Today is Rick's Birthday (happy birthday again) and so we played both courses at Newcastle. This is the first time I've played 36 holes in one day and it was fun! The only odd thing about it is that after 36 holes, they all start to run together, it is tough for me to remember that many of the highlights. The summary goes something like this:
My driver sucked today. Every time I hit that thing, it sliced. OK, with one exception which was number 10 on the China Creek course. A long downhill par 5 where I played for a big fade and instead it went perfectly straight and long into the trees. Hmph. I tried it again a few more times but then finally gave up on it and went with my 3 wood.
My 3 wood rocked today! It got to the point where I was hitting it 200-220 in the fairway or close each time. Why go back? I only hit one 3 wood shot from the deck today and it wasn't great but off the tee, it was really good.
My Taylor Made Rescue 3 and 4 irons were also very good today. Either straight or a slide fade almost every time. Even the miss hit ones went pretty straight, just very low and not nearly as far. I never saw the hook on the 3 iron that I was getting for a while, I think largely because I didn't do the casting (outside in) move on them today which I was doing a lot previously.
Irons were hit and miss today. They tended to be good on the par 3's (hit 1/2 of the greens there) but for much of the first round, they were pretty wild.
Putting was pretty weak. 35 putts in each round though Rick said I was lined up right every time, so I need to look at that some more. I had a lot of opportunities to sink reasonable putts and I missed them almost every time. This is definitely a place where I can shave 4 to 5 strokes per round.
Interestingly, China Creek is the easier course, and I played worse there (particularly on the back 9). I shot a 93 at China and an 88 at Coal Creek. Given that the last time we played Coal Creek, I shot 100, this is a big improvement. I actually preferred Coal today which was interesting since I remember it being much nastier than China. A big part of it was probably using the 3 wood and staying in play. I had 4 fewer penalties on Coal Creek which accounts for most of the improved scoring as well.
A fun day though. Lots of things to practice in the coming weeks.