Saturday, August 27, 2011

Testing golf at Glenelg Golf Club

27/8/11 The round at Glenelg yesterday in the Legacy - Governors Cup was enjoyable for the weather , the company and the experience. THe reception by the club and the lunch afterwards was excellent. Playing the course for the first time put my recent game improvement to the test. Finishing with 31 points after 18 holes my golf stood up in the main. The goal was to score 36 points and falling 5 short was not a disaster.

Splitting golf into three facets of; 1) Off the tee, 2) Fairway play and 3) Short game and putting, the first was passed with flying colours at Glenelg. Accuracy was exemplary. Hitting fairways and distance wise my game was an additional benefit with the 200m-220m drives never in danger from the many fairway bunker hazards, as is the case on most courses situated longer than 220m. This has been a definite part of my decision to hit shorter off the tee whilst developing the accuracy. Second shots off the fairway in the main were good enough for a 13 handicapper. Two shots in particular were excellent, shots which made being out swinging the sticks on a day, worth every minute of practise and effort to get there. Yet there was 4-5 shots in particular which did not make the day easy. Same with the short game a couple of poor chips and especially 4 poor puts did the damage on the day. With three holes to go I had 27 points (started on Tee no. 4) and hit number one a par 4 in regulation to three putt, Just short of No. 2 with the third and two putted for a bogie, then a bogie on the last with two putts. Scoring four points out of an expected 6 and I was going for the 8. The putting let me down on the last 6 holes. It was a mental error in concentration that made it a battle. Twice changed the stroke once started and 3 times hit the first putt too hard. On a course with so many sand bunkers I went in them 3-4 times on the day, twice on the first hole played.

Making the change to a more aggressive game playing strategy has been a success so far. It is still a novelty to realise that my ability allows this. The game at Glenelg was the revealing round showing that not only has the change happened, there is one more major part of my game to be worked on. The shortest club in golf, that is the measured distance between my ears. There is no pressure felt to improve the mental side of my game, it is being approached in a steady manner. Unlike the practise which has improved the technique of my game play, changing my mind and attitude during the game is complicated in being a part of my character. There is also the acknowledgement of my actual ability to develop the mental part of my game and not become an unbearable playing partner in the process.

With first qualifying round for club championships on the 11th of September and the 2nd on the 18th of the same month, there is plenty of time to tune my game a little more. Hence time is not of the essence and this is all a progression of the preparation being undertaken since May. Why all the effort in getting a better game together on my part, is not an unreasonable question. Due to the shortage of low handicap golfers at my club “A” grade is from 14/13 handicap downwards. In the championships after qualifying I will be up against 4-9 handicappers playing off the stick in matchplay. The facts are that most of these can beat me on paper, if I can hang in to the end making the final playoff is possible. It is nothing more than accepting a challenge of the improbable. Luck of the draw may have me playing other double figure qualifiers in the elimination heats so the better prepared I am can only help.

Last season I was in ‘B’ grade and soon eliminated, not up to the matchplay standard required to be competitive. The lesson was learnt though and no longer do I think with the stroke/ability of a 20 plus handicapper. It has been a process of making the effort to be able to play as well as possible and feel confident against any other golfer. Fact is those that shoot sub 80 rounds have a significant advantage over me. In matchplay though by playing my best and maintaining pressure can get a winning result, even if giving away 4-5 strokes.The 4-6 handicappers, that is really pushing the wet spaghetti uphill for a win, still will be having a crack. The analysis of my game is all aimed at this so the short game and mind facets are in for tuning over coming weeks.

Weather permiting this weekends round on Sunday will be another good hit out to grade the recent practise and coaching results. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all” Geoff