Sunday, October 31, 2004

Return of the TA5s - Golf @ Plateau

Today seemed like a nice day to go back in time - equipmentally speaking - so before my round at the Plateau Club with Paul, I pulled out my Nike Pro Combo irons and replaced them with my older Cleveland TA5 irons. The goal was to see how hitting some "easier" irons would do now that I was pretty consistent with the Pro Combos. For those who don't know, the TA5s are generally referred to as game improvement irons, they have a wider sole than my pro combos and are a bit bigger. This makes it a bit tougher to hit them fat and the extra weight under them should get the ball up quicker.

I started out at the range and was hitting them great. Each shot flew high and straight. I was able to work them left and right much better than I could before I used the Pro Combos. I felt really relaxed as well, which was nice. We started on the back 9 today and it started out pretty average. A couple of bogeys but good iron shots. Then on 12 I hit the green in regulation (something I didn't do at all last week) and two putted for a par. On 13, I missed the green in regulation by about 12 inches and still got the par. On 14, I sliced my tee shot but it bounced off a tree and back to the fairway (phew!). I was able to come away with a bogey there too so after 5 holes, I'm only +3. At this point, I'm actully tied with Paul. Whoa.

Now hole 15 at the Plateau Club is subject to some sort of weird voodoo. While it is only about 150 yards downhill, it plays closer to 160 and it is pretty narrow and requires a carry shot over a bunch of evil junk. Usually it is a 5 iron to make it to the green for me, but I don't trust my 5 iron that much, so bad things happen to me. Today I felt more confident with the TA5s, though, so I took my 5 iron and hit a beautiful shot... until it sailed the green by about 20 yards. At least it wasn't short and in the junk though. This is where the round started to fall apart for a bit. From this point through through 18 I lost my focus. I think I was just thinking about pizza or something but I had a hard time getting my driver or putter to work for me. At the turn, I got a snack and things came back into focus again.

On the first hole I again hit the green in regulation and got a par. By the end of the 5th hole, I was right at even bogey golf again and I wanted to do better than last week's 89 so I set a goal. 2 pars and 2 bogeys for the last 4 holes. On 6 I hit my second shot into the water and ended up with double bogey. So much for that game. On 7 I hit the green in regulation and 2 putted for a par. Same thing for 8. OK, I got the two pars, but now I need to get a 3rd par to make up for the double on 6. Sure enough, my third shot hit the green and I 2 putted for a third consecutive par and a final score of 88. Yeah!

I lost 4 balls during my "unfocused" holes but on the rest of them I was making good shots from the from tee to green, so I was pretty happy with today's round. The TA5s were a nice change of pace, I may try them again next week just to see how it goes. When it is wet on the course -- like it will be for the next 8 months -- having a more forgiving set of irons should be helpful.

Duffergeek Stat Zone:
Score: 88 (13.868 round rating)
Putts: 32
GIRs: 6 - much better than last week's 0!
Fairways: 5/14 - terrible
Interesting stat: 4 more penalty strokes than last week, but a slightly better score. If I hadn't been wild off the tee on the "unfocused" holes, it could have been a great day!

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