Its been quite a year already

February 20, 2009

I can’t believe it’s the third week in February and this is the first post of the year. I’ve neglected this blog so far as I’ve been thinking about doing something different and I’ve also been spending time on Twitter (if you don’t know what Twitter is then you’ve not read a paper or watched TV this year).

In terms of things I’d normally blog about a lot has happened; we’ve got rid of almost all the staff at work, there are now only two of us fulltime; the boys are growing up quickly and this is both exciting and challenging; I need an operation on my knee to trim a torn cartilage; we’re trying to get a weekend away to just be a couple rather than a pair of nervous wrecks and on top of all that my girlfriend has started a new job. Phew! Quite a year already, and it’s still only February.

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24 Hours Later…

September 3, 2008

A 9 on the last at Sand Martins results in a round of 99. That’s the 2nd time I’ve broken 100 in a week. This is a great result for me and I am really pleased. The 9 on the last could have been so much better, 122 yards to go after 2 shots but then a fat shot into a bunker, 2 to get out of the bunker, chipped out the back, duffed chip back…it felt like the wheels were well and truly coming off, but a 9 was good enough. Looking back on the round there were some great moments…a birdie on the 2nd, a big fading drive on the long par 5 resulting in a par, the chip out of long rough over a pond on 17 to set up a 4.

Sand Martins is a fabulous course. It’s like playing 2 different courses as the front and back nines are so different. The front 9 is like a parkland course. Smooth, wide fairways and you need to go a long way offline to find deep rough. The back 9 is like a links. Big mounds, deep bunkers, narrow fairways and rough that seems to swallow balls (my playing partner lost 2 ball that seemed to be no more than 2 yards into the rough). 2 par 5s separated by a par 3 over water make a tough closing set of holes as well especially when the wind is blowing.

Duffing the last

September 2, 2008

After playing the magnificent course at Pitlochry with it’s stunning views, blind tees and greens and steep uphill climb for the first 3 holes I then played my best ever round at the local 18 hole course, finally breaking 100. Delighted is an understatement. Last night we played the local 9 hole course and despite not hitting the ball very well got round in a respectable score. Tonight was a different matter; still not striking the ball fantastically well but the 8s were staying off the card. Until the 9th. A 10. A bloody 10. A disastrous 10. A "why do I bother with this stupid bloody game" 10. It was still a reasonable score but a 10 really hurts and a 10 on the last hurts more than any other; there’s no next hole to try to make amends on, no next shot to put it behind you on. You just have to finish the round and write the 10 on the card…and go home.

New Golf Clubs

August 18, 2008

I’ve been "playing" for a couple of years now but don’t have a handicap. My beginners set had served me pretty well but I was in a bit of a rut. The more-than-occasional 9 on the score card was getting to me and I wasn’t enjoying playing as much as I had been. Then American Golf had an offer on a set of Mizuno MX-17 clubs. I tried them in the shop and they felt great. My girlfriend offered to pay some of the cost as a birthday present and I couldn’t wait to get them. As a final hurrah I played the local 9 hole course using just my old irons and did ok. Urged on by the new clubs I set myself a couple of goals for the rest of the summer. First to break 50 at least twice for 9 holes and to get a proper handicap. The first goal was achieved in under a week of having the Mizunos. I went from mid 50s to high 40s after 2 rounds.

I also bought a TaylorMade R7 Draw driver and a Wilson Deep Red rescue club. As of now I’m not hitting either particularly well and think this is mainly down to thinking about it too much. My old driver and rescue were never favourite clubs and I need to get my head game sorted as much as my hand position through contact.

Yesterday I played 18 holes with the new set for the first time and it was a disaster. My swing deserted me, I didn’t hit a single fairway for the first 9 holes and it was only my putting that saved me from complete embarrassment. Tonight I need to head to the range and see what I was doing so wrong. Instead of being downbeat I’m pretty optimistic that I can work it out and start swinging well again. I want to get out and play again and prove it.

Sublime Golf

May 24, 2007

So it took 6 pretty horrible holes in which the highlights were my playing partner getting par on the 4th and me parring the 5th and hitting 7s and 8s for the others when a moment that will probably live with both of us for a long time arrived. No practice shot, just ball down, driver out and straight and long followed by my slightly more prepared but equally straight and long drive. Now us both hitting the fairway is rare, for us to both hit the fairway and be a long way from the tee is unheard of. We set off down the 354 yard walk to the hole, got to the 150 yard marker and the balls were still some way in front of us. The look that passed between us said it all “how far!?” “You’d think we were tour pros” might have been pushing it but we waved to the imaginary crowd anyway. We’d hit to within 3 feet of each other and about 270-280 yards. It had to be a fluke, it had to go wrong. We both take a pitching wedge to the middle of the green and 2 putts for par. OK, so the next wasn’t so good and the 7 and 8 on the 9th was more of a reflection of the round as a whole….but guess which hole we discussed most over the post game beer!

Golf handicap

April 30, 2007

I have now played 3 rounds and am eligible for a handicap. Looking at my scores all this does is confirm how rubbish I am! I can look back on 3 rounds and the missed putts, sliced drives and underhit pitches and think “if only…” So, although my official handicap might be 28 my real handicap is being inconsistent.

What I really need to do is play more and get more course experience. It is very different from the driving range. Looking down an 18th fairway at a flag 535 yards away is much more daunting. Trying to play a ball out of the rough, on a slope, into a head wind is much more challenging. The summer is approaching, the nights are getting lighter, this year is shaping up to be a golfing year. It could be a whole lot worse.

Golf

April 22, 2007

Golf must be the most frustrating game on the planet.

I think the frustration comes about as it is you, a stick and a ball. No-one else to blame, no-one else to put the effort in if you’re not quite on form, basically nowhere to hide. This also makes it one of the greatest games as well. You get to compete on multiple levels; it’s you against the other player but also you against yourself.

Yesterday I played my best ever round hitting 100 shots, my previous best being 110. My drive is wildy erratic but all of a sudden the mid-iron game came together. As for my putting…less said the better….4 putted….twice!

Can’t wait for the next round now.