Today, we played our first official tournament round at Oakwood Golf Club. I played the course on Friday in preparation for today’s round (see Course Review), but because it’s a 27-hole facility, I didn’t get to see all three nines. On Friday, I played Lakes/Palms, and today, we played Sonoran/Lakes. So a lot of good that did me! The tournament format was Peoria. If you’re like me, you’ve never even heard of this handicapping system. Here’s how it works:
Six of the 18 holes are secretly selected as special holes after the round. Ideally, there should be a combination of par 3s, 4s, and 5s from both nines. The scores on each of these six special holes are then added up, limiting each player’s hole score to double-bogey. That total is multiplied by three, and par for the course (in this case, 72) is subtracted from this total to get a player’s Peoria Handicap. I shot a 74, but after my score was adjusted, I ended up with a 66. One of my classmates shot a 68 without any adjustment, and his score didn’t change at all. Still, that’s an awesome round… and during a tournament no less!
Before this afternoon’s tournament round, we had our first Short Game Skills Test at Bear Creek in Chandler. This 36-hole complex has a huge practice green as well as a short game area and greenside bunker. This is where I have driving range privileges this semester. There were five stations:
- Putting – North, South, East, and West from 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 ft. 20 putts total. Each make worth 2 pts.
- Lag Putting – Two putts from 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 ft. 10 putts total. 0-4 points awarded based on proximity to hole. Holed = 4 pts., 0-3 ft. = 3 pts., 3-6 ft. = 2 pts., 6-9 ft. = 1 pt.
- Chipping – Five chips from 30-40 ft. Five chips from 50-60 ft. Ten chips total. 0-4 points awarded based on proximity to hole. Holed = 4 pts., 0-3 ft. = 3 pts., 3-6 ft. = 2 pts., 6-9 ft. = 1 pt.
- Pitching – Five pitches 10-15 yds. from edge of green. Five pitches from 10-15 yds. to pin. Ten pitches total. 0-4 points awarded based on proximity to hole. Holed = 4 pts., 0-5 ft. = 3 pts., 5-10 ft. = 2 pts., 10-15 ft. = 1 pt.
- Bunker Shots – Ten shots from the greenside bunker. Points awarded based on proximity to hole. Holed = 4 pts., 0-5 ft. = 3 pts., 5-10 ft. = 2 pts., 10-15 ft. = 1 pt.
Each skill translates to a different handicap based on your point total. For example, if you scored a 16 in Putting (8 putts made), your handicap is a 6. At the end of the exercise, take all of your handicaps and divide by five for your average handicap. It’s a great way to see where you stand at the start of the semester, and where you need to improve. The idea is that with the proper instruction, you can really lower your short game handicap.
Turns out I’m about a 7 overall. I’ve got some work to do especially when it comes to my putting routine. I have a lesson with Jay tomorrow afternoon, and I’m going to get on the SAM PuttLab so I can really see what’s happening with my stroke. I’ll tell you how it went in tomorrow’s recap.