This is my first round of golf since May 27th. It has been nearly two months since my last round of golf. That is not how you build consistent growth in your game.

But with that being said, I am very happy to get back out onto the course. It has been a long time since I have held these untrustworthy sticks in my hand.

I am on vacation in Florida with my girlfriend visiting my parents. We got down on Saturday, and the first thing I did after unpacking my bags is I went to the driving range with my dad to try and get some rust off. There was plenty. I was oozing it. But after two bucket of balls and nearly a blister filled hand, I felt kinda alright about where I was at. I know where my clubs were missing, and roughly how far they were going. (They don’t go very far).

In Florida I am using someone else’s clubs, which includes a driver from the early 2000s. The shaft is not cracked in the shaft, so that is a win for me.

The club my dad and I, along with his friends, played at was the St. Lucie Trail Golf Club. The course was designed by Jim Fazio in 1989, and revitalized in 2014 under the direction of St. Lucie Trail Golf Club Superintendent Dick Gray. That is just a fun fact for you, I don’t actually know anything about those guys.

I have to give major credit to the website for great hole-by-hole descriptions. I read them all, not that it helped at all.

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


Hole 1
Par 5 | 475 Yards

Took a mulligan off the tee. Deal with it.

Turns out I should have just went with the worm burner. Next tee shot goes out of bounds on the left side. That is going to be a theme. Apologies in advance.

Worked my way down the fairway on this par five, and it was a bit of a struggle to get excited about my shots. Hit a duff second show, then sliced my next. Not good times, but we eventually got onto the green and BOOM, we have a one-putt! It was a good chip from below the green that got me into position for the one putt.

SCORE: 8 (1 Putt)
Handicap: 9
Score Overall: 8 (+3)


Hole 2
Par 3 | 147 Yards

We have a par three, and I made a bit of a mess of it. I hit a worm burner eight iron and then had to get near the green. I have a tweener shot, the worst possible kind. The 50-60 yarder that you have no idea how to control? Yea, everyone knows it.

I hit that one long and it barely stays on the fringe in the back. I am far away from the hole, which has the red flag, front of green pen just staring me in the face. I leave the putt from the fringe woefully short, and then it is slimy two putt from there to register a five.

I was happy that I improved my score from the first hole, but upset that I followed a one-putt with a three-putt and upset I still hadn’t hit a really good iron yet.

SCORE: 5 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 11
Score Overall: 13 (+5)


Hole 3
Par 4 | 359 Yards

We have out first fairway drive today! Surprisingly, there are more to come. It was a banana hook. Turns out that a month off does nothing to cure a banana hook swing.

This drive went a surprisingly good distance. Over 200 yards with no roll out. I have one approach shot and it was a GIR! Yea, a fairway in regulation and a green in regulation! How about them apples!

Well fuck me, it is Mr. three putt coming along again to ruin my good time.

I really just left the first putt 10 feet short. No excuses. It was just a straight putt and I was a very bad putter for the moment. Well it is more than just a moment. I am not a good putter.

SCORE: 5 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 7
Score Overall: 18 (+6)


Hole 4
Par 4 | 320 Yards

A short par four…that is what we like to see!

I hit a second straight fairway…and I hit a second straight green in regulation! Folks, we are putting for birdie…again!! I hit a really nice nine iron onto the green, and if memory serves I had about 25 feet for birdie. This time I hit the putt with better pace and I only leave it short by three feet. Massive improvement. This is a trend we’d like to keep going.

I tap it in for par.

So my first hole I was spraying the ball everywhere. Second hole I had a hard time getting it up in the air. Third hole I showed massive improvement but my putting stunk. Fourth hole…it all came together? Are we about to have some magic on the golf course today?

SCORE: 4 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 13
Score Overall: 22 (+6)


Hole 5
Par 4 | 325 Yards

Little bit of a longer par four here. The hole sets up with water on the right side and a fairly wide open space on the left. I aimed 45 degrees left, as I typically do with my banana hook. In theory, I would get a nice little hook into the fairway, probably extend the whole an extra 20 yards, but that would be fine.

That isn’t what happened. As you probably guessed.

My drive does not come back as much as it usually does, so this ball falls about five yards shot of reaching dry land. I have to drop in the rough next to the man made lake, and I am about 140sh away from the green. I take out a seven iron and I absolutely STICK IT! With my third shot I put it onto the green about 15 feet from the hole. Holy lord I did not think I would be putting for par after putting it in the drink.

I have my normal two putt and it is a bogey on the scorecard. Not too bad for hitting it right OB. This would be the only ball I hit right OB the entire day.

SCORE: 5 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 3
Score Overall: 27 (+7)


Hole 6
Par 4 | 355 Yards

The hardest hole on the front nine. There is water on the left, and not much room on the right. I take out a three iron hybrid to try and play it safe.

It is not so safe. I don’t banana hook it as much but still the ball finds the water on the left side. This is a very right course and I am paying the price. Again I am 140 yards out, and again I take out my eight iron which I just hit really well on the last hole. I put it near the green, but I still need to chip onto the green. It was not the best chip in the world. In fact it was a little short. Way short.

I two putt from about 20 feet away and and it is a double bogey.

Now with all things being said, I have been steadily doing alright on the front nine since the opening eight on hole one.

SCORE: 6 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 1
Score Overall: 33 (+9)


Hole 7
Par 3 | 158 Yards

Longest par three on the course. It is not long by distance standards, BUT, the flag stick was all in the back and the wind was directly in my face. I take out a five iron and try to get it there but unfortunately it comes up short. I again need to chip onto the green, and I again don’t let it run out enough. I am about 25 feet short, and this time, rather than leaving it short, I just burn it past the hole. I then miss my second putt from about five feet and so it’s a three putt. A five on a par three.

The most frustrating part of this hole was that I hit a really good five iron. Like it felt awesome off the tee, but because of the wind it just didn’t go anywhere. I knew it was short but I didn’t know how short. Missed opportunity for a better score.

SCORE: 5 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 17
Score Overall: 38 (+11)


Hole 8
Par 5 | 438 Yards

Second par five on the front nine and all I want to do is not hit an eight again. This time my drive goes down the center of the fairway and we are in good shape. I am plugging my way around the hole, going back and fourth with three approach shots until I finally get onto the green. Then there was a two putt, so we are putting down a six on the scorecard.

This was a very typical Stanko hole. It was good off the tee without much distance and so we needed to inch our way till the ball was in the hole.

SCORE: 6 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 15
Score Overall: 44 (+12)


Hole 9
Par 4 | 368 Yards

Lost focus a bit on this hole. Or was trying to do too much? Maybe a little bit of both?

My tee shot goes left and goes out of bounds. I lost an absolute fuck ton of balls playing. Did you know that? I lost an absolute crap load.

So I place myself in not a good position next to brush. I am trying to be honest here and play as to where by ball went out. What I wanted to do with this shot, about 160 yards out, is hit a low seven iron that would curl around some trees and roll up near the green.

(Yes, that is probably trying to hard)

My first attempt at this shot goes straight into the brush again. Now I am hitting my fifth shot from about 150 out from the same vantage point. BUT, this time, I actually hit the seven iron shot that I wanted! I hit like a real golf shot! In all seriousness, it may have been one of my better shots of the day. I curled it the way I wanted too.

The ball ends up on the fringe about three feet off the green. I two putt from there, and it is a seven on the scorecard.

This hole was a mish-mosh. The vibes between my dad and I got a bit tense because we both struggled, so we really needed to pick things up come the back nine.

SCORE: 7 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 5
Score Overall: 51 (+15)


Hole 10
Par 4 | 330 Yards

We going to turn it around for the start of the back nine?

If you said yes, then YOU LOSE!

Hole 10 was possibly my worst hole of the day? Definitely my worst in terms of what could have been.

I put my drive dead center of the fairway. It was magical. I have an eight iron distance in, which has been my favorite club of the day. I hit my eight iron…right into the water. I tugged it right, went kerplush, and now we are in a tough spot. I drop in the rough, and I have to chip it over a bunker without much room on the green. Turns out I don’t need to worry about the green yet because I hit it into the bunker.

