As always seems to be the case, in 2016 I started slow and finished strong. I didn’t play poorly at the start of the season, scores in the 90s and managed to get several second place finishes. My focus for the year was to do better in major championships. I played two, starting with Blackwolf Run in Kohler, WI. I have played this tournament for the past 3 years and never played very well. I love the courses and enjoy playing them, but never seem to perform. This year I flew instead of driving, which was much easier. The first day I had one rather difficult playing partner, but he wasn’t the cause of my poor play. I had 2 blow up holes and had 9 penalty strokes, which is ridiculous. The second day was easier and I shaved 10 strokes off the first day total. I still finished DFL which is very disappointing.
The next major was at Grayhawk in Scottsdale, AZ. This tournament was in early June and managed to be unbearably hot. They started us very early, which helped. My form was much better. I shot 100 the first round and was tied for 9th. The second day I shot 99 and came in T8. I wasn’t in the top half, but it is my best major performance to date.
After those majors, my play in the local tournaments improved. My work with my instructor paid off and I started getting more GIR and fewer penalties. In 16 tournaments I won 3, finished second 7 times and had one third. I won the season end city championship and my flight for the year. In doing so, my index dropped 2.5 strokes to an 18.
I wasn’t planning on playing at the National Championship, but I decided it was a good opportunity for me. I was playing some of my best golf ever. I wasn’t expecting to win, but I thought I could at least not embarrass myself. And I did play better than I have in any major yet. My first round left in my 30th (out of 67), second round 25th, third round 28th and finished with a T38. The last day was disappointing as the course seemed to favor me. I didn’t feel my swing very well and threw away too many strokes. In the end I didn’t meet my goal of finishing in the top half, but I was pleased with my performance. This is something I can build upon.
The best part of my 2016 season was I had plenty of golf travel. I played a charity tournament in Palm Springs, CA, majors in WI and AZ, and Nationals in FL. I played in 8 states for the year.
Goals for 2016
- Perform better in majors: I did do better, but I am still a ways away from contending.
- 9 GIR/Round: My early season struggles doomed this one. I was 4.4 for the year, though the end of the season I was at 6 avg.
- Break 80 in a tournament: I have the capability of doing this. I had several tournaments where I felt like I could get close, but I ended having a few holes get away from my.
- Get Tour Index to 16: I dropped it from a 20.5 to an 18.
- Hole in one: Still hoping.
- Keep focus: I did a better job of this. I had a few difficult playing partners, but I didn’t let them affect me that much.
New Courses to Me
Erin Hills, Classic Club, Ocean Links at Amelia Island, Innisbrook – Copperhead, Island & North, Fox Hollow, Quintero, Desert Springs – Palm
The tournament at Falcon Lakes. I didn’t win, but I played my best round of the season. Shot 85 with no penalties, 6 GIR. Also the first round of the City Championship. Shot 86, no penatlies, 6 GIR and took a 10 stroke lead to the next day.
Tough to think of one. Probably a par 3 at the Classic Club that was 185. I hit my 5 iron and put it about 12′ from the pin and I was the only one in my group to get on the green.
Most Disappointing Round
First round at Blackwolf Run. Tough to come back from that.
Goals for 2016
- Contend in majors: Based on this year, I will be able to do that. Question is, do I return to Blackwolf?
- 9 GIR/Round: This is attainable
- 30 putts per round: I had 33/round this year.
- Get Tour Index to 16: This is doable, only have to shave 2 strokes off.
- Driver consistency: this has been a long running problem for me. It is getting better, but I need to keep working on it.
- Hole in one: still waiting.