How do you play a wet and muddy golf course?
How do you play a wet and muddy golf course?
I don’t mind winter golf too much. It’s a good time to set our goals, and keep the improvement moving forward ready for the season to start. That said…jesus it can be hard work trying to play a wet and muddy golf course.
This week, I’ve managed a decent practice session and had a lesson with Ryan down at JWhitaker Golf at Howley Hall. It was really positive…(if we forget about the short game for a second!). We’re still focusing on getting my club face sorted at impact, and looking at the path a little as I have a tendency to really drop my hands on the inside. This gets me really trapped when trying to turn into the impact position, which is certainly contributing to my club face as I’m then manipulating the last quarter of my swing with me hands. So, with those things in mind, I was really looking forward to playing this weekend as I’d been striking the ball pretty well.
The weather in Yorkshire this week has been pretty awful, as I’m sure it has been through much of the UK. We’ve had a lot of rain… so much so; I think I saw Noah making a run for it! The Manor is a course that doesn’t really handle the rain particularly well, and when you see the ‘No Trolleys’ sign you know it’s going to be pretty bad out there.
The course had also now been reduced to just 16 holes, as well as the 3rd going onto a temp green (par 4 to par 3) and the 18th onto a forward tee (par 5 to par 4).
It just didn’t quite feel there. It was one of those days where for some unexplainable reason, your swing just feels weird. I have no idea why, or what I was doing differently, but it definitely didn’t feel right. Off the tee was particularly poor, which was even more annoying as that’s been a really solid part of my game recently.
On a positive, my short game was much improved, especially between 40 and 8 yards; a distance I’ve really struggled with of late. Maybe it was just one of those days. It was cold and it was foggy so tricky to see what was going on, not to mention the wet and muddy golf course we were playing on. It was one of those days to not dwell on too much and try and play like an actual golfer on Sunday when it counted.
The weather on Sunday was a definite improvement. Well, you could se further than 100 yards so I’ll take that! However, we’d had more rain over night so no doubt the wet and muddy golf course we had on Saturday was going to be significantly worse. And it was!
The winter league is a great format. It’s pairs betterball stableford, ¾ handicap, top 16 in the league after the qualifying period then go into a knockout. It really is enjoyable… most of the time.
This week, I decided to leave some of my clubs in the car, rather than carry the entire bag. So, I left my rescue, my 7 iron, my 52˚ wedge and my 60˚ wedge. My bag was so much lighter!
That was probably the only good thing about my golf on Sunday. My half decent golf game was still at home, or perhaps at JWhitaker Golf, Howley Hall as that was where it was last seen! It most certainly was NOT at The Manor this cold Sunday morning!
Again, off the tee I just couldn’t get it going. Not one single swing felt right. I was pushing them out to the right, or hooking them. Not only that, the strikes were nowhere near the centre of the club. Stupidly, the more it happened, the more I tried to fix it and subsequently, the more it broke. I didn’t hit one fairway with my driver. I got Adam to film my swing on the 13th… and it looked awful! Strangely, I actually got away with that one…but it didn’t come close to replicating what it should be!
As you can see, I was over swinging, using my hands far too much, swing plane was awful, didn’t get through the ball etc etc etc…! Ugly golf swing!
I did have the occasional positive during the round. Hit a nice long putt on the 3rd for a par. On the 4th (par 3, which states is 164 yards from the winter mat…it’s a lot further!), I hit a nice shot off the tee. I’d usually hit my rescue, as I didn’t have it I want for a 3 wood that I gripped down on. Slightly long, but just off the back of the green. It’s a really tough tee shot off the winter tees, and there isn’t much margin for error.
Had a nice par on the 8th too, which plays a long way in the winter. On the back 9, I really struggled. The wet and muddy golf course was not helping me either! Not only was I poor off the tee, I was starting to get ragged with my irons too and taking some shots really heavy.
Thankfully, my partner Andy was playing ok and keeping us in it!
I did contribute a little on the back 9 for our team, managing a par on the 16th and the 18th. With Andy’s birdie on the 17th it smartened up our card significantly and left us with 34 pints over 16 holes. Not too bad considering neither of us had our A game out.
It’s always disappointing when you go out on the golf course feeling confident in your game, yet almost forget how to hit the golf ball. The more it happens, the worse it gets. This is what really sets out the low handicap guys from people like me right now. If my game isn’t there, it really shows. For those guys, their swing is so solid and repeatable it rarely makes a great difference and they don’t start to meddle during the round. If anything, their shots are lost on the short game.
So what do I need to do to get to a level where my swing is just the same… all the time? More practice? A better routine? A better golf swing? All my clubs in the bag?
Probably all four of them right now if I’m to get this challenge going in the right direction!