Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shaky Practice Rounds but Feeling Good

The weather and the golf courses are both perfect for this week's Egolf Tour event at Palmetto Hall Plantation on Hilton Head Island. My game has not matched the conditions the last couple days, but when I tee it up tomorrow in my first competitive round of the year, I have a feeling that I'll be just fine! For this week's event, we will play both the Cupp Course and the Hills Course at Palmetto Hall for the first 36 holes before playing the final two rounds on the Cupp Course. Both courses are very well designed and in fantastic shape, so it should be a great week.

I played the Cupp Course in a practice round on Monday. The Cupp course is very demanding both off the tee and into the greens. There are a number of hazard-lined and tree-lined fairways, and the greens are well-protected by hazards and difficult run-off areas. In addition to requiring precision, the course also has some long holes that require power in order to attack. To top off the difficult layout, the greens are quite fast and very undulating. The Cupp Course is an excellent track that really makes you think and execute well from start to finish in order to be successful. With that said, it is score-able. I know that if I make committed, confident, intelligent decisions and execute well, the course sets up beautifully for me. I'm very excited to get my tournament year started on such a great course.

I played the Hills Course in a practice round today. While it has a different feel to it than the Cupp Course, the same characteristics seem to hold true. Driving accuracy will be an important key to success as will the ability to hit iron shots onto the proper section of greens which are again very undulating. The Hills course is a great test of golf, but like the Cupp course, good planning and decent execution should give me a lot of birdie opportunities.

I start the event in Wednesday's first round on the number 1 tee of the Cupp Course at 12:10. My second round will begin Thursday morning at 8:00 on the 10th tee of the Hills course.

My practice the last two days has been a little erratic, but I have never really felt that I was losing control of my game or my emotions. I'm still feeling confident, and I believe that I am ready to play well! I will have a good morning of relaxed preparation tomorrow before my lunch-time tee time, and I plan to have a smile on my face all day. I'm sure that I will face a few first-tournament jitters, but I know that I have prepared well and am ready to be successful. It's going to be a fun year, and it all starts tomorrow! Check back here for a round 1 update in the evening. Also, follow the results here.

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