I arrived in Miami for a long weekend break staying at the Turnberry Isle resort which has two golf courses the better being the Soffer, where an LPGA tournament is taking place next month.
They have good practice facilities for the long game but poor chipping and bunker areas which surprised me.
I spent two hours practising a variety of shots on Saturday morning with a further 30 minutes putting, as the greens here are lightning fast. Later in the afternoon I played a round with friend Gunter on the Soffer.
A very tight course and typical of the USA, it has loads of water to contend with. Unfortunately for me I just didn’t strike the ball well all afternoon and struggled to achieve any rhythm and consistency.
It’s difficult to explain the reasons why, but I spent the next morning on the practice ground again, and as I had a number of thin shots the day before, attempted to lower my stance a little to get a cleaner strike. I was conscious though of the advice given by Steve and James not to over-practice and get too `hyped up` with a bad round. I seemed to start hitting the ball more solidly, so went into the afternoon round with a better level of confidence.
Played the Miller course not a patch on the Soffer.
Again I had an indifferent round,with plenty of good shots,but also too many poor ones. Admittedly it wasn’t helped by a sudden Florida thunderstorm which delayed things for a good 30 minutes. When it rains out here, it definitely rains…….
Flew back to Barbados on Monday evening feeling a bit bemused by my two rounds after such a good level of play the three weeks beforehand.
So it was back to the excellent practice ground at Royal Westmoreland on Tuesday morning spending a good 2 1/2 hours on my overall game, but again highlighting my short game.
Wednesday was the big competition here,an invitational 18-hole better-ball tournament, called the West Coast Classic. I was partnering Gunter, and as it was 3/4 allowance, I was only getting 10 shots.
We started ok and after the first nine holes we had 19pts and I was 6 over. Not bad, but if we were to have any chance, we had to raise our game on the back 9, as usually 43 or 44pts wins.
With shots on the first two holes, I went net birdie, net eagle giving us 7pts. We were starting to motor, and with Gunter coming in on the next hole where he was the only one to get a shot, our confidence was growing.
I then birdied the long par-5 13th for another net eagle….
When we came to the last we had 22pts on the back 8 holes giving us 41 so far.Neither of us got a shot on our last hole so we needed a par to get a 43 total. Gunter unfortunately drove out of bounds,but I hit a good long drive leaving 135 yards to the pin.
I’ve played the hole so many times and it’s not difficult, just an easy 8 iron and two putts. I kept thinking this on the drive up to the ball, and tried to focus over the shot… I pulled it horribly left of the green and ended up blobbing the hole, leaving us on 41.
Just to make matters worse, 43 did win it and a par on the last would have not only matched that but our back 9 of 24pts would have made us the winners.
What might have been…………..
The consolation was that I finished the back 9 on 4 over, leaving me 10 over for the round.
Back on track and confidence again rising!