Sunday, 17 February 2013

After All This Time I Missed Out

A lot of my recent posts have included a meteorological update. This weekend has been glorious and perfect for golfing. Great I hear you say and you'd be right apart from the golf club deciding to throw me a curve ball. There was due to be a pairs even today, which is one of the main trophy events, granting the winners passage into the end of season "Masters" event open only to honour board event winners, and the winners of monthly stableford or medal events.They notified everyone on Friday that it was postponed. Their logic being that the course had only had nine holes open due to waterlogging and they couldn't guarantee it would have dried in time for it to be played.

I didn't have a problem with that and had assumed it was a declaration that the back nine would be shut over the weekend. I didn't really fancy just playing nine holes, or even the same nine twice in the normal roll up so elected to have a lie in and rocked up to the club about 10.00am to work on my game. I got there just in time to see three of the usual crowd making their way to a now fully open back nine. Gutted doesn't begin to describe my feeling. I wandered over to the practice field but to be honest my heart was no longer in it.

The session wasn't great and old habits, in particular sliding the hips instead of turning around the spine had started to creep back in. In the end I did manage to hit some decent shots but the session did little to build on the work I've been doing. I wandered off to the putting green to try and find a chipping technique on which to build a bullet proof short game. I've a chipping lesson with my regular teaching pro Rhys ap Iolo on Friday. This has been a long time coming as I wanted to wait until we could have the lesson on grass and not a range mat.

My short game has been shocking for years. I've fallen between a rock and a hard place in terms of finding a technique that works regularly and produces decent results and all the theory has scrambled my head. I stand over a chip with so many thoughts and negativity that a duff a foot in front of where the ball lay or a skull twenty yards over the other side of the green are normal occurrences. It is despite my short game that I've got tantalisingly close to Homer's Odyssey of single figures. I do sometimes have days where it behaves and I can post a score. I have no fear of missing a green which tends to filter back through the rest of my game so I drive better, hit better lay up shots and hole out better.

This morning dawned a little foggy but I knew there was the big Sunday roll up going out. I had planned to join them but when push came to shove I opted for a couple more hours under the duvet. Nothing but laziness. It came about from a moping belief that somehow I had missed out yesterday and a concern that the poor range session and poor results from my time chipping would have had a serious knock on effect on my game.

It is tosh of course and I should have bitten the bullet and got out and enjoyed what was almost a perfect Spring like day. In the end I hit the practice field again. The ball striking in places was a lot more solid although if I'm honest the session lacked structure and became a ball bashing quest in places. In the end I managed to pull it all back and finished off with some satisfying shots and walked off after flushing a six iron almost as well as I can hit a shot.

At the end of the day, I did miss out. After the snow and torrential rain this was two days of perfect weather and I should have really have found a way to have got at least eighteen holes in. I have been listening to a couple of Karl Morris downloads to improve my mental attitude and wanted to implement what he had said (there will more on this in the near future) out on the course. I also had a new GPS device, a Sky Caddie SGX which replaced the SC5 model I've had for five or six years, to try out (full review coming). The SC5 has been a faithful companion and served me well over hundreds of rounds but it is now coming to the end of its life. The battery drains quicker and just every now and then it loses the signal of fails to work properly. I could get it serviced but the likely cost will be close to the price of a new model so I bit the bullet and put the SC5 out to pasture and will keep it as an emergency back up.

All in all then a rather unsatisfactory weekend. I've hit plenty of balls and made little progress and missed out on the chance, twice, to get a full eighteen holes in. If there is one little glimmer, my partner for the postponed pairs event today has been having lessons recently. Up until last week he had been struggling as a result but there were signs yesterday that it was starting to click for him. If Rhys can drain the crap in my head and get me chipping properly, and I can test my progress over the Winter on the course where ultimately it counts, then this delay may actually play into our hands.

I'll move forward. A couple of solid range sessions and the much needed chipping lesson and then I'm there. The hard work over the Winter has been done and now it is time to play and not procrastinate. It's the only way to measure my game and see where I'm at and get ready for what I feel could be a fantastic 2013 season.

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