Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Practise and 660 km to get it right........

Made the trip to Naracoorte on Tuesday, tied in a work trip (golf documentary) and played the front 9, putting to rest the concerns I have in playing there for the Masters Games. Three trips in two weeks for a total of 660 km has been the dedication to attempt to play as well as possible on the course. Even surprising myself at the commitment (lol obsession)to do the best possible in the event. Made easier with the previous effort for March’s, Southern Ports Tournament it has felt impossible to stop practising and playing of late.

The two 18 hole rounds had both included disastrous front 9’s as described previously, getting to the track and playing an unhurried front nine was a must. This was the right idea after yesterday and a 42 with 16 putts was the score compared to the 51 and 46 scored before. It was interesting to note that my driver control has improved markedly since playing Naracoorte. This combined with being a lot more familiar with the new iron configeration of blades and graphite shafts delivered the results. Putted significantly better, and the shots that went into the bunkers were no problem in recovering from. The greens were in the best condition of all in the three visits thanks to the steady rain fall since Saturday night. Softer surface for the ball to land on and lusher grass covering had them playing much better for my game.

Naracoorte Golf Club does have a description of the holes on their website. Which I have copied and pasted as follows;

1st Hole – Par 4 – Mens 358m Ladies 342m

Good opening hole to give the driver a rip, as the wide fairway shapes to the right with the only trick being the tee aiming in to the left hand trees. The approach shot is from slightly downhill to a green sloping back to front. Trouble over the back and to the right of the green with quite a steep fall away. The back left hand bunker doesn’t get much business but the front right hand bunker is a popular spot.

2nd Hole – Par 4 – Mens 318m Ladies 272m

The big decision is what club to use off the tee. The fairway narrows down dramatically 50 metres from the green. The further you drive the narrower the approach. The smart player lays up off the tee leaving about 120 metres into a long narrow green with no hazards surrounding the green. The fairway is wide at this point and is easy to hit. Downwind the long hitter can gamble and drive up through the neck of the distinctive gums and pines and set up an easy birdie, but watch out if you miss the fairway. No tricks on a smooth putting surface which is only 9 metres wide.

3rd Hole – Par 4 – Mens 312m Ladies 264m

Another hole with the key emphasis on the tee shot. The drive must travel 225 metres to get a look at the green of this dogleg left hole, shorter hitters need to drive right to get a look at the green but beware as both the fairway and the green slope from left to right throwing your ball further from the hole. After safely driving to the corner you will only be left with a short approach to the green. Once on the green the action isn’t over as it deceptively slopes front to back and left to right.

4th Hole – Par 4 – Mens 358m Ladies 283m

A blind tee shot to a generous fairway which slopes from left to right. The difficulty arises with the 2nd shot played to a green both sloping and angled left to right. The green is guarded by a bunker right and punishing grassy mounds on the left which often tricks the golfer as it looks the preferred side to miss. Putts always turn left to right and towards the bunker on the low side.

5th Hole – Par 3 – Mens 175m Ladies 163m

The most difficult par three due to its length and deep bunkers surrounding a slightly domed green which is rather small for its length and difficulty. Only safe miss is short leaving a easy approach. Many comps go by without the nearest the pin being threatened. The wind is difficult to judge on this tee and plays havoc with many a well struck shot.

6th Hole – Par 5 – Mens 503m Ladies 396m

Our longest par 5 and the wide fairway tends to lull you into a false sense of security. In reality you need to drive down the right opening up the second shot. Balls struck left of centre demand a lay up to the corner or a brave shot to take on the corner. Once the green is in sight the only problems are a bunker protecting the left hand side and a green sloping from back to front.

7th Hole – Par 3 – Mens 140m Ladies 125m

An innocent looking hole which claims an amazing amount of victims with its tricky features. Bunkers guard the left and front of the green and 2 gums 50 metres short catch anyone who curves the ball. The green is small sloping severely back to front and left to right. If you miss the green it had better be short as any where else demands nothing short of a perfect recovery to have a chance of saving your par.

8th Hole – Par 5 – Mens 458m Ladies 447m

A good chance to improve your score as although the drive is blind it is a wide and inviting fairway which throws your ball downhill and from the left. A great view awaits as you approach your drive and look down the wide green fairway to a flat green surrounded by deep bunkers short left and to the back and to the right. The green is shaped from left to right and is beautifully framed by a magnificent group of gums behind the green.

9th Hole – Par 4 - Mens 319m Ladies 268m

A Choice awaits you on the tee to the closing hole on the outward 9. A smallish green which sometimes is difficult to hit even with a short iron, tricks you into trying to get your drive as close to the green as possible. A hidden quarry awaits at 250 metres on the left and the fairway throws your ball from left to right and the fairway narrows down at quarry length. Best to hit your most trusty club on this shortish hole to the wide part of the fairway and trust your ability to nail your 2nd shot at the pin. The narrow green is guarded left and right by shallow bunkers and slopes slightly uphill.

Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff

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