When we have a day off on a weekend, we go golfing. Those are the rules. This past weekend I returned back to Oak Hills Golf Course in Norwalk, CT to see if I have tangible improvement from my first round of the season.

But before I get into a little bit of context of the round, we must pay a shoutout to Rudy and Katie for finally celebrating their wedding this past weekend. It was essentially three years in the making with all the COVID delays and other tricky circumstances, so to finally see them as happy as they were makes me incredibly happy.

Okay, so Oak Hills. This time around, I went early in the morning and was paired with three random guys. Luckily they were all my age, and they were all my skill level. In fact, I will be honest here. I was the best one in the foursome. That is not saying much, but it is a little bit of a confidence booster.

Arguably the best part of this round was the friendly competition between two of the gentleman in the group. They were very similar in skill and they were playing strokes against each other the entire morning. It came down to the last hole with one of them having a par putt to win the match, but he blows it by the hole and he had to make a three foot putt for bogey to tie his buddy. Just good friendly dudes competing. They both finished with 107.

The last time I played Oak Hills the course was very wet, a little beat up and there were some conditions that we had to play through. Like no green on the third hole. This time around it was in much better condition. As a result the course played a little bit longer and the vantage points from the tee boxes made planning shots also a bit more challenging.

Also this is my first round in the Northeast after playing in Florida without my own clubs. I can officially say that golf in the Northeast is harder.

Now let’s see how I did in my fourth round of the year.


Hole 1
Par 4 | 374 Yards

Started off WAYYY to hot out of the gate. Like, way, way too hot. Who the hell pars the first hole??

Also getting a par on this first hole just meant that the dudes I was playing with were thinking I was way better than I was.

To this hole I drove it splendidly and I was about a 7-iron distance away from the green. About 150 yards out and I had a clean fairway lie. What could go wrong?

Ummm…nothing actually went wrong. I hit a beautiful shot that was tracking right toward the flag and it ends up landing about 10 feet behind the flag and sticking. Like good lord, who am I? In the air it was one of those shots that looked great and I just hoped I picked the right club. Turns out, I did.

I just missed the birdie putt, but could not be upset about it. Missed it one ball off the right side, and more importantly, didn’t leave it short. I had a tap-in par on my first hole. I set the bar way too high.

Score On Hole: 4 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 3
Score Overall: 4 (E)


Hole 2
Par 4 | 295 Yards

On this short par four I outdrove the fairway. What is happening here!?

My second shot, from the messy stuff, hit the back of the green. It was a way-away from the hole. I had about a 40 foot putt for birdie and I ended up bout 10 feet short of the hole. My par putt again was left short, so it was a bogey five.

I started off the day with two greens in regulation, and I was only one over par through two holes with no warm-up shots on the driving range at all. This was far too much luck happening.

Score On Hole: 5 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 9
Score Overall: 9 (+1)


Hole 3
Par 3 | 109 Yards

What is going on?? Another good shot that sets me up for a good score??

I take out pitching wedge on this downhill par three and I land it JUST short of the green. I have a very lengthy first putt….and I leave it about 10 feet short. I then leave my par putt short again, and I tap in for bogey.

This hole begged the question. How greedy can I be? I am hitting good shots and only my putting its really letting me down. I am only two above par through three holes…how can I be upset? But yet after this hole. I felt it a little.

Score On Hole: 4 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 17
Score Overall: 13 (+2)


Hole 4
Par 4 | 307 Yards

Ahh, this is the hole I can feel poorly about.

I stand to close to the ball on my drive and I pull it into the ground and into the woods on my right. That is not good. I hit a second drive and I find myself in the rough on the left hand side. So here we go, this is going to be a rocky road to the hole.

It is a chip out to the fairway, dreading my way up to the green and a THIRD straight three putt has me putting a snowman on the scorecard.

I should not that this hole is when the wind started and it really stayed steady for about eight holes. Some holes it help, and some holes it hindered. This one, the wind didn’t matter because I made a mess of it.

