Still a hacker!
Still a hacker!
After playing my first round of golf for three weeks today, it would appear I’m still a hacker. Don’t get me wrong, it was lovely to be out on the course again, I just wish I’d played a little better.
Here’s the frustrating thing…and many of you will be able to sympathise with me. Last week I went to the range for the first time after a 2 week lay up with my ankle injury. To my amazement, I hit the ball really well. My swing felt great too. Hit some more on Friday and the same happened, hit the ball great. That left me looking forward to my round on Sunday.
Did I hit it as well on the course? No. Not even close! I regressed to the old me on the course. The ‘hacker’. Why does that happen? Why is it great on the range and rubbish on the course? So bloody frustrating! You think you’ve got this swing really drilled in, then you hit it like a hacker again. Jeez…
In terms of the round, it wasn’t all bad. The first positive, was the 4th hole. This is the hole at The Manor that I just don’t get on with…ever. Every week, it intimidates me. Well, not today Mr Par 3 with your scary narrow gap.
I opted for my trusty 5 iron, and stepped up to the tee. I began a rather bizarre chant in my head; ‘aim left, aim left’, which was rather odd. I hadn’t planned to do that, and I’d never opted for a tactic like this before. It just kind of happened. Thankfully, it was only in my head and not out loud (I don’t think?). I composed myself and hit the ball.
As it left my clubface, I looked up. It flew straight, right through the gap. Not even close to the trees. It was a marvel. The ball landed just short of the green, but I wasn’t disappointed. My ball had just gone straight, right through the gap. The narrow gap that I’m scared of. That, is a huge deal for me! After a cheeky chip I putted for par. It’s been a long time since I’ve parred that hole!
The rest of the round was distinctly average. I played like a true hacker…as demonstrated with the 8 I scored on the 12th hole. Then, out of nowhere, on the par 3, 14th I started to play well.
Hit a great iron to about 10 ft from the hole. Almost got a birdie, but settled for a par. The next two holes were equally successful with two more pars; maybe the hacker had decided he’d had enough for the day?! On the 15th (par 5) my birdie putt went around the hole before deciding it wasn’t quite ready to go in. Again, settled for a par, the next hole a par too.
The 17th was the best hole of the day. Hit a great drive, 110 yards short of the green. Hit a 9 iron to 12 ft, and I was looking at another birdie putt. Yet again, the ball went around the hole and scurried off past. Somehow, missed my par and settled for bogey. Finished the last 5 holes +2 gross…it’s just a shame about the other 13 holes.
What today has made me realise is that this challenge is going to be tough. Really tough. We are a long way away from turning me from a hacker into a consistent low single figure golfer, and the clock is ticking. My swing feels great at the range and Ryan our PGR Pro at the club assures me that its really getting there. I need to figure out how I take it onto the course. I really need to be getting close to playing to a 10/12 handicap in golf by the end of March if I’m to have any chance of success. That kind of score feels a long, long way away.
I’ve also realised that I’m going to have to take a more serious approach to this hacker to single figures challenge, and not just ‘nip to the range’ when I get chance. I need to find a regular place in the diary for golf and range time alongside work and family time…and my wife will just have to deal with it!
**(I’m being brave here as I know she doesn’t read the blog, I’d never be this brave in front of her!)**
Unfortunately, for now I must chant the following: My name is Kevin Paver and I am still a hacker!
I found a great article from Tiger Woods about his standard daily practice routine. No wonder he’s so good at golf!