De Vere Mottram Hall
Today sees my first 18 holes since taking on the challenge, and what a lovely course to have a go on.
I’ve played De Vere Mottram Hall a few times and it’s a lovely course. I actually played in a pro am there this summer ahead of the PGA Seniors Tour event and had the pleasure of playing with Gordon Brand. What a lovely chap. He also had the most fantastic easy swing. In fact, he just made the game look easy!
I decided that I would spend 20 minutes on the range before our round. A simple thing I usually neglect to do every Saturday! For the first time with my new take away, I hit some really nice shots. Still a little hooky at times but generally ok. Felt pretty good too. Happy days!
Off we went to the first tee box. I stood on the tee with my driver and a large handful of confidence. The 1st is a very simple and straight 485 yard par 5, stroke index 18. Wide fairway, hardly any trouble. Should be a simple par. I put my ball on the tee, visualized the shot and set up. Boom…straight down the middle. Amazing!
As I walked up to my ball, I had one of those conversations in my head. You know the ones, the ‘this could be the day you shoot a decent score. Just keep it in play. Nice and steady. Nothing silly’. I was still a good 250 yards from the hole. I’d always struggle to get there in two so just decided to do what I’d told myself a minute earlier and hit a nice easy 5 iron and lay up. A couple of practice swings and we’re ready. Clearly, I wasn’t that ready as I shanked it 100 yards into the rough! Idiot! Maybe this isn’t going to be the day.
That was the start of the meltdown! I played truly awfully. The worst I’ve played in a long time. I was poor off the tee, poor tee to green and poor putting. I had shanks, duffs, hooks and even the odd slice. Every bad shot was there! It really was shocking…and 100% demoralizing. However, I did play the 15th well. Nice big drive 80 yards from the green, and a lob wedge to 10 feet. Two putted for a par. The only par of the day!
I added up my score as I walked off 18. It was as bad as I thought it was going to be. I shot 103. Gutted.
The single figure handicap feels such a long way away.