5/9/11 Without any planning or intent in the past 4 weeks I have played a lot more golf in a period of time than for a couple of years. In 2009 when returning to the game to get some exercise and golf form it was an alternating 9 holes, 18 holes, 9 holes, 18 holes at least each week. During 2010 that changed to accommodate the need to practise more ‘range’ work for want of a description. Putting in 30-60 minute sessions chipping, putting and swinging irons and drivers establishing a better technique. Also pacing myself to prevent my body from not being able to maintain the effort.
This year I have been even more organised training wise, using the 4 month routine developed to prepare for the Southern Ports Tournament. With the season syllabus outlining the various club trophy rounds, and regional opens it was possible to continue the higher practise commitment with a competition focus. It did take a little personal awareness to not overdo it and have managed to get through to September and the beginning of the club championship qualifying rounds next Sunday, with my best ever stroke round score in a competition yesterday.
All golfers have had those rounds of, “if only a couple of putts had dropped the score would have been a ripper.” Yesterday this happened to me not once but three times. First time a ‘Texas wedge’ 2 metres off the green, a total 6 metres to the hole and the ball gently rolled in to rattle down the pin to the bottom of the cup for a birdie. Second on the number one rated hole a 4m uphill putt. Ball ringed a full 360 degrees around the lip and popped out a couple of cm on the high side and stopped, as I walked up to take the second putt rolled into the hole. On the second last hole a 6m putt along a ridge was almost perfectly weighted and lagged to the left alongside the cup and stopped. We all were laughing at how close it finished and wisecracking, then the ball dropped again to rattle the bottom of the cup. Gobsmacked is the least I can say about my reaction, was great to have got over that hurdle of the past few weeks where my putting has faltered on the last 5-6 holes.
Sitting here right now it is incredible to know that what is to follow is this. I had three other shots that were just off target. Good grief to have had an 80 played to a 9hcp, four strokes better than my official one yet to have been millimetres away from dropping more putts almost seems greedy. This was not luck as a result it all came from 8 months of practise and planning to get myself into form for this time of the season. Even so to have achieved this in the fickle sport of golf and still realise that only 12 months ago I was a 20 handicapper. The feeling of satisfaction, confidence and yes, pride is all well earnt from my season efforts. Yet as most golfers exhibit, the humility is still there knowing that my golf game has a lot to improve upon.
My golfing week since Thursday went 18 holes social round 85 gross, Friday ‘Chicken Run’, 9 hole stableford 14 points (playing off 9hcp), Saturday ‘Bordertown Open’, 94 Gross (true hcp 13) and yesterday 80 Gross, nett 67 and 27 putts. Surprised to look back a year ago and I had the same score at Bordertown except I was playing off 20 then. Chuffed to see that seven strokes have been whittled off the handicap in that time. The Sunday round has retained the Caledonian Inn Trophy in my name from last season, and has me in good form for the coming championships.
Absolutely no illusions about my potential to win the section I am in, 14 or less is “A” grade at Robe and coming up against 5 previous winners on 4 to 10 handicaps is going to be a very tough ask to win. To make it through to the final pairing and play off is honestly the best I can expect. The Club’s championship format is two qualifying stroke rounds and matchplay from the top 8 in each grade to deliver the champion. Be assured that I will be playing 100% to win against any opponent, the past winners with 4-10 handicaps though have the lead on me experience and ability wise.
Thankyou for your time and attention “Hit ‘em straight all” Geoff