Monday, June 14, 2010

Golf - Stableford scoring to win at last

Play Your Best Golf - Break 90 Vol 1
14th June 2010 It is a bonus in winter to turn up on competition day and be in the midst of fine weather, a slight breeze, patchy cloud and a warming sun in between the cloud cover. This was the pleasant conditions for the field on Sunday and all that was required was to play some good golf. I had expected the round to be the Monthly Medal and had read the syllabus wrong, our June Monthly Medal is being played in July. The Pennant competition, Club Handicap Championships plus several Club Trophy competitions made it impossible to fit a stroke round for the Monthly Medal into June.

This day was the first round of the John Leake Trophy a club stableford competition. Was grouped with one of the big hitters from Fridays 9 hole Chicken run his brother-in-law a 10 and 7 handicap respectively and another “C” grader albeit one on a few more strokes than me. A bit of good natured stirring before the round was dealt out, the chicken I won on Friday went to the big hitter after it was found that I had played off the wrong hcp that afternoon.

The “Chicken Run” Stableford comp is more than just fun. It is not an official comp. and there is a specific club adjustment for handicapping purposes that prevents it being dominated by high handicappers who can play a blistering 9 holes. If you score over 18 points a stroke is taken from you handicap, over 20 another stroke and over 25 another stroke is deducted. So it is possible to lose 3 handicap strokes in a round. This is a benefit for people like me who are trying to get down to lower handicaps as I have to play to a lower handicap than I would usually to score points on holes. Unfortunately I missed the last deduction of a stroke off my hcp for this comp and played off 21 instead of 20, no great worry but it had been a while since winning a chicken and having a bit of an ego boost.

The end result though was I received some ribbing at losing out in the chicken stakes and some additional motivation. It definitely worked in my favour together with the past weeks practise and focus on certain areas of my game. Had a Front Nine 44 gross for 21 points and Back Nine 47 and 17 points, total of 38 points, not to pass by that I had a gross 91 for a nett 70 on the day. Won on a countback and to top it off made a clean sweep of all the days prizes, the longest drive and nearest the pin. First time I have ever won these two daily prizes and that was very satisfying for the efforts I have made to improve my accuracy with all my clubs. The Longest Drive was won by hitting the fairway. I was out driven by 10 metres on the hole by the 7 handicapper except his shot went into the rough. The nearest the pin was extremely satisfying, hitting a 120 m par 3 green from a hill, down to the green and on a hole I struggle to get the right distance and club on. The near perfect weather and no wind to affect the ball was what got me on the green.

Now it is possible for me to look seriously at my progress after the past week of committed effort to improve my hitting, from the driver off the tee to the putter on the green. I had four double bogeys and one triple bogey in the round of 91 gross. Balanced out with a birdie and several pars I am happy with my performance. It is possible to continue improving and it is all a matter of hitting more balls and getting the consistent swing and minimise the errors a little more to take off another 4-5 strokes per round. Does not look like a lot of strokes but it is easier said than done and I have no delusions of this being as easy as boiling water. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all”  Geoff