Tuesday 1/3/11 Got myself around the course in a reasonable state at the end of the days play. After sending off all of the groups for the day I finally got to start my round at the end of the field. It was not my expected tee off time nor doing the starters duties which did distract me a little. Finishing the day with a gross 93 for a nett 77 with 35 putts was not the planned result going for an 88-90 was the target. Four bad drives added an extra 4 shots to my score. That said the errors were very small and the choice to use the driver and not the #3 off the tee was correct the wind would have ben a distraction and trying to hit too hard would have been the rsult. The opportunities were there to make them up and unfortunately my putting was so close yet a miss is a miss. Golf is not a game of “if only” for me and the score is not a disaster, Robe being the course that can destroy a golfers chances was reasonably benign on the day for me.
Played with last years winner and we tied at the end of the day and the 2010 runner up is 3 shots behind us. The winning score of 85 for a net 66 (19 hcp) was a good effort from a golfer on his home course, second with 90 (20hcp), 3rd on 91 (20hcp) and fourth 90 (19 hcp) shows that the gap can be made up in the next two rounds. Not easy of course but what better way to play than with a challenge to urge me on, while testing my limits.
The weather has taken a turn for the worse today with the wind stronger than Monday, which was for Robe almost enjoyable being out in a round of golf being played. Kingston and Beachport are courses I play with confidence on and as always enjoy walking around. Went to Kingston SE today and played the Front 9 to get accustomed to the greens and refresh my memory for the club and shot selections. With a score on the board now it is possible to set down the targets and see if I can deliver.
Monday 28/2/11 Southern Ports Tournament begins for me today, 440 golfers are registered for the week to play in the various events. Saturday and Sunday my practise was limited to an hour each day. With social commitments getting precedence over golf for a change, the break has been very refreshing. Yes golf is fun and relaxation for me not a be all and end all of a sporting obsession. Added to the fun is that the Handicap winner of 2010 (runner up by one stroke in the gross also) is my old cricket captain and he had some fun sledging me at dinner Saturday.
Make no mistake it was all very serious he is one competitive champion to come up against, instead of being on the same team this time. It is almost a case of teacher and pupil meeting on the sporting field, after playing in 3 consecutive cricket premiership teams under his leadership taught me a lot about playing to win. His first sledge thrown was, “he asked to play in the same group as me but the organisers said I had asked not to be grouped with him.” followed by “last few weeks of practising have ended up with throwing clubs around it was so bad.” Which means to me he has been practising, and the look in his eyes when telling me that “he missed winning the gross championship by one stroke in 2010” has not been forgotten.
Over the period of dedicated practise, the B grade status of my game by handicap is confirmed. That is not a disapointing it is the reality of the standard my game has improved to over 12 months. Enjoying golf for me is playing 3-4 times per week, practising pitching regularly and the rest iregularly. How little time I dedicate to practising usually shows in that the past 3 months has given me blisters and callouses on my fingers. Today is the beginning to see if I can get value from the practise in another competition. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all”
Wednesday 23/2/11 Golfers come in to play the game with different attitudes depending on personal choices. Some are purely social in their approach, enjoying the walk, camaraderie and the competitive challenge is not a major influence on their game. Others are committed to the competition aspect of the game being part of the pleasure derived from being on the course as well as the social aspect. For me the ability to travel and play in Club Opens as well as club championship, monthly medals is a definite part of my golfing enjoyment.
If it was not for competitive golf, there is no way I would have gone through the dedicated periods of practise to improve my game. The improvements have now made me realise that a decision is soon going to be required on “how much more golfing can I do?” Writing my golf diary yesterday was the first time this thought has came to my attention. This time last year having reached a 22 handicap and played a couple of 17 hcp rounds, the reality was that my golf was very basic ability. Today my 16 handicap and having played to 12 a couple of time and broken 80 in a social round recently the improvement is at a level of a competent average golfer.
This recent improvement has came from 3 months of preparation for next weeks Southern Ports Tournament. I have done this twice in the past two seasons and had major handicap drops as part of the goal to play better golf. By listening to other golfers and other research (okay I am an obsessed golfer) After this tournament I am going to have to look seriously at how much time I can dedicate to practise in the future. It is not about lack of time available, more so to get myself a grounded approach and not start floating off with the clouds. Ambition, desire, dreams, ability and capability are all topics that need to be defined and acted upon. This week I caught up with a guy from primary school days who is now a successful professional golfer, twenty odd years since last catching up and yes we talked golf. I remember the amount of practise it took him and the commitment, and yes I did wish I had the same support to chase the golf dream. Which is partly why now I have the time and ability to play golf again I am so dedicated.
Fortunately I have a career which allows me to incorporate golf into my creative output and performing. Which is far better than when I used to do the same with beer and partying in my performing. Even so there is a limit and that is better off being considered in the near future than letting it slide until a crisis point is reached. The key is for me to use what I have observed among other golfers and picked up from reading to be aware of the realistic standard I can reach as a golfer. My off the cuff comment 3 years ago to my friends was, “be happy to reach 15 and I would like to get 10 hcp”. Having now arrived at an entry point to the first target, making the plan for the future is now due.
Today while putting in the hour with irons and #3 Woods, keeping tuned up and maintaining the standard reached of late, the #1 Driver was given a try for the first time in 3 weeks. Satisfied to play without the Driver next week in light of recent great scores without it in the bag. That is no reason to discount using a club that gives me 30-35m extra off the tee. The results from 15 balls hit was 10 in the target area, will persist during the week and if the standard improves will be looking at the Driver going back in the bag. Working on the “less is best” principle and only using the driver 5-6 times in a round off the tee at the minute. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em Straight all”