When I joined Coventry Golf Club in February last year (2015), I joined the club's B-team, it's a great way to meet new members and play some excellent local courses for less than you can with your County Card and usually with a great meal thrown in too. Last season I only got to play 5 matches before I injured myself and was then out of action for the whole season, however, I never lost a match and was unbeaten up until that time.
Our B-team is now underway for 2016 with the traditional start against our Coggs (Seniors). It's always a great day and although it can be seen as a bit of a fun, it's very competitive as the bragging rights are extremely important to both teams.
So, early this month we played against the Coggs and duly lost the day 4-1, we also lost this match last season but not by such a large margin, although I did win my own match last year and came 2nd overall in the stableford points, again this season I was the only person to win my match!
Our first competitive match was against Ladbrook Park last week, my opponents were not dissimilar in handicaps but as soon as the lad off 20 bombed his drive down the first fairway probably 50 yards further than I've ever been even with my Sunday best, I knew it was going to be a tough day! It soon became apparent that even though he had a huge drive in his locker, his short game didn't match up to it, but his partner came in very well when he was out of the hole, they continued to dovetail very well and it was everything to hang on to their shirt tails.
As we approached the turn I found myself 3-down and the young lad seemed to grow in confidence, we halved 10 & 11 but then I parred 12, 13 & 14 in regulation and got the match back to all square, it was during those holes I noticed the young lad wobble, he played very well off the front foot but he didn't cope very well with being pegged back and started to spray his drives and took on too many hero shots putting himself out of the holes quite quickly.
The tough 15th long par 3 beckoned, I was just right of the green pin high and chipped down to 3ft from the pin and marked my ball, the young opponent was short behind the fairway bunker and chipped down left of the pin but it rolled away 20ft away from the flag, my partner was 6ft from the pin in 2 but had a shot and the other opponent was out of the hole already, so it was the young lad to putt first and he drained it, such was their delight after being pegged back for the last 3 holes, we suddenly out of the blue witnessed an American style premature celebration of jumping up & down, high fives and over the top scenes of jubilation, did they not realise that my partner was still putting for the hole and had 2 shots for the half from only 6 feet? So, a half it was, and they seemed suitably pleased to stop the rot, although I'm not sure what the scenes would have been like had that been a winning putt for the match, I think we had disturbed a Hornets nest ;-)
Anyway, it was a decent match with good company as always and we finished all square with the match halved, after chasing the game for the first 11 holes I was very relieved not to have lost it, but we unfortunately lost the match against their club 3.5 - 2.5.
My 2nd B-team match to date was away to Leamington & County on Thursday, this course has had some substantial changes to it since last season so it was a little confusing as the walks from green to tee were a little strange at times. Anyway, I was back paired with my usual partner from last season and whom I'd played with in the recent Greensomes competition.
Well to say I'd sliced my first tee shot would be kind, it was way right, but luckily there was a decent gap in the trees to punch my 5 iron down and I duly found the fairway and was comfortably back in play. I secured the half and my partner, Pete secured the win, 1-up and a good start. A new par 3 next playing 175 yards into a slight breeze, I found the green with my 4 iron and we were suddenly 2-up after a nice par.
My driving off to the right returned a few times during the match but I recovered very well, my long irons really did get me back into play, so well that on the 6th which is a steep uphill drive which then turns into a left to right downhill dogleg to a well protected green, I drove to the right leaving myself 173 yards out the rough but I could just see the green, I composed myself and struck a great 4 iron to 6 inches from the pin for a birdie, what a feeling that strike was! We went onto to win the match 6&5 shaking hands on the 13th :D
Looking forward to my next B-team match against Maxstoke on Tuesday and hopefully keep my unbeaten record of 8/8 going for as long as possible, am I the Ian Poulter of Coventry in Matchplay ;-)
With my stroke play match on Saturday off the back tees for the first time and in testing rainy conditions and shooting a great nett 68 (par 73), I could be reporting playing in the A-team next season ;-) #Dreamer