Very much an average golfer!

Very much an average golfer

The plan was to play a whole lot of golf this last week. That didn’t quite go to plan… again! That said, got a decent amount in, and certainly enough to perform better than I did. I was very much an average golfer.

As I started the week, my handicap is currently sat at 15.4. I have 4 (ish) weeks left until the challenge deadline. I’m definitely up against it!

I played 9 holes in the Tuesday Eclectic comp…my first attempt after a couple of weeks of not much play and NO practice. I went out with no real expectation.

Perhaps that was the difference through the first few holes, as I played great. Way better than expected. I didn’t really think about it too much either which was nice, and I think it showed in how consistently I was striking the ball.

Through the first 6 holes, I was level par gross. Then, on the 7th I hit an absolute belter off the tee, but had totally the wrong club. Should have been a rescue, but hit my 3 wood. The ball flew off straight and beautifully into the distance… all the way to the bunker! I say bunker… I’m not sure it could have been described as that. After a lot of rain over the previous few days, it was more like quicksand, and yes… I was sinking as I stood in it! Ended up having a nightmare trying to get it our, and finished with an 8. Bloody card spoiler! Finished with a 41 for 19 points, so not too bad considering and not so much the performance of an average golfer!

Shame the same couldn’t be said for Saturday and the dreaded medal!

I was a little hung over to be honest… and we all know how well I don’t play after a beer! But this was something else! I played the first ok, and walked off with a bogey. But on the second had a whole array of terrible shots. I hit a thin one, a shank and a poor put to complete the set. And that was the start of the end of my round.

On the 3rd, I completely duffed it off the tee. A little frustrated, I tried to murder a 7 iron which flew into the trees, left of the green. I was pretty sure that would be lost as from the trees is a big slope down into the woods. Not a happy place for your ball to go! So, I hit a provisional. Shank… off into the trees on the right!

Miraculously, we found my first ball, but it was a horrible lie. Right in the bottom of the wood, with no clear path through the trees. I tried to play it out, but I shouldn’t have bothered. 3 shots later it was out on the edge of the trees, but buried deep in the long grass. The more I tried to get it out, the deeper under the grass it went, so much so I was starting to terrify the moles underneath.

At that point, I conceded that it wasn’t going to be my day. It didn’t help that I could actually see my golf ball, as it was now underground. I ended up with an NR. Game over.

Apart from a par on the 9th, it was a very poor front 9. Walking onto the 10th, I called in for reinforcements….

Average Golfer - Lucozade!

I thought this might help me get some energy and at least have a respectable back 9. It didn’t! The back 9 was only marginally better. I just couldn’t hit the ball. I’d hit a good shot, and follow it with an absolute howler!

I did manage to hit a great tee shot on the par 3 14th (215 yards). It was the first shot I’d hit all day that actually felt good from start to finish. It hit the green and left me with this put for a birdie.

Average Golfer - The 14th

Of course, I missed it! Got the par, but that was the only real highlight of the round.

I left the course feeling pretty demoralised, especially having played so well on Tuesday. I totally played like an average golfer. In fact, I was way below that. I played like a hacker! So, I figured I should play again Sunday…see if I can fix whatever was wrong before I let it get in my head.

On Sunday, one of the guys I was playing with called Gareth. He’s a 5 handicap golfer…and jeez he hits it great! I think that may have helped inspire me a little… at the start at least!

It was a stableford comp, and I started really well. From the first tee, my ball striking was solid and consistent. Not only that, I was just keeping a really clear mind and just trying to focus on a really clear target, then hit the ball.

After 5 holes, I was 2 over (gross), which felt great. It had also felt fairly easy up until then too.

Had a bit of a blip on the 6th where I pushed one out right, which wasn’t long enough to carry the trees. Had to play three off the tee and ended up with a silly 7. On this occasion though, I managed to let it totally destroy my card and finished the last three holes 1 over (gross). It left me with a 42 on the front, and 19 points (with one NR). I was pretty chuffed with that.

So, I went onto the 10th feeling great.

Average Golfer - The 10th Hole The Manor

As I’ve said before, the 10th, 11th and 12th at The Manor are referred to by many as the ‘card wreckers’. They look like easy holes, but they’re filled with so much trouble. Particularly on the 10th.

I tee’d it up and hit a nice easy 6 iron, which for once landed in the middle of the fairway… and stayed there! Normally, they take a huge kick left into the crap; so walking down the fairway I was giving myself some congratulatory praise (in my head of course!). I only had a 9 iron in, and given my confidence with the irons felt great standing over the ball.

Took my usual swing and off it flew…high and right. It never came back in and landed here…

Average Golfer - The 10th

I managed to get out for 4, but it over shot the green. After a decent chip and a lipped out put, I walked off with a 7. Rubbish.

Onto the 11th, and it appeared a theme was developing. Pushed my tee shot to the right which left me a tricky 90 yard shot over the trees, that would need to stop dead. Hit it right and it left me here…

Average Golfer - The 11th

…at the foot of a tree with a root behind my ball. The shot to the green was through more trees! And that’s where my round ended! I walked off with an 8!

It didn’t really get any better for the rest of the back 9. I just totally lost my focus and started thinking about my swing. We all know that never ends well. I was swinging way too fast and was totally out of control.

Only on the 18th, when I think I’d accepted it was a rubbish back 9, did I play a collection of decent shots. It showed too as I walked off with a par. Still, it was way too late, and I shot a lowly 52 over the last 9 holes. Rubbish!

I think it would be fair to call this the performance of an average golfer. I was good on the front, poor on the back. I think lots of us struggle with keeping it together over 18 holes.

The annoying thing was that I started with a 15.4 handicap. I knew after those two rounds I would end up adding 0.2 back on, taking me to a 16 handicap. This is not the progress I was looking for.

So, it’s another week of back to the drawing board, and trying to play as much as I can. I know that I can play good golf. I know I have a half decent swing. I just need to make it last more than 9 holes.

Anyone know how to do that?