8th September 2010 It is a very fine line between an enjoyable game of golf in winter weather and an experience in discomfort and misery. The round on Sunday 5th of September at Bordertown was in the former category, a few passing showers, a little bit of trudging through mud and the wind was for the most part enough to be a challenge and not a battle in setting up and playing shots. It is days like that on the course when the conditions add to the experience of playing, making you dig into the lessons and experiences stored away to play the best round possible.
Having now seen the Golf Link rankings after a quick glance through on Sunday of the finished table of results I came in 10th place not 6th as I first thought. Even so, not a disgraceful effort with a front 9 -45 and a back 9 -49 to get a 94/nett 74 playing on a course for the first time. I swear that no performance enhancing substances were taken in the amazing putting performance on the front 9 dear readers, a total of 10! For those who have been regular readers of my writings you will be aware that putting is not a strong part of my game. Yes the practise of late has been increased on the green and the change of putter has also been a gradual process to improve this part of my game and it delivered on Sunday. It was the one putts from 5 metres and in, that dropped into the hole. A definite improvement in setting up for putts and developing the reading of greens skill that made this happen. Not to forget the pitching which was getting the ball in close enough to the hole. All of these were practised with diligence over the past two weeks and it was good to have a glimpse of what is possible in my game.
Once again there was a particular error that cost me on the putting green, playing a putt which is hit too hard and leaves a long putt back to the hole, twice this resulted in three putts. Also one green I read a break and then refused to accept that I was correct and played for the opposite break and was way off target! Good grief is there a suicide bomber attitude in parts of my game which just self destructs for the sake of it. I watched the putt go all the way down the wrong line and knew that was because of my refusal to play the right line the read showed. All I can say is that it was because being able to read a green is still a new facet of my game and in the pressure of a game my composure collapsed. No major problem it was a delight to have putted as well as I did and now be able to build upon the improvement.
I also note that hitting the greens in regulation did not happen but enough shots were close enough that with the pitching made up and downs easy. Unfortunately my driving was off target enough to be into the bushes often and too many second shots were played to get back onto the fairway and not at the green. It became a round of bogey golf and that is representative of my ability with glimpses of what can be possible in a bit more time. Never stopped trying to lift my game and get a run of pars but could not get that to happen. Played many provisional balls off the tee just in case I could not find the first ball and seeing those shots fly straight down the fairway was irritating. Even though I was finding the first ball played, the problem persisted and it is obviously a problem in set up on the tee, with most first drives a slice, fading to the right from an outside - in swing plane. Together with 2-3 Hybrid shots that were pulled to the left and off the fairway, my round had a selection of errors that were not catastrophic but all made it harder playing to handicap.
For the past couple of days my thoughts were considering that perhaps my ability has peaked and this is as good as I can get. If so that is reality and can be lived with. On the other hand in reflecting upon the results of past weeks with scores from 87 to 94 off the stick there is still a little more room to improve consistency at least. Golf is never a stagnant, in my own experience just when it begins to level out and appear to have gone as far in any direction of performance there is another peak or trough in a round. That is one of the factors which make golf such an addictive activity. At the minute I have to consider the most prudent course in developing my game, working on the driver inconsistency and maintaining the current pitching and putting development is the first choice. Also the time is drawing near to make a specific effort to correct this pulling of shots with the hybrid and long irons. As much as this is affecting my game it is not worthwhile risking establishing the consistency and ability of the first choices in favour of correcting this.
The coming weekend is the 2nd round of qualifying for Club Championships and the soaking the course has received in the past week will need to keep draining away and not be repeated for the whole course to be playable. Had a hit on 5 of the more water soaked holes Tuesday afternoon and they were all coming along well after a couple of days drying out. Rain is forecast in the next two days and it will depend upon the level of this how the weekend round will pan out. I have already got a score in and should qualify anyway but would like to have a crack at a better round to improve my standing. Thankyou for your time and attention. “Hit ‘em straight all”Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff