Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back on track after the rain...

29/6/11 A good weekend on the courses for me, played in the stroke competition at Kingston SE on Saturday, then the 27 hole foursome at Robe on the Sunday. A weekend of third places, satisfied with the 85 gross for 71 nett at Kingston, first time in an A grade competition and was not far off, 1st 69 and 2nd place 70 nett. Combined pairs score at Robe was a 3rd place by half a stroke.

The Kingston SE course is entering the last few months of the major course development with the 7th green almost completed. The 18th green had to be relaid after a vandal attack with a 4WD ripped it up. The new turf is knitting together at the edges and a temporary green on the fairway is in use. For some reason the Kingston course has always been a successful golfing ground for me, having won in all the Open events there in the past I think that a change to the results will apply playing in the A grade section. That said it is a course which does challenge my golfing ability and the added concentration on my part does make me play better there.

Being only half an hour drive away it is the first choice for me when my game starts to get stale and lazy playing the home track. The addition of grass mounds on the fairways, (maintaining sand bunkers is too hard for country clubs which rely on volunteer green keeping assistance), put me under pressure with some tee shots. I was sitting pretty on the 18th and the ball ended on the side of a mound and the difficult lie was part cause of the OB shot and finishing with an 8 for a back nine of 43. The front nine 42 included a three putt hole that scored a double bogey 7 in the 42. The game plan for the day was to play attacking golf, going for the green with renewed vigour, putting was also a refreshed with positive energy. Playing the same course does tend to make my game go stale and I start to play uninspired lazy golf. Looking back on the day it was good in general and I am feeling confident for the Kingston SE Winter Open Tournament on the 31st of July.

The Sunday 27 holes at Robe was a challenge to be tried and see if I could front up and play after 18 the previous day. Was feeling the strain on the final four holes and overall did it easy, this time last year I could not have played this much golf in two days. Even so my game was not quite as good, my playing partner did say it was a challenge from past experience in this style of game, as a player only hits the ball on alternate shots. I did struggle to get settled into a rythym and my short pitching/chipping game was not good. Putting was a real heartbreaker as three shots had the ball stopping literally just off the cup lip. Losing by half a stroke and knowing that many shots just needed one more roll did hurt. Our player partner pair won the day in fact and being two thirty plus handicappers got them over the line by 4 strokes. Congratulations to them both to finally get that first competition win on the board and as they were both in a cart due to knee and ankle injuries the effort was a big one.

Unfortunately they did cross the line with excessive drinking during the round. On the minor side of a course etiquette breach, yet they were wrong in their hole scores several times and were completely pissed at the end of the day. Dropping the F-bomb in earshot of women and taking way to long on shots, I had to get them to control the outbursts on the 18th especially with ladies within earshot again. As new members of the club they are not totally at fault, part of the club playing culture does include members who drink during rounds and finish at least a six pack in a round. Golfers who drink are more restrained that people who drink, ‘as a social event’ and the guys have been informed that golf competition requires them to be restrained vocally and in the alcohol consumption on the course.

Playing social golf is no problem at all having a few or lot of bevies among friends, in competition an adjustment needs to be made. When I play in a competition it is a serious game with the focus on winning and enjoying the round. I do not want to be waiting for partners who are slow moving and slow in playing shots, nor continually looking for balls and having to pay even more attention to their scoring. That is bearable in most rounds yet when it is from drunk golfers dribbling shit and being loud also, the tolerance level soon evaporates.

Back to my game this week in practise it is time to work on my major weakness of recent rounds. The second shot on par four and five holes is vital to my scoring opportunities. At the minute from 120m and in to the green success in hitting the target is 80% plus. Not being a long hitting player for so long due to fitness and injury 130m to 180m shots have been a problem in my still evolving game improvement. The distance is easily reached, the accuracy is erratic and no consistency in the ball direction pulling and slicing the shots 10-15m to either side of the target. This is not catastrophic in general as it is a pitch to the green, then putt. Hitting greens in regulation is now a must in the efforts to improve my scoring of pars and making birdie.

The coming weekend will be my last hit for a week or so taking the trip to Queensland as an opportunity to have a break from golfing. No golf is not a job or an imposition for me, I spend a lot of free time on the course and practise range. Having a break is not a must but a good way to refresh my body and fitness while away. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all” Geoff

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