On the 14th I played the GC AmTour stop at Tiffany Greens. I had played this course only once before and was impressed. Water comes into play on multiple holes and the setup is anything but easy. The fairways are generous but bad shots are punished with thick, deep rough, trees and bunkers.
The first hole is a par 5 with a large pond. The fairway is huge, but the second shot will often have 200+ yards to the green or a shorter distance to bail out left on the second fairway. In watching the group ahead of us, two put their ball in the water and a third put three (going for the green each time). I teed off first and hit my drive down the left side of the fairway. Thee tees we were playing were 480 yards that day. My ball was near the end of the fairway with 170 yards to the center of the green. I couldn’t have played my ball better. I picked my 180 club for my second shot and aimed to the left side of the green. My shot was a little thin and too low to get over the pond. I took my penalty drop and aimed further left. My shot ended up about 15 yards left of the green. A chip and a two putt ended with a double bogey. I got in a pattern of trading of pars and double bogeys. The par 3’s were my downfall that day. I played the four at +11 and all had penalty shots. I couldn’t get off the tee on the easiest shots on the course. The tee shots were either fat or big pushes. As discouraging as that was, I was as encouraged by the rest of my play. On the par 4’s I was +6 and the par 5’s +4. I had 8 pars on the day for a total of 93. My best stat of the day: 13 of 14 fairways. My driver was my favorite club of the day.My best shot of the day was off the tee on 18. The hole plays downhill was a dogleg right and a tall tree guarding the corner. I planned to hit a fade around the tree. I struck the ball well and ended up in the fairway at the bottom of the hill with about 110 yards to the pin.
I ended up second in my flight, losing by one stroke. In spite of finishing second I feel pretty good about my round. I saw a lot of progress. I got on the greens with my short irons/wedges better than I have been recently.
I have two tournaments left, the Iowa State Championship and the KC City Championship. I’ll be hitting the range a lot over the next two weeks to work my swing. After Sunday it is clear I need to work on my par 3 play. I think the problem is swinging too hard. I should club up and swing easy.
I’ll report back on my play in the championships. Wish me luck.