Winter League Golf
Winter League Golf
As we’re into the closed season now, it’s all about practice… and winter league golf!
The weather has been ok this week, which meant I got to have quite a bit of practice. Managed to get out for 9 holes mid week, hit the Trackman room at the JWhitaker Golf, Howley Hall Golf Club Performance Centre, and chipped a lot in the garden! I also had a bash with this little gadget at the driving range that I’m testing for Golfshake – The SkyPro. Very cool (review incoming!).
So all in all, especially after my round last weekend, I should be in pretty good shape for the weekend right?
Saturday was a medal. Now, medals are tough at the best of times. In winter, they’re much tougher! I was trying NOT to put too much pressure on the score today, but focus on my ball striking. Also, treat as practice for the winter league match on Sunday.
It didn’t start well. Hooked it off the 1st tee into the trees! This is my bad shot at the minute, over rotation of the club face. Luckily, I managed to find it and hit a nice 8 iron out, just short of the green. A chip and a two-putt later and I walked of with a bogey 5. Not bad given it could easily have been a lost ball!
It never really improved that much. I was most definitely on the ‘bogey train’. It wasn’t even particularly bad shots that were costing me, it was more from poor decisions I was making. A on the 6th and the 8th were the only highlights of a poor 46 on the front 9.
The back 9 was much the same. Poor decisions & bad putting cost me far too many shots and despite managing pars on the 11th and 15th I finished with a 49, giving me a finish of 95! Rubbish…and nowhere near the highs of last week!
Still, Sunday is the big one this weekend.
The Winter League at The Manor is a pairs ¾ handicap Stableford Competition. So, you rack up the points over a number of weeks and then it goes to play offs etc until the champions are crowned! Not only that, you play a regular fourball, so we always have a battle for bragging rights between me and my partner Andy (5hcp) and the other pairs Adam (5hcp) and Mick (17hcp). It’s a nice evenly matched game too.
We set off at 7.08…it was barely light!
Much like Saturday, I started badly with another hook into the trees. After getting to the green, I started off with a 3 putt for a 6! Thankfully, Andy managed better then that! Again, I was striking the ball pretty well. I had a few bad ones, but generally it was pretty good. My putting however, was pretty bad. Andy was keeping us in it though, and I managed to pull out pars on the 4th, 7th and 9th, all holes where I had a shot which helped our card At least I was contributing! We finished the front with 20 points. Not bad…
The 10th wasn’t great for any of us! After another pulled tee shot, I thought I had a shot around the tree to the green from about 100 yards. I almost made it, but it just caught a branch, sending it off into the woods… never to be seen again! It was all on my partner to get the points here. Then, I went on a decent run. I had pars on the 11th, 13th, 14th and 15th. When I didn’t score, Andy did, including a brilliant 2 on the 16th.
So, it was onto the par 5 18th, and we were looking good for a reasonable score. I was first up, followed by Andy, Adam and Mick…
4 golfers, 4 very different swings. It’s like watching the PGA tour isn’t it!!!!! Now, despite the pressure of being filmed, we all hit reasonable drives. Once we got up the fairway, we couldn’t see Andy’s ball. It must have buried just off the fairway in the long stuff on the left, so it was down to me to score on the last. Hit a nice 3 wood up the fairway leaving me 160 yards into the wind, to the pin. Pulled my 4 rescue to the left, which left me a tricky 50-yard chip over the banking to the pin. Not sure where it came from, but hit one of by best chips of the day, which left me a 2 ft putt for par. Have to say, was a little bit twitchy as I’d missed a few during the round. Knew I just had to hit it…and hope for the best! Thankfully, it dropped for a 5 and another 3 points.
We finished with 43 points, versus Adam and Mick’s 39. The Winter League Golf bragging rights are ours this week! Not sure where that’s left us in the league, but some pretty nice golf was had.
So, the work continues as I aim to get to Cat 1 handicap. This week, another lesson with Ryan Rastall down at J Whitaker Golf, Howley Hall and a boys golf weekend at Forest Pines to look forward to . What’s not to like about winter!