Saturday comp – 3rd November
It’s competition day and it’s a medal. It’s wet and foggy. It’s cold. I haven’t practiced.
These things are all factors that contributed to today’s round. Of course, I’ll try and hold the first three responsible. The reality is that the last one is the real reason for my poor performance.
Here’s the thing. I’d accepted defeat before I’d even started. I knew in my head that not really practicing would bite me on the arse at some point in this round, and that point would probably be at the 4th!
Despite having written myself off before I’d even got out of the car, I actually started pretty well. Hit a good drive on the first. Really easy swing, arrow straight that left me in the middle of the fairway about 120 yards from the centre of the green. Hit a great 8 iron that left me 20ft right of the pin. The greens had lots of dew on them and as a consequence the ball didn’t roll well. That and the fact that I hit the ball like a small child resulted in a three putt for bogey. Still, aside from the putting the swing felt solid. Maybe today won’t be so bad after all.
Hole 2 was ok too. Nice drive slightly right. Bit too much on the iron but not too bad. Ended up just off the green and left. My chip was rubbish though and ended up with another bogey after more child like putting.
Another bogey at the 3rd, then onto the hole I hate. The par 3 4th. Now, we all know it’s pretty much winter and in winter stuff doesn’t grow. However, I swear the trees are still growing between the tee and the hole and that damn gap is getting more narrow! I actually hit a really nice shot. Swing felt great too. As the ball shot up high into the air I watched it take a slightly right to left shape. Lovely. Then it caught the tree and dropped out near the ladies tee. Gutted…really gutted. The only way to score on this hole is to actually hit a completely straight shot. Nothing else will do. It’s just a shame I can’t actually do that…yet! Ended up with a 6. Now I’m +2 for my handicap after four holes.
That was pretty much the end of my round. On the next hole (5th, par 4 370 yards. SI 2), I hit a decent drive. However, aimed a little too far right and hit a cut (not intentionally, I just have no idea what shot I’m actually going to get). From the tee it looked like it flirted with the trees, but I was confident I’d be fine. That was the moment I exited the competition.
As I trudged down the muddy fairway I said a few prayers to the golfing gods. I began a chant under my breath telling my ball to ‘be good ball, be good ball’. I don’t think it heard me as the ball wasn’t being good. It had been bad. Very bad. It was nowhere to be seen. Bugger.
I quickly assessed my options. Stupidly, I didn’t play a provisional. Silly, silly me. So either I run back up the hill 240 yards to the tee (where the group behind were about to arrive) and play another, or NR and be out of the comp. After about 3 seconds of deliberation, my choice was made. I did not do the run of shame. How many of us do that? We think our ball will be ok and don’t hit a provisional. Then when we don’t find it are too embarrassed to go back to this tee!
What this highlighted was that not only do I need to work on my swing and my mental game, but my course management needs some serious attention as it is shocking!
The rest of the round was distinctly average. In fact, that’s not an accurate description. It was actually rubbish. I hit a few decent shots where the swing felt great, but they were few and far between. I mostly hit awful drives, either really high short ones or some low hooks and my irons were for the most part fat. Hitting shots fat when the course is this wet is not that much fun. Some were so bad I ended up with a splattering of mud on my face as I finished!
Walking off the course I messaged Ryan to let him know how I’d done. I felt bad for letting him down. I felt bad for letting me down. Next week, I will be more structured about my practice…that’s a promise.
There was one real positive though that I must mention. The rain didn’t hit until we were walking off the 18th!