So, to recap: Basically laid off the game for the last 5 years. Took it back up with a vengeance this year. Have basically replaced almost my entire bag (including the bag itself), except the putter and the 3-wood. I've now played 30+ rounds since mid-May. It really has been like piecing things back together bit by bit. At the beginning, everything sucked. Lately I'd seemed stuck in a rut, shooting in the 88-92 range nearly every round. Best round of the year was an 86. Stuff has been coming back bit by bit. Driving came back first. I worked really hard on my chipping and pitching, so that has started coming around next. The last few rounds I felt like I was finally beginning to hit some solid iron shots. Putting continues to suck, but I'm making some progress with my technique. Just need lots more work.
Went out today and felt the first bit of payoff of the year. I won't bore everyone with a shot by shot recap, but wound up shooting a 78 (par 71). Front nine was a 37 (par 35) where I had two chip-in birdies and 3 putted both par-5's for bogey. Had a couple of other up-and-down pars. Started the back by blasting my best drive of the day down the middle on a short par 5 and then coming over the top of a 4 iron I was trying to smooth to the middle of the green and hooking it into a creek...double. Managed to keep my wits and shoot a very respectable 41 (par 36) on the back despite 3 putting another par 5 (that's 3 3-putt bogies on par 5's for the day).
Interesting round. Obviously I'm thrilled with the score, but still have lots to work on, mainly on the greens. My chipping and pitching around the greens was killer today though. I'm in a position right now where if I'm not close to the hole I'd much rather be off the green chipping than just on the green with a long putt.