Just Play Golf…

How can I simplify things and just play golf? It’s not that difficult a concept is it? Hit the little white thing up the fairway, go find it and hit it again. JUST PLAY GOLF…for the good of the challenge!! Somewhere along the line, my brain isn’t playing ball.

Let’s start this latest update with Saturday’s efforts. It was another medal, but with an added degree of importance. This weekend was the Cook Brothers trophy, and the first competition of the year that means you can get your name on a plaque in the clubhouse…fame beckoned! A lovely sunny day was upon us…it WILL be a good round!

Just PLay Golf - BAG

It wasn’t the perfect start after a silly three putt at the first left me with a double bogey 6, but after that played really steady. Struck the ball really well, and consistent too. It felt like I was in the groove, repeating my routine, not thinking too much. It would appear I’d figured out how to just play golf. My short game was letting me down a little as my chips were leaving me with a two putt more often than not. That said, I played holes 2 – 8 with bogeys and finished with a par on the 9th. That left me with a 45 gross on the front. A little disappointing as it should have been 3 or 4 shots less, but still…I had to be happy with how consistent I had been playing. I was 2 under my handicap too.

Onto the back and the 10th, a notoriously tricky short par 4. I had to change my golf ball just before this point too as my buddy Russ was getting really upset at the ‘scabby ball’ I was using. It was quite funny how much it was bothering him! It’s not that bad is it?

Just Play Golf - scabby

Back onto the tee, and I hit a really solid tee shot into the middle, followed and a nice second that just left me a little right. Chipped on within 1ft and putted for another par. Easy!

Then on 12, I didn’t just play golf. Again, another shot par 4, elevated tee…the one I nearly hit the captain on the other week! For some reason, due to my striking confidence, I decided to hit my rescue. This club wasn’t really necessary, given the decent card I was holding and the potential trouble out left. Should have been a 5 iron all day long. But no, I went for the glory shot.

Just Play Golf - the 12th

It didn’t end well. Struck the ball with an almighty hook, and off it flew into the woods. Gutted. Then, in another act of sheer stupidity whilst now playing 3 off the tee, used the same club. You can guess where it went. Yup, same place as the first one! That was it, game over!

The rest of the round was just average and I most certainly did not ‘just play golf’. I spent the next 7 holes being grumpy with myself for having a NR on my card.

Now, lets move onto Bank Holiday Monday, and again it was another lovely morning for it. I played 18 with my father in law, and was determined to right the wrongs from Saturday. Oh, and really try to just play golf.

Just Play Golf - bank hol monday

Started well, a nice drive followed by a lovely 9 iron and a two putt for a par. Played so well on the front 9 holes. Probably the best I’ve played…ever. Was striking the ball beautifully. It was going where I was aiming it, my short game was really good and I even putted well. I wasn’t thinking about anything, not my score, not my swing. Just simple focus on a target and hit the ball. That popular mantra – ‘just play golf’.

I finished the front with a 40 – +4 gross. I was so happy…just needed to carry this on for 9 more holes.

Just play golf - back 9

Had a good par on 10, and got to 11. Still with Saturdays tee shot in mind, hit an iron with squirted out right and landed in the lip of the bunker. Managed to get it out but didn’t chip well and came off with my first double bogey of the round. So annoying.

Seemed to get everything back together and par the 12th, which is the hardest hole on the course. I was back!

On the 13th, it’s a really big open fairway. One of those fairways where you just can’t stop yourself from trying to absolutely cream the ball and knock it into next week. This is what I did. Except I didn’t cream it down the fairway, I pulled it a little left into the small line of trees! As I walked to my ball, I tried to chant in my head to keep me in it…’just play golf, just play golf, just play golf’. I found my ball nestled by the foot of the tree, but figured I could just about get a 6 iron to it to punch it out. Duffed it! It trickled to past one tree and sat down at the base of the next one. Brilliant!

After a somewhat shambolic hole, I came off with a mightily frustrating 7…a triple bogey! Such an idiot. Made an even bigger idiot of myself on 14 after coming off with a really scrappy 6…on a par 3!! So, in two holes I threw away four shots. AARRRRGGGGHHH. What happened to that ‘just play golf’ thought?

Just play golf - back 12

After a reasonable par/bogey/bogey/bogey, I finished with a 47 for the back 9. A very silly 47. A total score of 87, +15 gross (-5 handicap). It should have been much lower.

I suppose there are positives to take here. Firstly, I’ve clearly improved and CAN score well. I’m proving that more and more, I just need to stop making such bad mistakes. I know I’ll have the odd double, but I can’t be having triple bogeys anymore. I also need to try to get through 18 holes with that same ‘just play golf’ mindset.

If only golf was played over 9 holes…I’d be brilliant!