I hit one bunker shot. And then another. Did I mention that I really don’t like bunkers? I hit no bunkers on the front nine. Not so much the case on the back. After it takes me two shots to get out, I two putt and I write done an eight. Not the best start I wanted for the back nine.

SCORE: 8 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 12
Score Overall: 59 (+19)


Hole 11
Par 5 | 460 Yards

I think this is the longest hole we played on the day? I hit a good drive, second straight hole with a fairway drive. I try and be smart and I hit a five iron that kind of cut the whole into another third and give myself 150 yards in. Well I hooked it a bit too much and I got over trees where I could not see where it landed.

I could not find the ball after this hit, so I dropped in the area. I am going to say it. I didn’t take a stroke here. I hit it in play, not even that far off the course, but nothing was found. I do not feel bad about it. I hit a pitching well onto around the green, and I eventually am writing a six down on the card. This was a super stressful six. Should not have been. Took way to long looking for the ball, and I will admit it that my looking slowed down play a little so I needed to pick it up from here.

SCORE: 6 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 10
Score Overall: 65 (+20)


Hole 12
Par 3 | 154 Yards

We got ourselves a great bounce back hole!

I take out my seven iron for this 154 yard shot. I hit a really nice shot that fades just a bit off the green and rolls into the lightest of rough. I take out my pitching wedge…and I swear I thought it was going into the hole for a second. I got excited. I ended up with a tap in two foot par putt, and we are back feeling the good grooves.

I really loved the seven iron I hit. I know it wasn’t a green in regulation, but it felt really pure. Like the way it was meant to be hit.

SCORE: 3 (1 Putts)
Handicap: 18
Score Overall: 68 (+20)


Hole 13
Par 4 | 341 Yards

All the good vibes are gone. All gone. Ta-ta.

This whole killed my soul. I played badly on it, and I lost my GPS watch. Really tough to find anything good about it.

The drive I hit missed the fairway and went to the left. I hugged the left side of this hole the entire way down. I went from rough, to rough, to deeper rough, to green where I then three putted. I played this whole the exact opposite way it was meant to be played. I may or may not have doomed myself a little by trying to be a little cute and hit a low pitch shot though an opening. I hit it too low and it dropped down.

Stringing good holes together on the back nine is not easy. The stress level is high. Only positive about this hole is that I didn’t lose a ball. I lost tons of pride, but a ball has tangible quality. What is pride anyway?

SCORE: 7 (3 Putts)
Handicap: 14
Score Overall: 75 (+23)


Hole 14
Par 4 | 320 Yards

Are we ever going to have a good hole again? This is what I am beginning to ask myself.

This whole has a bunker lining the whole entire left side. Like the entire way down. Nearly 250 yards of it. I managed to play it down that left side the entire time. Basically just repeating what I did on hole 13, except this time its bunkers I am hitting out of and not rough patches.

Did I mention that I hit zero bunkers in the first half of my round? Like zero. And now, I am a magnet for them.

This is the whole where I officially lost all hope on breaking 100. Now, I just needed to make sure I didn’t break my mind.

SCORE: 7 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 6
Score Overall: 82 (+26)


Hole 15
Par 4 | 346 Yards

OH WE ARE SO BACK!

What we have here is a classic Stanko hole. I hit a three-iron hybrid off the tee box, then hit an eight Iron chunky so it lands short of the green. I then chip onto the green, but not particularly close, so I have to two-putt. But that is a bogey. Bogey. Bogey, bogey. We are chanting for a bogey! This is what we thrive fore! (wow, how is that for a nice pun).

SCORE: 5 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 2
Score Overall: 87 (+27)


Hole 16
Par 4 | 295 Yards

This is a very wide open hole, so rather than try and be fancy, I just hit a three iron hybrid off the tee box to make sure that I was in play. This was the advice of the club house worker when we checked in, and he was absolutely right.

My second shot in from the fairway was a seven iron, and BADA-BING-BADA-BOOM, we have a green in regulation! My third (and final) green in regulation. I landed my second shot below the hole about 15 feet. I actually have a fantastic first putt and I miss a birdie by three inches. I am ecstatic to take a par.

