Solving the Poolesville Puzzle

Ever run up against a course that has your number?  What are your strategies for conquering?  I am playing mine tomorrow.  Poolesville  is a local muni in the western reaches of Montgomery County, and has my number for the last six years.  At par-71 and at a nondescript 6,405 yards, in my last 15 rounds I have never played well, with 76 being my best score (achieved twice) and I’m struggling to a stroke average of 80.31.  Ball striking always seems to be an issue as are slow starts.  It has been impossible to get on a roll, much less threaten to go low.  I did notice that on one of those rounds of 76, I was very comfortable mentally because I had finished reading Putting Out of Your Mind by Bob Rotella the day before and was implementing his techniques.  My ball striking wasn’t great, but I was a peace with myself and not worried about my score or missing any putts.  This leads me to think this is purely psychological.  How do I get past this mental blocker?

I wrote earlier on how I got past a mental blocker hole at Rattlewood by totally changing the way I played it and I’m thinking of taking a similar approach. Normally, at Poolesville, I’m always playing defensive and trying to keep the ball in play with a 3WD off the tee, but that has left me with longer approaches into the smallish crowned greens.  GIR stats plummet and I inevitably leave myself short-sided too often and can’t score well.  Perhaps a total reversal is required, with an attempt to bring the course to its knees by busting driver on every hole,  which should leave shorter irons into the par-4s.  I’m getting inspiration watching Rory McIlroy destroy the field at The Open Championship with the same strategy.

It’s often that when NFL teams go into the prevent defense in an attempt to protect a lead, the lead inevitably vanishes.  Perhaps this is my prevent and I need to get aggressive.  Anyone have some experience handling problem courses?  I’d like to be a horse for this course and I’m all ears.  Thanks!

 

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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7 Responses to Solving the Poolesville Puzzle

  1. svgolfer says:

    Reblogged this on Silicon Valley Golfer and commented:
    Keep at it. It is mental often and your football analog is very apt

  2. No real advise Brian, apart from let the driver flow. Rory is doing great !

  3. Wayne Halm says:

    Aloha Brian — Fairways are larger than greens – let your driver work for you — A Hui Hou, Wayne

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