Friday, 29 January 2016

Cookin' on gas....

With a break in the weather I've now managed to get on my course for 4 rounds over the last 7 days, with today being the 4th and just like the song, it feels good.

Saturday was my first day out on a golf course since my trip to Enville Golf Club and the first round on my own Coventry Golf Club course for some weeks due to the poor weather and it being closed!  It certainly blew the cobwebs away and I found myself a little anxious at times and as you all possibly know, that feeling certainly doesn't help when playing golf and only leads to poor ball striking and extra strokes, but hey, I was out on my own golf course, who's counting, just enjoy the moment and the good company.

I was generally surprised and as such suitably pleased with my driving with both my big dog and my mini-driver on Saturday which I've started to rotate on some specific tees and it's starting to pay dividends, my chipping and putting is still by far the best part of my game but, it's that bit in the middle I've got to work on more, the long game with long irons and my fairway wood is by far the weakest part of my game, get that right and the #YOTF will be easy to achieve.

So with clearing that bit of rustiness I decided to hit the course again early for the Sunday morning roll-up, I played with 2 members I'd not played with before which is always nice and we had some good fun out there.  I didn't get off to a great start even though I drove the ball well again off the tee, I slapped a couple of 2nd shots in the wet and somewhat muddy parts of the course and as such only scored 1 point on each of the first 2 opening holes, after some nice pars and getting back on track and more importantly back to level handicap, I then hit a wild block into the trees on the 9th which resulted in a blob (no score) meaning all the hard work after a poor start and getting back level was undone in a single hole, and so I turned 2 over handicap.

The back 9 was much more positive, our 10th hole is a long par 4 and until that Sunday I'd never reached it in regulation, a good drive followed by a personal best with my 4w put me on the front of the green, the mandatory 2-putt secured my par, I then birdied the par5 13th and although I dropped the odd shot on the run in, I pulled them back on the following hole with the end of the round resulting in a 1 over handicap.

I managed to get out again on Thursday and once again the improvements in ball striking, club selection and course management all came together, so much so I was only 6 over gross on the turn and 2 of those were from a silly double bogey on our par3 5th hole which is a comfortable level par hole for me but I over thought the shot and clipped the top of a tree only to give me an impossible angle back to the green.

I'll be back on the course today (Friday) in what are currently very windy conditions, perfect practice for my trip to Hayling Island on Wednesday next week where I will be exposed to all the elements on a great coastal links course, obviously you'll all hear about that trip next week, so please look back in.

With my golf and practice being so limited due to the weather and course closures all around me since before Christmas, and what with having new clubs which need plenty of time to bed in, the improvements in all aspects of my game are starting to shine through now that I'm getting back out there, the #YOTF is definitely becoming more of a reality than a hopeful wish.  

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

A round at last......

A friend off the Golf Monthly forum contacted me as a player from his Shifnal Golf Club had dropped out of an AM AM competition run by TeeTours and duly invited me along to play at Enville Golf Club on the Highgate Championship course. I now know what it's like when my dog hears that magical word "walkies", I found it very difficult to hide my excitement, at last I was getting out to play, I had been suffering cabin fever with my own Coventry Golf Club being closed most of the last 3-weeks no doubt like many golf courses across the country suffering from all this wet weather.

So I was playing Enville on the Highgate course for the first time, not in the most ideal conditions with the heavens opening up as I pulled into the car park and it was bitterly, bitterly cold, but, I have to say, for what we've all seen and endured over the past few weeks the course was in remarkably very good condition, the greens were a little bumpy as we were the 2nd but last group out and the fairways had just been tined, but it was more than playable and more importantly, I was out there, swinging my new clubs and the conditions are the same for everyone, so, bring it on...

I've just started not getting my big dog out straight away and favouring my mini-driver for a little more accuracy at the expense of distance whilst I warm into the round, this proved dividends at Enville as I found the fairways straight from the off, it did however see me still have well over 220 yards into the greens off some very long par 4's, especially with little run on the ball in such wet and cold conditions, I just now need to stop myself reaching for the 4 iron too early as it's just not happenin', but when I did hit a couple later in the round in regulation, it's a nice feeling.

I eventually reached for my main driver after a few holes, but only when I thought I had a decent bailout area just in case it didn't perform, because as we all know, our drivers can have a mind of there own at times! But luckily I hit some really nice long drives immediately with my favoured baby draw, the couple I messed up were simply down to overconfidence, normally straight after I'd just hit a great drive on the hole before, I'd then follow that up by trying to take the skin off the ball only to see it take out 150 yards of worm casts, but they were still straight and on the fairway!    

Early in the round I found myself in some really unlucky positions just around and off the greens with debri from the overhanging trees leaving twigs and small branches lying against my ball which I couldn't move, I was surprised by some of the overhanging branches in front and over some greens, it made course knowledge very important, if you were approaching from the wrong side of the fairway you had to manufacture some low bump & run shots rather than my preferred lob it in the air style, however, I was genuinely very pleased with a good handful of up & downs with my new wedges.

I thinks it's always nice to finish with the same ball that you've started with, especially on a new course, and although I did test its resolve a few times I always managed to walk straight to it when I blocked a couple of drives, I did however get a couple of friendly rebounds back onto the fairway off the tight treelined fairways.

A very nice Enville draft beer was enjoyed afterwards along with a generous Turkey & Cranberry filling sandwich, the journey home was horrific in the driving rain but I didn't care, I got a round in at last so the twitching has eased somewhat, I just hope its not a few weeks until the next round, after all, I need to keep it going and get these clubs dialed in, because in case you hadn't heard, it's the YOTF.