Patel wins 100th California State Amateur at Olympic Lake

Bhavik Patel rolled his way to become the 100th State Am champion. Let me tell you this past US Amateur semi Finalist can putt under pressure which I RARELY ever seen done. He not only made one putt over 20 feet, he made three against me, along with three other putts over 10 feet vs. my zero putts made over 4 feet. His ball striking was not perfect but It didn’t need to be, we all were fatigued from the long week, so the guy that made the crucial putts won the event and that was Bhavik.

Like me, I’m sure Kevin wished he had even his B game, it’s brutally tough to play so well to get to the finals of such a major event and play less than average. But that’s what happens when you combine FATIGUE with PRESSURE….Bhavik has been there before in the biggest amateur events you can play in, and has performed under immense pressure. His putter was by far his biggest weapon, as it bailed him out time and time again. Bhavik is not a big guy, probably 5’8″ or 5’9″ max and 165 pounds I’m guessing, he takes a very compact swing and absolutely rips it. Personally I think he has great professional potential, especially if he can learn to control his driver swing as he mentioned in his interview. My hats off to him, he is a great champion and yet another name on the trophy that I think you’ll see and hear from in the professional ranks.

So that’s the end of the 2011 State Am at Olympic, so how do I properly assess my performance? Well here we go, lets break it down in a brutally honest assessment and then I’ll tell you what I’m going to do about it before all the REALLY big events come at me fast including the British Senior Open in July which I’m exempt in.

Driving the ball- My R11 continues to be inconsistent with only 50% hit fairways -albeit these firm and tight fairways were difficult to keep a ball in (just wait for the open). I don’t have a lot of confidence with this driver and I need to either tweak it a bit or go to a different look. The driver sets up all my rounds, if I drive the ball well, I can go low, but sideways driver creates to much scrambling.

Iron play- for the most part my iron play was very solid, especially a number of very good 5 iron shots to the par three holes. One day I hit all 4 of the par three greens which is VERY hard to do at the OC Lake course, 3, 8 and 13 all play over 200 yards long to VERY narrow openings in the front of the greens.

My short game was a mixed bag, my chipping and slopping from grass was quite good, while my bunker play was horrendous, I got up and in once out of 8 tries, that is completely unacceptable and will not keep you in the hunt in any event.

My putting was awesome with the LONE exception of when I played Bhavik in the semi-final match. When I needed the putts most I couldn’t make them because I was feeling the effects of the fatigue which DOES affect your putting by not allowing you to stay stable and stroke through your putts with forward momentum. I was waiving at my putts and left all the important ones short.

So I’ve already discussed with my trainer Rebecca Robertson (who trains top flight althletes at the downtown Olympic Club) what we can do to get my legs in better shape and improve my cardio fitness so the back to back 36 hole days don’t do me in. When we get together next week after the US Senior Open Qualifier on Tuesday, she is going to get me going on some cross training, which I’m sure is going to kick my butt, but without it I don’t stand a chance in these marathon events. What are you all doing for your fitness? Are you stretching everyday, doing Pilates and cross training? If not, there is no better time than now to start…don’t wait or it will never happen.

When I get my new routine I will post it and see if anyone wants to suffer along with me….?

No practice round at Peach Tree Country Club tomorrow I just found out, so I’ll be going into Tuesday with a practice round. The last time I played the course was when I was 17 years old…a few years back.

Stay tuned and thanks for coming to the site!!


the 3rd hole a 229 yard par three may be the toughest hole in the US Open next year
The new 8th hole is now 200 yards from the back tee, which plays 7-10 yards uphill into the prevailing breeze. The narrow false front makes this a very tough green to hit

2 Comments on “Patel wins 100th California State Amateur at Olympic Lake

  1. Randy – you asked what we do for training. I’m 36 and last fall I started really working out for the first time. For cardio, I make sure I always walk when I play. My home course is quite hilly so it is a real workout. When I can’t walk on the golf course I try to walk 2-5 hours during the week. Twice a week I do bodyweight exercises – push ups, pull ups, squats, shoulder presses, and planks. You can see the progression of exercises I do at in the fitness guide/e-book. Once a week I sprint. The sprint session lasts four minutes. I sprint for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. So, I do 8 20-second sprints in a four minute period. Combine with better eating (fewer to no processed foods and reduced processed carbs) I have lost 40 pounds since last summer, my stamina has improved greatly, and I am much stronger. The body weight exercises have resulted in a much stronger core and better balance. I can swing harder at the ball when I really need/want to without getting off balance. I’ve even noticed on those harder swings how much better my rotational speed is without sliding through the shot. What I do is probably similar to Cross Fit training just not quite as intense.

  2. Randy,

    The State Am was my first time playing O Club…….what a treat!!! A great course on a great proeprty.

    As for fitness, when I graduated college in 2005 i was about 225 lbs and not giving a hoot about fitness for ym golf game. That soon changed and 6 years later I am about 175 lbs. Although much of the weight loss was nutrition related, I am a firm beleiver in gym time to improve the golf game.

    I like to do a version of circuit training – 10 minutes of cardio (eliptical, usually) followed by 10 minutes of weights, followed by 10 minutes of cardio, followed by 10 minutes of core, followed by 10 minutes of cardio, followed by 10 minutes of weights, followed by 10 minutes of stretching.

    Lots of kettleball work, and light weights with a lot of reps. I hgave noticed a huge improvement in my endurance on teh course while walking.

    Good luck at Peach Tree…..not too much you need to know. Short, tree lined with small greens. Keep the ball in play and you will be fine.

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