too many surprises on this course. It is pretty much straight forward, without any blind shots like some of the courses that are nestled into the mountains.

I wouldn't say it is an easy course, but if you hit a bad shot, you will still be able to find it and have a chance at making par. I didn't lose a single ball the entire round, which means I didn't have any penalties which add to my score and my frustration.

I ended up shooting an 80. Missed the 70's by one shot. I blew four or five shortish putts which would have had me there, but I was proud of the fact that at least I gave myself a chance to score well.

By this time it was about 112 degrees, but there is something that was enticing us to stay at the course. REPLAY RATES!!! During this time of year, golf clubs just want bodies on the course. Many of them offer reduced rates for a second round. In this case, the replay rate was actually more than our first go around. For $12, we could try to better our first efforts. No brainer. $22 for two rounds of golf. Can't beat it.

After the first hole, I didn't think I would be able to make it, but I sucked it up and was glad that I did. I ended up shooting a 78, which to date is my best round ever. I struck the ball well. I only had one double bogey in 36 holes and only two 3-putts, none of which came during the second round.

The highlight of the day came at the end of the second round. When I got to the 17th, I didn't have any birdies up to that point. As I was teeing off, I told The Doctor, "I need a birdie today." Unfortunately I wasted a good tee shot and ended up with a bogey on 17.

I hit my tee shot on the 18th left of the fairway. My second shot ended up on the fringe left of the hole about twenty feet away. I decided to go with a 7-iron for my chip shot. It was a downhill shot and I just wanted to get the ball started on the right line. Trying a chip shot with a lofted wedge would have been dicey and if I used my putter, the ball might have got caught up in the fringe.

I picked my line, took my practice strokes as if it were a putt, and then trickle, trickle, trickle, it hit the pin and fell into the cup. Chip-in birdie to end the day(all I could think was, Mike would be proud). I was glad we decided to play that second round. Definitely a great way to end the day. Have a great round and always hit your target.

Players Handicap Gross Score Net Score
Dexter Francois12.48067.6

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out
Par 5 3 5 3 4 4 3 4 4 35  
Gross score
6
3
5
4
4
4
4
4
4
38  
Over/Under +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 +3 +3  
Fairways Hit       4/6  
Greens (GIR) 4/9  
Putts 3 2 1 2 1 2 2 1 2 16  
Chips








0  
Sands








0  
Penalties








0  
Net Score 5 3 4 3 4 4 3 3 3 32  
Handicap 5 15 7 3 13 17 9 1 11    
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Par 4 4 3 5 4 4 5 4 4 37 72
Gross score
5
5
3
5
5
5
6
4
4
42 80
Over/Under +4 +5 +5 +5 +6 +7 +8 +8 +8 +8 +8
Fairways Hit   2/8 6/14
Greens (GIR) 4/9 8/18
Putts 1 2 1 2 2 3 1 2 2 16 32
Chips








0 0
Sands








0 0
Penalties








0 0
Net Score 4 4 2 4 5 5 5 3 4 36 68
Handicap 10 6 2 8 14 18 12 4 16    





Players Handicap Gross Score Net Score
Dexter Francois12.47865.6

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out
Par 5 3 5 3 4 4 3 4 4 35  
Gross score
6
3
5
3
4
4
3
5
6
39  
Over/Under +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +4 +4  
Fairways Hit       4/6  
Greens (GIR) 4/9  
Putts 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 15  
Chips








0  
Sands








0  
Penalties








0  
Net Score 5 3 4 2 4 4 2 4 5 33  
Handicap 5 15 7 3 13 17 9 1 11    
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Par 4 4 3 5 4 4 5 4 4 37 72
Gross score
4
4
4
5
4
5
5
5
3
39 78
Over/Under +4 +4 +5 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 +6 +6 +6
Fairways Hit   7/8 11/14
Greens (GIR) 4/9 8/18
Putts 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 0 15 30
Chips








0 0
Sands








0 0
Penalties








0 0
Net Score 3 3 3 4 4 5 4 4 3 33 66
Handicap 10 6 2 8 14 18 12 4 16    





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Comments (7)

  1. July 20, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Congratulations, Dex! And yes, I am proud. You're really starting to think about what you're doing and make choices based on what gives you the best chance to score, not just making the same bad choices everybody else tends to make.

    You should be proud too. ;-)

  2. July 20, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    Thanks Mike. You're right about my decision making. Taking a lot less risk and going with the shots I know I can make. Plus my ball striking is just better. G.I.R. is up. Still not at the magic "67" number, but definitely getting closer.

    I am also getting a lot more confident with my driver. While others in my group were using hybrid and 3-woods off the tee, which left them with mid to long iron shots. I had a lot of wedges into the green which makes it easier to score. You told me that as long as I am confident that I can use it whenever I want like Jim Furyk does. Makes a huge difference.

    I'm just happy that I'm giving myself an opportunity to score well. I know that I'm not going to birdie or par every hole(yet), but at least I'm giving myself a chance.

  3. July 20, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    That confidence is just a matter of becoming more consistent with your swing. It's going to get even better as you go along.

    BTW, here's a little tidbit you may not know but that may help you on those days when you're tempted to make crazy shots under the illusion that you're just "being more aggressive":

    We normally think of Jack Nicklaus as a very aggressive player, someone who attacks pins all the time. We think that's how he won all those majors... but that's not what Jack says. I heard him talking on TV and he said most of the time he just played to the center of the green. If the pin was on the left, he played to the center with a little draw; if it was on the right, he played to the center with a little fade. That way, the ball moved toward the hole but with much less risk than if he went for a tough pin.

    Most of the time, playing the percentages is the way to go. It may not impress people, but it'll lower your score... and last time I checked, low scores are the goal of the game. ;-)

  4. July 20, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    You nailed it. That was the game plan for the day. I kept telling myself, "just aim for the middle of the green." Even if I missed the green on my approach shots, I still gave myself a chance.

    In prior rounds, I would aim for the flag, and because in the back of my mind I knew I couldn't make the shot, I would end up way off the mark. Hitting the middle of the green is a lot less strenuous to think about.

    Now I have to work on learning how to work the ball from right to left and left to right...but I'm in no hurry. I like hitting it straight.

  5. July 21, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    I'll see if I can come up with some simple drills to help you learn to shape your shots. Conceptually it's not hard to move the ball either way; the problem comes because we tend to change our swing unconsciously when we start thinking "shape."

    Obviously straight is working for you, so I wouldn't be in too big of a hurry. Looking at your scorecards, there are still other simple (and more important) ways to lower your score. You can work on them in the meantime.

  6. July 21, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    It would be nice to have that kind of command on any given shot like Jack Nicklaus did. I have a basic understanding of what I need to do to shape the ball, but like you said, I feel like I'm changing the way I swing the club. It usually never works out.

    Every now and again, I'll hit a nice draw, but I don't know how I did it. I don't mind playing boring golf right now though. Fairway, green in regulation, two-putt. I'll take it every time.

  7. July 21, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    ;-) You and me both.