Saturday, June 19, 2010

Golf - Winter and playing in the wind and rain

Play Your Best Golf - Break 90 Vol 1

18th June 2010 Travelled away for the first three days of the week and chose to not take the clubs with me in favour of having a few days break after the concentrated practise of past weeks. On arriving home Wednesday afternoon, considered going for a few swings and decided to withhold that pleasure until Thursday. The few days away from the course gave some soft tissue twinges a chance to recover and also was a little release from practising seriously and returned some fun and pleasure to going out for a hit again. Golfing never becomes a chore or task in my weekly routine and being able to realise that it is just a fun sporting game that I love playing is important to that view.

The first round of the US Open at Pebble Beach has begun with many still to finish the first 18 holes and the leaders in the clubhouse on even par. The course is playing tough it seems, Rory McIllroy on 2 over, Ernie Ells even, Tiger Woods even after 6 holes Sergio Garcia 2 over on the 8th hole, Tom Watson 1 over after 6 holes, Casey 2 under after the same so the Open has a ways to go yet and some good golfing action to be seen.

For those readers who may think it would be great to be able to go and have a hit at any time, it is. Golf is not my employment and is very important as relaxation and excercise that is the crux to why I make time available to play the game often. No more time consuming than going to the gym, playing football, cricket or bowls, golf gives sporting competitiveness as well as the former benefits for my well being. The sense of satisfaction from the clean sweep of winning the first round of the John Leake Trophy plus the nearest the pin and longest drive is very enjoyable. The two minor trophies are something that have not been in my ability to do, until recently. They are the first times since beginning to play again last year I have won them in fact, nearest the pin on a par three that is. NTP in two shots I have won before.

That I deliberately wound up for a crack at the long drive is true, it was on one of the holes that I do try and hit long on occasion as opposed to other holes on the course. There is an Out of Bounds on the hole but it is the 2nd hole and not the combined ninth and 18th the long drive usually is on. My tactic is not to take unescessary risks on the 9th and 18th holes. “I do have a particular game strategy, that has no bearing on what course I am playing on. Breaking 18 holes into loosely four sections being, the first 4 holes and having a gross score of 21-22, with this I know that I am playing close to bogey golf which is appropriate for my present handicap. After 9 holes a score of 44-48 is what I look for on my card. This gives me a definite focus on what I can shoot for at the end of 18. The next three holes I play with a touch more aggression, with a target of 60-65 gross wanted after this attacking charge. If I blow out during this stanza there is still 5 holes left to recover a close to nett handicap score, if not then my target is to play the final six holes in 25-30 strokes. My current handicap is 21 and I have played with this round strategy for the past 6 months and dropped 4 strokes. Soon it will be due for a recalculation to suit my next handicap goal.” Sticking to my round plan with the goal to win or have a good round rather than win a LD, on the 2nd hole though there is plenty of holes left to make up for any errors.

Went out for a hit on Thursday with an added incentive, the weather had taken a turn for the worse at last. Gale strength gusts blowing across the course and a few showers with the rain coming in sideways with a taste of salt from the waves breaking on the cliffs a couple of kilometres away, put the onus on concentration and technique to play well. Had an enjoyable 9 holes for a 45 with 14 putts, not to bad considering the wind was blowing the ball 6 inches from its resting place on some greens let alone the effect it had on some putts rolling towards the hole. It was real game time practise, slowing down and taking my time in the set up of shots and I performed better than expected. In fact the accuracy was beyond expectations with Tee and fairway shots. Pitching left a little to be improved on with my calculation of how much the wind would affect these shots. Friday is shaping up to be much the same except wetter so another 9 holes will suffice for my tune up into Sunday’s stroke round. With Saturday being spent putting and pitching and getting the short game in some good order. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all”Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff