Naracoorte Golf Course has been another step in my learning curve. Last season was the first time that I made the trips around the region to play in various club opens. This was a definite benefit to my game, playing on very different greens and course layouts that are far removed from the home track and the adjoining Kingston SE and Beachport courses. Playing at Naracoorte is opening my mind up and surprising me in my acquired golf knowledge that is being used to decipher the experience.
I am not a self taught golfer, having taken a few very valuable lessons. The practise which is my biggest assist in the game is all derived from the club professional lessons, reading coaching guides and developing a structure from them to use as a routine. What is now becoming apparent is the ‘strategic’ game I am begining to prepare before playing a round. It was obvious with the Southern Ports preparation how I studied and played the courses, and noticable was the worst score was at my home course. The Naracoorte Course is similar to many around the region and there are often winners and place-getters from this club in various Opens. My game is one that struggles at these ‘inland’ tracks. The factors that affect me most are 1) The Gum trees, they are high and thick between fairways, 2) Undulating fairways and not able to see the greens from the tee block. (Both these are not features at the home track.) 3) Greens are very different course to course, that is part of golf and I can deal with that.
The previous may seem to be a long preamble to the result, another poor one, yet better than the week before. this time a Stableford round; Front 9- 11 points and Back nine- 16 (only one three putt) for a total of 27 points with three wipes and 5- 1 point holes. As with the weeek before the front 9 took me to the wall. After the first 2 holes; 4 points, then a wipe followed by a 3 pointer, having 7 points after 4 holes I was in a good position. Then to get only 4 points from the next 5 holes was a disaster, score wise. This was the result of the same errors the week before, just could not stay on the fairway off the tee. The course has several par 4 and 5 doglegs that are 160-200 m from the tee to the turn. High gum trees of course mean that shooting accross the corner is beyond the ability of most 15 Hcp golfers. The best % is to shoot to the turn and play from there and that is my approach.
The fairways are a bit tight and I have again gone too long or to the left or right into the trees and had to play sideways out on to the fairways. My accuracy off the tee here has been very poor, on the back 9 same as the week before I threw caution to the wind and unshackled my game. It does not yet make sense as to “why” for the past two weeks my game becomes constipated on the Front 9 here and how on the Back 9 I can make a conscious decision to release the shot playing, attack the holes and improve!?
The rounds at Naracoorte two weeks in succession are part of the preparation for the Masters Games golf competition played at the beginning of April. This is the first time that making a significant change in my playing style due to a course is needed. It had became obvious that after playing at Kingston and Beachport that my game on the home course had became lazy as well. The saying ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’ is an apt turn of phrase for this. After playing away it was like having blinkers removed at the Robe course seeing how my shot selection was almost blase’. This has resulted in playing shots that had lower % of success and blowout double bogie scores are becoming a regular feature on the scorecard.
Today fronting up to play 18 holes at Robe, again as a trial for the Masters, am I up to playing two serious competitive rounds in two days. More comfortable with the new graphite shafted blades after a week and will test the distances that I can now achieve with them without any experimenting. Did do a few trials at Naracoorte yesterday but that was irrelevant to the bad scoring. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all” Geoff