Finding Trouble Off The Tee


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011

Arizona Grand Spa & Golf Resort is one of my favorite courses to play here in the Phoenix area. That's one of my favorites when I am playing well and hitting the ball straight. My last round proved to be, not-so-fun due to the fact that I couldn't find the fairways for the life of me.

Arizona Grand has a gorgeous layout with elevation changes that showcase a beautiful desert style course nestled into the rocky ridges of South Mountain. While the scenery can be breath taking, ending up in the desert after a golf shot spells disaster for any chance at scoring well.

Trouble for me started on the first. The tee shot calls for a blind shot up and over a hill. At the top of the hill, on the right hand side, sits a little pond, that if it is your first time playing the course, you have no idea it's there. I aimed way left of the pond but ended up slicing it right into the drink which led to a double bogey.

I actually hit two great drives on holes 2 and 3 which lead to pars. Again, if you keep it in the fairway on this course, you give yourself a great chance to do well. I only managed to hit two more fairways for the rest of my round and found myself having to drop because of multiple unplayable lies. Instead of playing for birdies and pars, I was often playing for bogeys and doubles.

Looks like I need to get back to working on my long game again. Mike Southern of Ruthless Golf wrote an article about which is more important, the long game or the short game. We often hear teachers say that amateurs need to work on their short game because that is the part of the game in which the pros excel. Mike, however, has a different take on it.

In my case, Mike would tell me to work on my long game. Off the tee, I did not give myself a chance at getting onto the green in regulation(if you don't know what this means, Mike explains it fully in his article). The short game is a very important part of golf, but if I'm still off the green after my third shot on a par 4, now I have to chip in just to save par.

So, for me, I'm going back to the beginning. I only had three pars during this round and no birdies. When I was able to play more frequently, I was averaging nine pars and at least two birdies a round. My greens in regulation had climbed from 17% to around 45%. This is why I was shooting in the high 70's-low 80's.

I'm not too worried. It will come back to me. Whenever my game gets a little sketchy, Mike gives me a little advise and reminds me that "I am close." In recent weeks, Tiger has been saying this a lot, because he knows, now that he is able to practice like he used to, it's the subtle tweeks in his game that are getting him back to the player he once was. Like Tiger, I'm close and now that I know what I need to work on, I'm even closer. Have a great round and always hit your target.

Photo found here. – Book Your Tee Time Today!