This was my third par of the day. Third par. If I was told I had three pars in my first round in over a month, I think I would called bullshit. But here we are. Three pars. Not too, too shabby if I am being honest.

SCORE: 4 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 8
Score Overall: 91 (+27)


Hole 17
Par 3 | 140 Yards

The last par three of the day is a down hill 140 shot with bunkers lining the front of the green. There is a marsh that you must carry in order to get it to that area, so be sure to hit enough. The wind was in our fast, just like the seventh hole.

I take out a seven iron and I hit it sky high into the air. It looked pretty, but it is not ideal for this shot with the wind howling in our face. My seven iron ends up one yard short of the fringe, and I am kerplunk in a bunker. Another one. How many freaking bunker shots am I going to have out on this back nine?

This time around however, I accomplish the remarkable and get out of the sand in one. SUCCESS! Who cares if I am 20 feet from the hole. That doesn’t matter to me at all at this point! I two putt from there, and it is a bogey four.

SCORE: 4 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 16
Score Overall: 95 (+28)


Hole 18
Par 5 | 460 Yards

So, as it turns out, despite my rather lackluster play, I had a shot to break 100 if I played this last hole well. It is a par five, 460 yard hole with limited water and bunkers to impede someone. I found out that if I birdied this hole, I was in for a 99, and if I eked out a par, I would be at 100 exactly.

My drive is not in the fairway, but it was just left. We are not in too bad a shape. My second shot was a seven iron in, and no we had a shot to get on the green in regulation and a chance to accomplish the thought to be impossible task…of breaking 100.

My drive went about 200 yards, my second shot went about 150, so I had about 110 yards left. I had a pitching wedge in my hand. It was all in front of me.

Then I decided to veer onto a side street, avoid all the warning signs, and end this round on the ectended trail of sadness.

I skull-fuck my pitching wedge over the green, so not I am trying to chip on for birdie. I do not succeed, and it self it rolls ALMOST into the bunker on the other side of the green. This is not the wat I wanted this round to end.

I end up with a seven on hole 18, for a final score of 102 (+30). I did think it was a 103 until I did the math, so I guess one stroke better is nice. But still, a 102.

SCORE: 7 (2 Putts)
Handicap: 4
Score Overall: 102 (+30)


FINAL THOUGHTS

  • I hit eight fairways. How fucking crazy is that?? We will ignore the fact that I shot a 102, because eight fairways is personal best. without a doubt. eight fairways. That is without practicing for a month. That is without using my won driver. Pretty darn good!
    • At two different points I hit three fairways in a row. I hit six out of seven during that stretch with only the 13th hole being the outlier.
  • I lost six balls. That is not a good round of golf.
    • Of the six balls I lost, only one was on the back. How did I shoot wore on the back you ask? Well I hit it into the bunkers a bunch of times and that is not good for me.
  • Three pars is not too shabby.
  • I had 41 total putts. That is not the best. 20 on the front and 21 on the back.
  • I ended up with three greens in regulation.
  • This course was really narrow. There is just sling danger lurking everywhere.
  • As of writing this, I have not made it out for another round her in Florida. But it will happen. Need to try and get some confidence back.

ST. LUCIE TRAILS GOLF CLUB

7/31/22 Score
#1 | Par 56 (4 Putts)
#2 | Par 36 (2 Putts)
#3 | Par 44 (2 Putts)
#4 | Par 46 (2 Putts)
#5 | Par 44 (2 Putts)
#6 | Par 47 (1 Putt)
#7 | Par 35 (2 Putts)
#8 | Par 55 (2 Putts)
#9 | Par 47 (2 Putts)
#10 | Par 48 (3 Putts)
#11 | Par 56 (3 Putts)
#12 | Par 37 (2 Putts)
#13 | Par 46 (1 Putt)
#14 | Par 46 (2 Putts)
#15 | Par 44 (2 Putts)
#16 | Par 46 (3 Putts)
#17 | Par 36 (2 Putts)
#18 | Par 55 (2 Putts)
Total102 (+30) | 41 Putts, 8 FIR, 3 GIR

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