Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GOLF - New irons Again

21st September 2010 Did not pick up a stick from last Wednesday until Saturday before Sunday’s Par competition, using a little bit of common sense having a respite from continuous practise and keeping the game in perspective. Winning the club “B” grade championship is an important goal, enjoying playing golf and not getting jaded is just as important. I had a few days away in Adelaide for a break, also the latest addition to my growing selection of iron’s had not arrived. With a couple of weeks break before championship matchplay rounds I am looking forward to the effect from the latest irons.

Not a new set but having since played a couple of rounds with them and finishing all square in 4th place Sunday the Wilson 1200 (under wave) blades felt good and certainly assisted some aspects of my game. Around the green with chipping and pitching concentrated on in practise this has been saving 2-4 strokes a round for me. Using the Wilson blades on Sunday the 7-PW irons were so effective in delivering accurate shots to the hole and felt so responsive in the hands. The 3-6 irons had the same ‘touch’ it is the best experience to hold a club and have it feel so comfortable in setting up and playing strokes.

I did manage to shape a few long iron shots and that added to my enjoyment of the round. This time I played to the new 19 handicap and have kept it a week later unlike the lst time this figure was reached. The fact is these Wilson’s are 15 years old and cost me $30 delivered after purchase on Ebay. They have the counter torque’ twisted’ shafts which look out of place at first glance. I now have 4 sets of irons two are peripheral weighted and two blades. This is an ongoing process towards finally choosing the correct new set for my golfing ability. The grand total for the two sets of blades is $90 and that is a cheap price to help decide upon the final choice to come.

Yesterday was a club working bee to core and sand the greens which had me working with the former 4 handicapper that offered some coaching a few weeks ago. We have arranged to catch up and he can let me know what is causing my current slight problem. Nothing major but serious enough to get fixed if I want to drop another 3-4 strokes. Fortunately this bloke is known as a particularly good iron player and if he was not going blind would still be on a single figure handicap and not 13 as he is at the minute. During a couple of rounds he had noticed the problem but had not offered any tips or advice to correct them at the time. Which is appreciated by myself and the rule book is also adhered too. Simply my swing is fine, grip is fine and my lining up to the target is not. I was aware of this and it is so much easier to actually have a half hour coaching session to correct it and establish the correct set up with a golfing pro or some one who has the same high level of ability to play and coach.

With the final draw for the championships now decided I do not play my semi final until the 10th of October. It is against a 15 handicapper and at my best I can play to 17. This may be good enough but with such a large gap of time available I can have a serious crack at improving two more strokes and have a better chance in the game. My current game is one of consistent bogey golf with pars and birdies thrown in to keep the scores at 87 to 94 off the stick. With the occaisional bad hole due to a wayward drive or second shot I cannot rely upon the “C” grade style where a round of bogeys will win a championship. Pars and birdies are a must to get a win in “B” grade and I am capable of that but the inconsistent lining up is costing me far too many added shots from missing greens 10-20m to the left. My putting has improved but is nowhere near good enough to get consistent “up and downs” in two with a pitch and putt from missed greens. I am certain that those of you reading that play off 16 or less would feel confident in a game of match play off the stick against me. Thankyou for your time and attention. Hit ‘em straight all.

, Geoff

GOLF - Final Championship Qualifying round

14th September 2010. After playing the first championship qualifying round in pouring rain and very uncomfortable conditions, the second and final qualifier was the complete opposite. Sunshine, a pleasant breeze and the course relatively dry, the only real hindrance was patches of long grass on the fairways which could not be cut regularly in the past two weeks. This was frustrating for both finding balls and playing shots but definitely it could have been a lot worse.

The practise of the past weeks did deliver for me on the day finally managed to get the drives off the tee back to an acceptable level of accuracy. The problem of late was a combination of physical restriction in my swing due to injury and a massage on the Monday prior to playing relieved that. Which soon had me able to swing freely on the tee and get rid of the outside in swing plane that causes the slice out to the right. This combined with the short game practise in pitching and putting practise got my score below 90.

I did make mistakes and my gross score of 89 included three penalty strokes, two of those came from wayward second shots that rolled under trees, requiring a penalty drop to be able to play a decent next shot. The other a tee shot that went out of bounds, not by much but out is out. There were other shots that could have been better that effectively had little influence on the final score. As is expected the two shots that really stick in my memory are the pitch in for birdie on the 7th hole and the 6 metre putt for birdie on the last hole. A little disconcerting is I am now unsure of how much my physical injury restriction of the past few weeks has been affecting my game. Even so it is not a major influence I believe for any more than the past 2-3 rounds and was simply a result of it being nothing like the discomfort and restriction of movement that has been experienced previously.

My injuries were the result of a motor vehicle accident 20 plus years ago and the past two years the rehabilitation of these has finally had major improvement in my physical condition. The downside is being inured to pain and discomfort is a habit of mine and I accept the discomfort too often instead of getting it treated. Last year I was laid up for 3 months as my body reacted to the action of playing golf as internal scar tissue was strained and eventually corrected into a semblance of normality. This is why part of my golf practise includes weights and excercise routines, in moderation. The gradual strengthening routines are not targeting building up physique, they target stamina and conditioning to be able to play 18 holes of golf and not have the injuries sap away playing consistency.

The final results after a quick tally courtesy of Golf Link has the B Grade Championship Qualifying Table as follows; 1) 100 5101300281 N N 86, 2) G Dening N N 89, 3) 67 5101300264 N N 92, 4) 33 5101300255 N N 98, 5) 50 5101300267 N N 102, 6) 17 5101300251 N N 109 7) .?.. 8) .?..

I have managed to come in second place which may change as the first qualifier has intimated a move up to play in A Grade. No real difference going to the first qualifying place. Depending on whether any of the “C” Grade qualifiers elect to move up to play “B” grade it is possible I will have a bye in the first round of match play. Several of the C grade qualifiers have good enough scores to move up a grade and they have only moved to the lower grade since the new handicapping system came in. It will be no surprise to me that they choose to play “B” grade and I am confident against any of them. On the other hand having the number one qualifying play move to A grade is a bonus for me I have played with him several times socially in match play practise and the honours are all square. Fact is I have never came close to 80 and at my best could possibly score an 84-85 off the stick and would need him to have a bad round to be in with a chance of beating him at the minute.

That is all conjecture for now and the actual play off table will be available today(Tuesday) or tomorrow and then and will now what the state of play will be. In the meantime a trip away for a couple of days is on the cards and a week break before the first playoff to tune up my match play technique. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all” Geoff