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Goals for the 2013 Golf Season

Posted by cjsharp1 on April 27, 2013 in News 0 Comments

Golf season is upon us, so it’s time to set the goals for 2013. Here they are:

  • Break 90 – Once again I’m starting with this. I got really close to meeting this last season, so I think it’s time to knock this off the list this season.
  • Score an average of 100 – I’m rolling this goal over from last season to this season. This number was going down over the years (115 in 2009110 in 2010105 in 2011, and 100 in 2012), but at some time it’s bound to level off. Maybe this is when it begins? I hope not.
  • Play 20 rounds of golf on 15 new courses – Once again, I’m carrying over this goal from last year. If things go like they have the last two years, I should be able to meet this goal fairly easily.
  • Birdie a par 5 – While I did get an eagle in 2012, I’m carrying this goal over from 2012.
  • Two birdies in one round – Also carrying this goal over from 2012.
  • Eagle – Let’s do this again! Par 4… par 5… doesn’t matter. Just make an eagle.
  • Five pars in one round – I’m also keeping this goal from last year. I did meet this goal last year, but it was on a pretty short course. I want to do this on a par 69+ course.

For technical goals:

  • Lower handicap to 20 or less – In 2009 my handicap was 36.4, in 2010 it was 33.4, in 2011 it was 27.7, and in 2012 it was 24.8. I’m trying to follow somewhat of a pattern.
  • Raise fairway hit percentage to 42% – This needs to get better. Right now it’s at 35%
  • Raise green-in-regulation percentage to 12% – Right now, it’s at 10.5%.
  • Lower average putts to 1.9 – Right now, it’s at 2.07. I’m going to focus more on my short game this season.

Let the season begin!

Year in Review: 2012

Posted by cjsharp1 on April 26, 2013 in News 0 Comments

Let’s get right to it… On to my year in review for the 2012 golf season.

Statistics

According to my statistics on oobgolf.com (based on the last 20 scores):

  • My handicap is 24.8
  • I’ve had a 103.6 scoring average
  • 35% of fairways hit
  • Average 2.07 putts per hole
  • 10.2% GIR (green in regulation)

These statistics, with the exception of the fairways hit and average putts per hole, are an improvement over the 2011 golf season.

2012 Goals

  • Break 90 – I didn’t meet this goal this season. The closest I got was 92.
  • Score an average of 100 – While I did lower my scoring average compared to the previous season, I didn’t hit this goal. It did seem like I was in the 90’s more often this season though.
  • Play 20 rounds of golf on 15 new courses –  As you can see above, I played 30 rounds of golf, including 23 rounds at new courses.
  • Birdie a par 5 – Let’s just skip this one and focus on the eagle below…
  • Two birdies in one round – I didn’t meet this goal, though I know I was close many times. Does an eagle count as two birdies?
  • Eagle – I knocked this one off the list really early in the season when I luckily made an eagle on the par-5 6th at Fresh Meadow Golf Club.
  • Five pars in one round – It’s a little hard to consider this completed, because I did make seven pars at Edgebrook Golf Course, but it was a pretty short course. Let’s just say I met this goal…

For the more technical goals (based on the last 20 scores):

  • Lower handicap to 23 or less – I got somewhat close with a 24.8.
  • Raise fairway hit percentage to 42% – Nope. Fairways hit actually went down.
  • Raise green-in-regulation percentage to 11% – This did go up a little to 10.2%, but I didn’t meet the goal.
  • Lower average putts to 1.9 – This actually got worse with a 2.07. I need to eliminate 3-putts.

Final Thoughts

The 2012 golf season was equally as productive as the 2011 golf season. 30 rounds played, with 23 new courses completed… I’m pretty happy with that. Much like 2011, I didn’t think I would get to play that often in 2012. A couple open weekends gave me the opportunity to play more rounds than normal. As of right now, I’m a little under halfway done with the project. If I keep this pace, I should be able to complete the project in 4-5 years.

As far as my game, I still think my drives are getting better and straighter, but I still want to get a bit more distance out of them. At least I’m starting to see more distance out of my irons. Maybe this year I’ll focus a little more on my short game and try to eliminate those 3-putts.

And just how I ended the last two years in review, I really want to say ‘Thank You!’ to all who are following my progress, and joining me along the way.

As a special offer to ChicagoGolfNoob.com readers, you can join the 2012 Spring season of the Windy City Golf League with a $10 discount on player registration fees!

  • For the individual league, use the coupon code Noob2012. With this coupon, registration will be $50 (normally $60).
  • For the 2-person team league, use the coupon code Noob2012Team. With this coupon, registration will be $100 per team (normally $120).

Hope to see you on the course!

Windy City Golf League: Year 2 (Team Edition)

Posted by cjsharp1 on March 14, 2012 in News 3 Comments

Update: Due to a low amount of sign-ups in the team league, I’m now playing in the individual league instead.

Last year was my first experience playing in the Windy City Golf League. I generally enjoyed playing in the league, though, like most other leagues and league formats, there were some pros and cons (which you can read about in my 2011 Spring season wrap-up post), which I’ll touch on later. This year, while browsing around the Chicago Golf Show with Markus, we stopped by the booth for the Windy City Golf League, and I got to have a nice conversation with the founder, Jason Rotter, about my previous season and the outlook on this year’s league.

If you haven’t read my original post about the Windy City Golf League, let me give you a quick summary about the format (most of this is pulled from the post, and updated accordingly). The Windy City Golf League format revolves around the flexibility of league matches. Instead of playing all of your matches at one course on one day during the week, the league allows you to choose to play your matches at any course, on any day, and any time. You can play anyone in your league flight, as many times as you want, and you can play as many matches throughout the season as you want.

There are two types of formats for the league: the individual head-to-head league and the 2-person team scramble. For the individual league, you are grouped into flights based on your handicap and availability, so you will most likely play people who are around your skill level. Your matches are standard 9- or 18-hole stroke play matches, and you receive points based on how many strokes you win or lose by. For the team league, since the league is relatively new, it is assumed that everyone is scratch golfers, and all teams are placed in the same flight (this will change once the league gets enough teams to create multiple flights). Matches are played in scramble format, and recorded in stroke-play format.

The 12-week league concludes with one final tournament where points can be earned: the Arghe Isle Cup Tournament. To qualify for the tournament, you need to be the points leader in your group, have the highest player rating, or have the lowest adjusted scoring average, though last year, all league members (and even some outside players) were invited to play in the tournament. The overall winner of each flight wins the tournament trophy.

The cost for the league is $60 per person ($120 per team) per season. There are two seasons: the Spring season, which runs from April to July, and the Summer season, which runs from July to October. During the past year, Jason has been working on creating more partnerships and deals with golf courses in the areas. League members get special offers and discounts at some of the popular courses in the area.

I personally love this format, because it allows me to play in a golf league without needing to travel to some course in the suburbs after work on a Wednesday evening to play 9 holes (which, as far as I can tell, seems to be common scenario for standard golf leagues). Though as I mentioned before, much like other golf league formats, there are pros and cons. First, your matches are controlled by other people’s schedules. If your schedule doesn’t match up with someone else’s schedule, you won’t be able to play matches. It’s as simple as that. While you can usually count on somebody being at the course on a preselected day in a standard golf league, that’s just not the case with this league format. Last year, the majority of matches in my flight were played during the weekdays, and that’s just something I couldn’t do. Second, a lot of people who signed up for the league didn’t play a single round throughout the season, which limited the number of people who would actually play rounds. This, of course, is something that you can’t really control or prevent, and it still happens in standard golf leagues. It’s just the nature of a league; people will sign up, but never participate. Lastly, sometimes people just don’t communicate, or people are not available. There were a couple times last year where people were playing matches without asking if anyone else wanted to join, while other weekends, I was free to play matches, but no one else way. Once again, this is not something you can control, and you just have to deal with it.

I wanted to trying something a bit different this season. Markus and I have been playing a lot of rounds together recently (I’m his ride out the golf course), and we also know some people who might be interested in playing in a team golf league. So we decided to join forces (his overall golfing skill level and my good looks) and join the Spring 2-person team league. Our hope is that we can get a good number of matches in on the weekends, which, for scheduling 2-person teams, might either prove easier or more difficult then the individual league.

During my conversations with Jason, he did mention that the Windy City Golf League is gaining more exposure and more partnerships, so the number of players and teams should be rising. Since we still don’t know the total amount of players and teams that have signed up, the idea will still remain that all 2-person teams will be placed in the same flight and everyone is considered a scratch golfer. This might prove difficult to a team like Markus and I, where Markus carries a single digit handicap, and I carry over a dozen golf balls in my bag, so I have enough to last me throughout the round. Maybe Markus and I will be able to keep up with the rest of the teams. He has a long drive and accurate iron shots, and I feel I’m decent at putting.

Since the team league is in scramble format, I’m not going to be able to accurately track my game as I normally do. I’m not a huge fan of this, but at least I can reflect a bit on how I generally played during the match. Playing in this league might also give me a chance to play a couple courses again, which is something I try not to do, but I’m not 100% against it. Sometimes it’s fun to revisit courses, either to see if/how they have changed, or if my game has changed in ways where I take different shots in different situations.

Goals for the 2012 Golf Season

Posted by cjsharp1 on March 12, 2012 in News 0 Comments

Since the weather is starting to warm up, it’s time to set the goals for 2012. So… here they are:

  • Break 90 – I might as well start with this, since getting the lowest score is the general goal of golf. Who knows if I’ll complete this goal in 2012… maybe I’ll get lucky and play a really good round.
  • Score an average of 100 – Like clockwork, this number has been going down over the years (115 in 2009, 110 in 2010, and 105 in 2011). I met the goal last season, so let’s see if I can get it down to 100.
  • Play 20 rounds of golf on 15 new courses – Once again, I’m carrying over this goal from last year. If things go like they have the last two years, I should be able to meet this goal fairly easily.
  • Birdie a par 5 – Carrying this goal over from 2011. It’s going to happen soon.
  • Two birdies in one round – Also carrying this goal over from 2011.
  • Eagle – Par 4… par 5… doesn’t matter. Just make an eagle.
  • Five pars in one round – I’m upping this goal from last year… just to see if it happens.

For technical goals:

  • Lower handicap to 23 or less – In 2009 my handicap was 36.4, in 2010 it was 33.4, and in 2011 it was 27.7. I’m trying to follow a pattern. Let’s see if it happens.
  • Raise fairway hit percentage to 42% – Right now, it’s at 38.8%.
  • Raise green-in-regulation percentage to 11% – Right now, it’s at 9.4%.
  • Lower average putts to 1.9 – Right now, it’s at 2.05.

Let the season begin!

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