36 holes. A long day and way to start the 2012 golf season. That’s what I did this past Tuesday, though. And I’m pleased with the results, too.

404-yard 11th at TCI. Very California.

Played at a decent and moderately overpriced resort course down in SoCal, Temecula Creek Inn. It’s home to 3 9-hole courses—Creek, Oaks and Stonebridge—all measuring between 33-3400 yards from the blues, and very much a typical California golf experience. The weather was perfect—mid 70s, light winds, blue skies, everything Seattle/NW golf is not this time of year.

In order, I shot 42 (Creek)-41 (Stonebridge)-40 (Oaks)-38 (Creek). Didn’t start out well with a double followed by a string of bogeys, then I righted the ship with a bird and didn’t look back. (I recorded the rounds on the Creek course as an 80. But I also look at the last 18 as shooting 78.)

443-yard 12th at TCI (Oaks). Gorgeous view of the snowy peaks above Palm Springs.

My grades:
Driving: A-. A snap hook on the day’s first hole, followed by 3 pulls to the left was slightly discouraging. In the end, though, I hit 19 of 28 fairways—and a couple of those I just barely missed. Can’t complain about hitting 67% of fairways.
Irons: B-. I had a number of really well-struck irons, 4-5 fatties, and one horrid 6-iron. Most curious iron of the day was on a sharply downhill 164-yard shot to a back pin—so closer to 175. Flushed a gorgeous 7-iron that went over the green by a 6-8 yards. I thought it was covering the flag, but no. Weird. 16 of 36 greens (44%) in regulation isn’t where I want to be, but it wasn’t horrible either.
Short game: B. That grade is filled with self-criticism as I felt very confident on my chips and pitches. Inside 75 yards, I was dialed. From 75-115 out I was tugging them left, so accuracy needs some work. On the first nine, I had 3 fabulous low punchouts from under trees, two of which I put on the green. Thrilled with those! Executing that needed shot is now in my arsenal.
Putting: A-. In order, 15-16-15-18. Drained a number of 4 and 5 footers for par, and, in some cases, bogey. Best of all, I missed zero putts inside 3 feet. Lag putting was very good. This is more like it!

All in all, a solid start to my season! Looking forward to a Wednesday evening lesson down at Riverbend GC, followed by the one-man scramble at WSGC on Saturday.

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