Monday, August 01, 2011

Disaster avoided in the Kingston Open...

1/8/11 The weather was a gem for the Kingston SE Open event on Sunday, sunshine and enough wind to make the game a little more interesting in club and shot selection. The course was in fine condition as well the Kingston members have been working long and hard the past three years in redeveloping the layout and there is only one new laid green left to be brought into action. The addition of mounds on the fairways has been a very effective playing condition adjustment for golfers. Players have to plan their shots and take into account the various hazards of mounds and grass bunkers. It takes some intelligent play and for golfers the challenge is enjoyable.

Some holes give the option of playing over doglegs to the hole or take a safer path it is all up to a players choice and ability. Myself, the confidence to attack to that level is not quite there, it was a definite consideration on a couple of holes yesterday. Playing with another 14 hcp, a 9 and 10 hcp it was a good social group and ability wise mix. The other 14 handicapper had a 38 on the front 9 where as I could not get my game into a steady rythym for the second week in a row. Finishing with a 47 on the front 9 started with a (+3) 7 on the first it was head down to get that back and a +2 on the 3rd did not help the come back. Even so I was firing on all cylinders and looking good until the 9th hole. Hit the green with my second, distance of 140 m and saw the ball bounce up from the surface and felt good even though at a guess it was likely to have rolled through. The green itself was not veiwable, being a sunken one. Very disapointed to get there and see the plug mark at the front and the ball 40 m further on in trees and rough, hard greens do make GIR difficult work and the hole was another 6 (+2) in the end. Did think that a par was goingto come from the 9th and set my charge on the back 9.

After lunch and seeing the 38 by the other 14 handicapper for the first time I recall deciding to chase another players score. Dropped all the conservative ideas and went for the gold. Was not the perfect round possible made a few mistakes, only one clanger, for a 42 and a gross 89 Nett 75. The putting was hard work all day, fast greens and did not have any three putts. Was pleased to finally end the round and let the brain have a rest. Quick greens that do not break until the ball has almost stopped can be very tricky, broke the group 9 handicapper’s game wide open with 4 three putts. On my part playing away from the home track in 2010 has educated me in playing on faster greens, the benefits are helping me this season.

In retrospect the round was a definitive example of getting over the hurdles that can obstruct success. It would have been simple to have just gone through the motions on the last nine holes and enjoyed the day. Instead I attacked at every opportunity, from that attitude came the birdie on the 11th hole. The end result was the facts, fantasy is the several near miss putts that out numbered the clanger putts 4 to 1. After the first hole and the third, my shots off the tee were all fairway bound and to position. A couple of chips did not carry or went too far, due to the change from the blade (Bridgestone J33’s) to the heavier cavity backs. Was not too far off the pace either (in handicap results) at the end of the competition in A grade either.By the time the AP2 turn up I will have played another few rounds with the old clubs before making the final change in equipment.

Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all.”, Geoff

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