Play Your Best Golf - Break 90 Vol 1
26th April 2010. Anzac Day was a surprise with a soaking of rain in the early hours of the morning to end up with a day of sunshine and a slight breeze for the Monthly Medal and second round of qualifying for the handicap Championships. Went out for a warmup hit with the Driver and hybrids a couple of hours before play. Used the shorter range area and managed to get the hybrids into a reasonable spread. The Driver was something different on this short range (220 m) for the first time. Reigned in the stroke power and put in a definite effort and received a satisfying draw and accuracy that has not been a consistent part of my game off the tee. Will be definitely taking the driver out on the short range regularly in the future, the range results were not in my game on the course that afternoon. Mostly because I tend to hit a bit harder in competition and took the strategy choice of not changing my game after one experience a couple of hours before hit off.
Had an acceptable preparation for Sunday starting to get improvement with the putter and pitching around the green since adding the Sand Wedge from my first set as a lob wedge has been returning great results. Played in the Club Chicken run 9 hole Friday comp and came second with 18 stableford points, 46 gross/14 putts in the rain. Had 4 bad drives that made it impossible to hit those greens in regulation and 2 bad seconds in the 9 holes. Broke a stick for the first time on the course, one of the bad drives had me off the fairway amongst some native currant bushes. Could have played out side ways 20 metres to the fairway, yet knew I was close to squaring up with the guy in our group who was leading, he won Friday beating me by 1 stableford point. Had a few practise swings and was confident I could go forward and over the trees in front and if I hit it sharp enough carry to the green with an 8 iron. Gave the shot my best effort and pulled the follow through after striking it and the ball flew straight and true but short, and the club felt out of balance in my hands. Looked down to see the shaft bent and creased in the middle about 75 degrees. managed to finish the hole with a bogey and even now three days later say I would still play the same shot that broke the shaft. Fortunately I had my old 8 iron to fill in the gap in the bag for Sunday. It was okay to use on the day, it is 4-5 cm shorter than my broken 8 iron and 20 years older so I struggled for some distance and pulled a couple of approach shots that should have hit the green from 120 m.
Was partnered with the guy who won on Friday and for the first time I can recall was the lowest handicapper in the group, by 4 strokes. Have come to the realisation that I am getting antsy on competition days. Was irritated with the crowd of social golfers playing in between the competition groups and the racket coming from the area alongside the first tee from players talking. One of my pet hates is pedantic people, those that demand everything to be perfect and expect it to be some one else who makes things perfect. I can wear the etiquette breaches and generally they do not bother me, having played with pedantic golfers who seem to have a new complaint every hole, becoming a hypocrite and joining their ranks would be the last straw and I would quit playing before that. Makes a lot more sense to look at my composure and attitude on the tee that needs adjustment instead of passing the responsibility off to others. Had a bit of misfortune on the first and my drive clipped a tree branch as it came down and went 10 m to the right to be out by 30 cm, bugger. hit my second with the provisional fat and 20 m forward, then started to get my game in order after that, two putting the green hurt though and ended up with a 9 on the par 5 first hole.
Just could not get the putter working for the first 5 holes 2 putts on all of them from one putt range in my opinion. The whole 18 holes I did not hit one green in regulation yet after 13 holes was back to square on the card with my handicap. The old Sand Wedge was lobbing the ball inside a metre from the hole, the one putts were coming and par scores help every time on a 21 handicap in competition. Five holes to go and I was ready to make a charge and break my handicap. The 9 on the par three 14th sunk my charge. It is not an easy hole 151 m from a tee 20-30 m above the green, native bush to the right and a water hazard to the left. Hitting into the wind down to totally still green in a gully, set myself up wrong on the tee and did not take the practise swing, overconfidence and aggression had me pay the price of two lost balls.
Finished the round with a gross 97, for nett 76(21hcp) and 28 putts. Same nett score as the previous qualifying round in much worse windy conditions and a 22 hcp. In the previous round I made my a similar error on the 15th that stopped my charge for a good score. Time to put some thought into my demeanour during rounds, I am still going to play aggressive golf it is enjoyable. My error is in my sticking to the set up routine that gets me into position instead of letting the attitude of attack replace tried and proven technique. The real pain is that I have dropped from 7th qualifier to 8th or 9th instead of getting up the rankings. Not concerned about who I am going to play in the first elimination, match play is a forte of mine and it will be close and tight. Taking into account my last few rounds I am blowing two holes a round and that is nothing in matchplay where it is the hole score that wins not the final round total. Back to the driving range this week and doing strength/stamina gym excercise, have stopped this the past few weeks and made some errors that were related to fitness over the last few holes. Hit ‘em straight all.
Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff