A great way to start the season

Well, it gives me great pleasure to be able to start the latest update with some good news… the first trophy of the season has been secured! What a great way to start the season.

But, before I run through those details, let’s just jump back a couple of steps.

You may remember when I wrote the last update, I was really struggling with my chipping. I was having the ‘chipping yips’, much like Tiger. So, off I went to see Ryan at JWhitaker Golf to see if he could rid me of my chipping demons!

Firstly, I’ve been using the wrong club. I pretty much knew this. Regardless of the lie or the shot, I was grabbing my 56° wedge. This was massively inconsistent. I was also playing that shot wrong. So, we worked on my swing with that club first, and introducing some wrist hinge. We also looked at having a variety of shots around the green, and trying to opt for the shot that meant getting the ball rolling quicker as the first choice. This really improved my strikes. I’m not sinking chips left, right and centre or anything like that, but it gives me much more chance of having a 1-putt, rather than a potential 3!

Saturday was pretty average, which was disappointing. Especially as I’d really tried hard to practice and hit balls / chip at every spare minute. Clearly, I hadn’t done enough! I had moments that were good, but they were often followed by equally bad ones. I blame the weather! I had misunderstood the forecast, and assumed spring had arrived. It hadn’t, and I had nowhere near enough clothes on. The wind was making it feel at least 10 degrees colder too! But, it was all practice for Sunday, and I played the last few holes pretty well meaning I didn’t leave the course feeling broken!

So, to Sunday. The Manor Golf Club Winter League Final. The league runs for 8 rounds of the league, pairs 3/4 stableford format. Then, it goes to  knockouts. We’d done pretty well through the knockouts and were scheduled to play Paul and Jim in the final, which was matchplay format. The best thing was the ground was dry and the sun was out. This meant, it was time to bring my Powakaddy Trolley out of winter storage. It felt so good to not have to carry my clubs!

great way to start the season_trolley

Our round didn’t start too well. They had shots on the first two holes, and took advantage by winning them both. We were 2 down after 2. Then, my partner Andy (5 hcp) hit the green with a great tee shot on the par 4 3rd, to win one back. I won the 4th to bring us back to a/s.

We weren’t actually playing that well, but won another on the 5th and another on the 7th, putting us two up. Then, on the 8th we both made a total mess of it! After a decent tee shot, I tried to rip a 3 wood to carry the bunkers and go long to the back of the green. But… I duffed it! And duffed it again! Andy wasn’t having a much better hole, and our playing partners had shots. We totally gave the hole away.

We halved the 9th (after Andy’s putt went in the hole and came back out!) and the 10th. I played the 12th pretty well and managed to win the hole, taking it back to +2. On 13, Andy hit another great putt that was in all the way. But again, it went in the cup and decided it would jump back out giving them the hole. Back to +1.

On the Par 3 14th, neither of us hit it well off the tee. They sank a big putt to win the hole, taking it back to A/S with 4 to play. It was pretty tight.

On the 15th, they had a tap in putt for a half, but missed it gifting us the hole and taking it back to +1. They both got shots on the 16th, but we managed to halve the hole.

So, to the 17th.

great way to start the season_17th

We could win it with this hole. We knew we were longer off the tee, and that we could make the green in two easily. I got a shot here, as did they. Andy didn’t. Andy and I both hit great drives down the middle, whilst they were further back and right. I played first and hit a solid 8 iron, 15ft past the pin. Andy followed and left himself with a similar putt. They were struggling now. I just had to two putt for the win.

I lined it up and stood over the ball. My putting had been ok today so felt pretty confident I’d at least get it close. But… a massive rush of blood to the head and I flew it passed! Then, missed my par putt back. Gutted. So, Andy had a birdie 15ft birdie putt to win the match…

He hit a beauty…! It looked in from the minute it left his putter. And with that, we shook hands and were declared winners.

I have to say, it felt so great to win and win the first trophy in the club this season. It also came with the brucie bonus of having our names on this board… ace!

great way to start the season_Board

So, the pressure is now on. It was a great way to start the season, but it really kicks in this weekend with the handicap qualifiers. I need to get my A-game on!