I played alone at the Plateau Club yesterday -- strange because while there was gorgeous weather there was no one else either in front of, or behind me for the whole 18 holes. Because of this, I took a chance to try some different shots, try a few different ways of playing some of the holes. The problem is that just about everything that was going well was also going poorly for part of the day so it was hard to take anything away. One holes 2, 6 and 17, I hit the green in regulation with some beautiful shots, but then 3 putted for bogey.
On other holes, my approach shots were crappy, leaving me way off the green, but then I would sink a long putt to get to my bogey. 16 was a good example. Drive to the left side of the fairway, second shot not bad but behind a tree to the left of the green, third shot an overzealous bump and run that runs all the way across the green. Fourth shot a chip that lands about 15 feet from the hole. Sink the putt for bogey. Sheesh.
The final score was 90, though I played enough "try it" shots that it is hard to feel like that is a real score since you really aren't supposed to play two balls, or take any practice shots during a round. One thing I did start to figure out, though, is that as a round goes on, I get more tense and tension leads to inconsistent shots. I start trying to control the club too much and then I lose control of the shots. I started to see this happening yesterday and made a conscious effort to relax and most of the time it made a huge difference. I took out my 4 iron for my tee shot on the 15th hole and made one of the most relaxed swings ever. It was a fantastic shot and the ball just took off. It went about 20 yards past the flag but it was still quite nice to get that feeling. The same thing happened with some pitch shots where when I relaxed the club just slid under the ball and it was as smooth as silk. Again, it went way too far but that is because I am figuring distance for a different swing than I am using. So I need to work on this relaxing thing. Perhaps I wil go to the range now and try it out.