Score On Hole: 8 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 5
Score Overall: 21 (+6)


Hole 5
Par 3 | 174 Yards

A long par three that is downhill but longer that it appears. I take out a four iron and aim basically at the woods knowing that it is going to tail to the left.

Remember how I just mentioned how the wind can help or hurt? This one it helped big time. If the wind was not blowing left to right, my golfball would have been in the water on the left side of the hole. I was about ten feet off the green on the fringe, but I had a relatively clear path onto the green. It is Texas wedge time!

I putt it onto the green and get myself within 10 feet for a par. I miss the putt, because I am not good at putting, but I tap in for bogey.

Score On Hole: 4 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 15
Score Overall: 25 (+7)


Hole 6
Par 4 | 304 Yards

This hole eats me up a bit. The last time I got a seven, and this time I got a six. It is not that difficult of a hole, but I really make a mess of it.

My drive goes left and lands among the sticky shit on the par three fifth hole. I will admit to moving the ball off a rock so I don’t break my wrist. I punch out of some shit with an eight iron and I leave myself a 70 yard straight up hill shot as a layup. That is not what you want.

I hit a sand wedge shot short and so now I am pitching on the green for par. I hit a bad chip, but got lucky that it struck high grass, slowed it down, and stayed on the green. This two putt was a great pair of putts, ending my three putt streak and keeping my score down.

I really have to learn how to judge distance on my sand wedge.

Score On Hole: 6 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 13
Score Overall: 31 (+9)


Hole 7
Par 4 | 336 Yards

We walk to hole seven and I am looking for a good bounce back hole.

I get off to a great start with a drive that is pummeled. I end up just off the fairway on the left. I have about a pitching wedge left; 100 yards but heavily downhill. I don’t strike it super great and it goes left right away. My second shot ends behind the green and I have to chip on the green with my third shot.

This time I actually chipped it onto the green on my first attempt and then a standard two putt gets me in with a five.

I have to remember that if I got a five on every hole then I’d be a happy man at this stage of my golf game.

Score On Hole: 5 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 7
Score Overall: 36 (+10)


Hole 8
Par 5 | 484 Yards

I did not preform well on the five fives. Straight up, did not.

I hit a drive that does not go very far because I hit it straight into the oncoming wind. Thinking that I needed to make up some distance, I take out one of my woods…and that almost never works well.

When I first make contact, I think GREAT! When I see it start to veer left, I think NO!! So lost ball. After a layup, I now saying that par is out the window. I get it onto the back of the green and hit a truly phenomenal lag putt that got me in with a seven and nothing worse.

If I learned to hit my woods, things would be a lot different.

Score On Hole: 7 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 11
Score Overall: 43 (+12)


Hole 9
Par 4 | 440 Yards

The hardest hole on the course according to the handicapping system, hole nine just plays very long. Luckily for myself, I absolutely crushed this drive down the right side of the fairway. The funny part about this hole is that we had to wait to tee off because people playing the eight where in our fairway. I hit my ball to nearly the EXACT same spot that cart was staying.

My second shot came up well shot of the green. It was a ground ball that just got me closer to the green, but not as much as I would have hoped. My third shot…I hit with the power I wanted in my second shot…so it went sailing over the green. I was able to chip it onto the green but fairly far away from the hole.

Not all two-putts are the same, and this was a great one. I have it written down that my putting saved me on this hole.

Score On Hole: 6 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 1
Score Overall: 49 (+14)


Hole 10
Par 5 | 528 Yards

I played so poorly on the par fives. So poorly.

I had a bad drive and had to lay up. I ended up with a chance to reach the green on my fourth shot, but I left it very short so now It was a matter of limiting the damage. I get it onto the green eventually with my fifth shot and two putts later it is another double-bogey on a par five.

The sad thing is that I played this hole better this time around than last time. Last time I got an eight on the longest hole of the course.

Score On Hole: 7 (1 Putts)
Handicap: 4
Score Overall: 56 (+16)


Hole 11
Par 4 | 365 Yards

So begins the absolutely stupid back-and-forth of the middle portion of my round.

