Well I'm back out playing but sadly the decent form I had at the range over the Easter holiday has deserted me (no shock there) and I'm still searching for anything resembling consistency. I played at Royal Ascot with fellow member Hywel Lloyd today and took on two guys from the Golf Monthly Forum who are en-route to a day out at Walton Heath tomorrow with Ping. The chosen few are being custom fitted for a new Ping driver on their Tour Van and then get to play Walton Heath in a Golf Monthly v Ping challenge. On top of that rising tour star Danny Willett is going to be on hand to pass on valuable tips.
Hywel and I were defending an unbeaten record in forum challenge games. Our two visitors started off nervously. One of the guys, Dave Joyce had played the course before when we took on the might of the Golf Monthly editorial staff in a challenge some two years ago but Tony Nicholls was new to challenge. In the end it was one of those really great games where no-one is playing out of their skin, except for Hywel who had ridden into town and was masquerading as a golfing bandit, and there was never more than one hole in it.
To be honest Hywel was virtually taking them on single handed as I wasn't swinging well at all. Whilst on the range it was easy to swing within myself, protect the back and therefore make a better turn, today it was back to an old story of a quick tempo, flailing limbs and some good shots smattered with a fair portion of mediocrity. The writing looked to be on the wall for our record when Dave hit the 17th (218 yard par 3) which was playing into a decent breeze. Fortunately my wing man was on hand to make a great par 5 up the last which considering it is uphill, over water to the green, played directly into the teeth of the wind, and was a win or bust moment in the match was a great finish.
In the end a halved match seemed the perfect result. Tony can go to Walton Heath with some confidence about his game. Dave can catch up with "Caddying for Dummies" tonight as he is Tony's bagman tomorrow. Hywel can sneak out of town with 41 points including a no score on 17 and I can rest my aching back which is now starting to feel the effect of playing.
I desperately need to do some remedial work on my swing but might leave it until Thursday. It's my first day back in work since Thursday lunchtime tomorrow so I doubt I'll be in a good frame of mind to be constructive about my practice. I can only hope that the better weather will herald a change in fortunes. We'll see come the weekend.