Well what a week of golf that was, it started last Friday in my clubs roll-up, 17 holes were open, which after all the rain we had endured midweek coupled with the work that had been undertaken on the course, getting 17 holes open was an excellent achievement by our greens staff at Coventry Golf Club.
The balls went in the bag to create the 4-balls and order of play and then they went into the air to pair off for the matchplay teams, the losers of which pay for the others food & drink when we get back to the clubhouse.
As soon as I drove my first ball, which I was a little apprehensive and anxious about after struggling the week before, I knew as I watched it fire down the fairway with just a nice little bit of draw I was going to have a good round, oh how that first drive takes away the pressures immediately when you catch it right and have struggled previously.
It really is hard to understand what creeps into our rounds at times when only a few days before you've visited parts of the golf course never to be explored before by humans only then to drive your ball perfectly finding fairways for fun, anyway, a solid 8 pars and 1 birdie followed with a few unlucky bobbles and lip outs which could have made the round even more memorable but to finish on a very respectable 39 points from the 17 holes open was very pleasing and enough to take all the spoils.
Well when things are going well there's nothing better than jumping back on the horse as quick as possible, so it was straight back to play in my regular Saturday roll-up, once again we had 17 holes open and our 5 new greens were now in play also, and once again I drilled my first drive right down the left-hand side of the fairway, it really is key to me I think getting that first drive away cleanly, it really sets me up mentally as once again a solid 6 pars and 2 birdies followed for 38 points from 17 holes, so a degree of consistency is creeping into my last 2 rounds, but I must cut out the average 2 non-scoring holes per round I experience, they can be very destructive at times and without them my scores would be much much better.
Course management on those holes when I'm blocked out from seeing the green or a little further back than I'd like on a dogleg is the key I think, taking my medicine as they say and don't try anything daft which results in just getting into more trouble or not being in a position to make a score, easy words for all of us but at the time we convince ourselves we can make that shot, but how many times do we really pull it off?
So, with the blessing of my good lady wife I hit the club again for my third round on the bounce and entered the well attended Sunday morning roll-up, an excellent mix of low single handicap players up to the odd Cat4 where all in attendance. There's quite a few members in this roll-up that I haven't met or played with in my 12 months at the club, so these roll-ups are an excellent way to meet new people, especially for me as being still a relatively new member. The balls went into a hat and I was paired with Chris, a 6 handicapper that I'd spoken to before but not had the pleasure to play with or alongside, our opposition pairing was Simon another 6 handicapper whom I'd never seen before and Mark, who I had played with a couple of times and was off 10, so I was in good company and off we went to the 10th to tee off.
Our 10th off the yellows is a tough long par 4 hole, so starting with a par really got my juices going, especially after the 2 recent good rounds I'd just had, the banter started immediately as with a shot Chris and I went 1-up immediately coming out the traps all guns firing. Unfortunately we only had 6 holes open on the back 9 which I duly parred 5 of them and double bogied the other, so I turned on 17 points, 2 over gross and yet only 2-up on the match, Simon & Mark were really hanging on to our shirt tails needing birdies to half the holes I was parring, it was becoming a great battle!
Off to the 1st tee now to start the front 9, again another tough par 4 hole off the yellows and my double bogey on it brought me back to earth a little after finding a fairway bunker taking on too big a 2nd shot, a little word with myself whilst the banter was growing as Simon & Mark could sense a chink in my armour, but I reacted by parring 5 of the remaining 8 holes which was too much for them to contend with, so I totted up 22 points on the front to add to my 17 on the back for a 39 points total from only 15 holes, 8 over gross and 10 pars bagged & tagged, and when I think I missed 3 very good birdie opportunities from around 4ft, it could have been even better!
What a great day, I really didn't mind buying the bowls of chips out of my winnings and to be fair to everyone, they were all pleased for me as they know I'm working hard to get my handicap down this season.
2016 is really going to be the #YOTF and this handicap of 20 (19.9) is going to take a real bashing this season ;-)