This is the hole that fits by drive perfectly, and god did I nail it. I hit my second fairway in three holes, this time with 130 yards in. I take out my eight iron and BAM, I am on the green on the right side looking at a putt for par. Two putts later and I am putting the second par of the day on my scorecard.

There are holes that fit your swing, and those that don’t. This one just does. When we get to hole 14, we will get the opposite.

Score On Hole: 4 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 10
Score Overall: 60 (+16)


Hole 12
Par 5 | 501 Yards

Up and down we go. Up and down we go. Up and down we go.

Another par five, and another double-bogey.

Nothing about this hole was very good. The drive was fine, the second shot was a three iron that barely got off the ground. I eventually get it to around the green, but my shorter approach sails over the green so once I pitch on and two putt it is a double-bogey once again. I don’t know how I hit my eight iron so far over the green on my approach. It really baffled my mind.

Score On Hole: 7 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 8
Score Overall: 67 (+18)


Hole 13
Par 3 | 154 Yards

I almost killed a foursome.

So this is a downhill par three but the wind was WHIPPING into our face. I took out a six iron because the flag was also in the back of the green. I should not have taken out my six iron.

I hook my six iron towards the tee box of the seventh hole and this is only the second time in my left I yelled “FORE LEFT” in my life in great fear. Why did this foursome have to be hitting from the blue tees?

So I embarrass myself walking over there and they show my where my ball is. To put it plainly, it was in some deep shit. I move my ball because I don’t want to hit right behind them but I do put myself on an elevated surface that is half hard dirt and half rock. My first ship is short of the bunker, my next chip is over the bunker but now in the rough on the other side of the green. My fourth shot gets me onto the green and I two-putt from there.

Here is some free advice to you. Don’t almost kill people on the golf course. It will mess with your head.

Score On Hole: 6 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 18
Score Overall: 73 (+21)


Hole 14
Par 4 | 406 Yards

This is the most disappointing hole of the entire round for me. Yes, even more so than the previous hole where I almost killed people.

I was smart on this hole, and I still got a bad score. I hit a three iron off the tee because this hole is the antithesis of my swing. So I was like nice and easy, get it out there. So my second shot needs to not be on the green. I am conceding that. But my body did not work that way. I hit my second shot into the woods and now I have to drop and hit my fourth from off the green. UGH.

Three putts later and I have a seven. Just demoralizing. I mean I was smart. I hit the right shot off the tee. I was playing it cautiously. And I still fucked it up.

Score On Hole: 7 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 2
Score Overall: 80 (+24)


Hole 15
Par 3 | 205 Yards

Alright, this is a hole where I look like an idiot and take out my driver. I am right and want to to swoop onto the green with my banana hook. It is that easy.

Well, when your drive takes a 90 degree turn and goes over the road about 15 yards left of the green you are intending…it may be time to not use driver anymore on this hole. I pitch it over the fence but I get short of the green. I take the safe route and don’t go over the sand trap and instead aim left of the hole. I trusted my putter and it helped me out with a five.

Score On Hole: 5 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 12
Score Overall: 85 (+26)


Hole 16
Par 4 | 342 Yards

The first of two very straight forward par fours that are right next to one another. On this one, there is PLENTY of room on the right. Even if you are in the 17th fairway you have a shot in.

I didn’t am right. My drive goes left and I immediately make this hole so incredibly difficult. I get it near the green on my second shot so now I am hoping for a two putt five.

I wasn’t accounting on a duffed chip. A straight up chip that didn’t got anywhere. NOT GREAT.

I eventually get it on the green, but I leave it very short. And a two-putt later I am writing down a six.

Score On Hole: 6 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 6
Score Overall: 91 (+28)


Hole 17
Par 4 | 336 Yards

God my banana hook was working. Working a bit too good. My drive was in the left rough and I did not have a good angle to the green. I tried to loft my pitching wedge over some trees but it went into the woods and it began knocking along the trees. I got lucky as all hell and found my ball in the weedy shit outside of the woods to the left of the green.

