24/4/12 Tuesday The round on Sunday was our first taste of winter weather with the coastal wind that is an understated description of this course condition. Golf courses on the coast are affected by this in different ways. To use another sport as an example of how the prevailing wind is at the Robe course, the national wind surfing titles have been held off the beaches because waves and wind are guaranteed. The weather has been benign to say the least of late, with warm days and relatively still air. The rapid darkness after 5pm and the chill in afternoons the few signs of winter on the way.
The dark rain filled clouds passing over head on the way to the club did not bode well for the days golfing. With the round on the day being the first qualifying rounds for Handicap Championship, Caledonian Inn Trophy and a Monthly Medal that was enough to have me committed to play. I had even gone out and practised in the wind and showers the day before just to tune my game up. Started off with a triple bogie, after the wind pulled my third shot to the par 5 green into the scrub never to be seen again. Then a double bogie from a three putt on the second hole had me up against the wall. Five of the next seven holes were pars the only blemish another three putt for a double bogie. With a 45 on the front nine I was feeling confident in getting a good score for the day after the ratty start.
On the par 5 tenth after another shot pulled into the scrub it was looking like another battle around the course. Found this ball 1.5 metres up a tree and ignoring my playing partners laughter started climbing with wedge in hand. Dear readers I am not an agile lithe flexible body type a more apt description is perhaps a brick wall on epileptic legs. Perched precariously up a tree, my legs splayed out on branches and about to swing a wedge is a Youtube disaster video about to happen. A playing partner could not bring himself to film it, instead having his phone out ready to call an ambulance.
None of this crossed my mind from the second I looked at the ball it was a shot that could not fail. Even as I was climbing up the tree and finding places to put my feet as soon as I was balanced and could keep my eyes on the ball I knew it was still a can do shot. It was a well hit lob shot finished 2m short of the green and saved me a penalty stroke. Missed the bogie putt for a 7 and was satisfied. The downfall of the round came two holes later on the notorious 12th hole. A 323m par four straight down a gentle slope to a long green, with virgin bush to the right and for 135m on the left, off the fairway you are in a lot of trouble. Then the unpredictable hole feature, that on this day was baring it’s teeth. You are hitting straight towards the Southern, where the prevailing wind comes from. At 108kg not a lightweight there have been days I struggled to stand on this tee, let alone swing a club and hit a ball to a target. On this day the ball was hit well enough except to the right and the wind killed the forward momentum and into the scrub they disappeared. After the 9 a quintuple bogie on this hole, 4 pars of the final 6 holes, missing three birdie putts. A 47 to finish the round and a gross 92 with 32 putts has me tied in eighth position so it will be out to improve and crack into the matchplay rounds.
Back to the 12th hole briefly, playing it on Friday I made a mental note to play for the centre of the fairway. This was forgotten on Sunday it is a mental fault, from the early days of having a slice caused by poor technique, it takes time to believe in the new improved me. Was happy enough with the rest of the round that had the continued improvement in greens hit in regulation, and several near misses. While not winning or playing as well as I wanted too the season has only just began. The goals are made achievable by achieving them in increments. Winning the first 4 games of football does not get the premiership cup in a football teams trophy cabinet.
Back onto the practice fairway and chipping putting green again this week. More of the same consistent regular routine that is working well enough. The development of golf between my ears in the brain box is going to need some more work. This is improving and is why I have no frustration or disappointment with golf at the minute or any other time. Thankyou for your time and attention. “Hit ‘em straight all”