I could either try and pitch it close to the pin and loft it over the bunker…or I could do a bump and run, get it on the green and try and hit a long putt for par. I ended up two putting from about 20 feet away and it was a bogey five. I really hurt myself with my drive getting no angle to the green what so ever.

Score On Hole: 5 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 14
Score Overall: 96 (+29)


Hole 18
Par 4 | 341 Yards

OHHHH I could have ended on a par. I really could have.

So I hit my drive and my banana hook was in full effect. I lost sight of it, so I hit a second one just in case. Turns out my first drive went past the fairway and was up and to the left of it a little. My second drive, my provisional, which I did not use, was even further in a bunker.

Second shot was a pitching wedge onto the green and I was about 25 feet short of the hole. It left my with an uphill putt for birdie. I whacked it past the hole five feet, so I had to tricky downhill for par. I at first walked up to the ball and tried to do the tap-in…but that didn’t work. I wanted to sure myself a chance for par, so i allowed myself to go back and mark it and try and putt for par.

Turns out I missed the par putt anyway. So it was meant to be a five all the way. Not a terrible way to end the day though.

SCORE: 5 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 16
Score Overall: 101 (+30)


FINAL THOUGHTS

  • I took ZERO mulligans off the tee. Zero. I owned all of my tee shots. Now I did move the one on the par three where I killed people, but I did not give myself a good lie and I was still behind a tree among roots. I just didn’t wanna hit next to the people I almost killed. Which I think is fair.
  • I improved on my putting on the back nine. Only had 20 putts compared to 22 on the front. No three straight holes of three-putts. That is never a recipe for good things.
  • How in the hell did I putt better the first time I played this course but it feels like I felt better this time around? Maybe it was just where I was around the hole and more timely putts?
  • I ended up with four fairways hit and three greens hit. Compared to the last time I played this course, I took one step back in fairways hit but I went one better on greens in regulation.
  • I really do need to learn to hit consistently with my woods. They are feast or famine. Every single round.
  • I need to learn also how to hit longer chips and let them roll out accordingly.
  • My second time playing this course I shot a 101 (+30), which is three better than my performance in my first round of the year.

COMPARING OAK HILL ROUNDS

3/27/22 Score4/22/22 ScoreAVERAGE AT OAK HILLS
#1 | Par 46 (4 Putts)4 (2 Putts)5.0 (2 Putts)
#2 | Par 46 (2 Putts)5 (3 Putts)5.5 (2.5 Putts)
#3 | Par 34 (2 Putts)4 (3 Putts)4.0 (2.5 Putts)
#4 | Par 46 (2 Putts)8 (3 Putts)7.0 (2.5 Putts)
#5 | Par 34 (2 Putts)4 (3 Putts)4.0 (2.5 Putts)
#6 | Par 47 (1 Putt)6 (2 Putts)6.5 (1.5 Putts)
#7 | Par 45 (2 Putts)5 (2 Putts)5.0 (2 Putts)
#8 | Par 55 (2 Putts)7 (2 Putts)6.0 (2 Putts)
#9 | Par 47 (2 Putts)6 (2 Putts)6.5 (2 Putts)
#10 | Par 58 (3 Putts)7 (2 Putts)7.5 (2.5 Putts)
#11 | Par 46 (3 Putts)4 (2 Putts)5.0 (2 Putts)
#12 | Par 57 (2 Putts)7 (2 Putts)7.0 (2 Putts)
#13 | Par 36 (1 Putt)6 (2 Putts)6 (1.5 Putts)
#14 | Par 46 (2 Putts)7 (3 Putts)6.5 (2.5 Putts)
#15 | Par 34 (2 Putts)5 (2 Putts)4.5 (2 Putts)
#16 | Par 46 (3 Putts)6 (2 Putts)6 (2.5 Putts)
#17 | Par 46 (2 Putts)5 (2 Putts)5.5 (2 Putts)
#18 | Par 45 (2 Putts)5 (3 Putts)5.0 (2.5 Puts)
Total104 (+33) | 38 Putts, 5 FIR, 2 GIR101 (+30) | 42 Putts, 4 FIR, 3 GIR

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