Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 31/12/15
It was a lovely bright day, a bit chillier than of late, very windy but dry! However, the course wasn't dry, far from it. Some areas were quite waterlogged and we had to play off uncut grass in front of the tee boxes in a few cases, as the ground staff were obviously trying to protect heavily used patches. The approaches to the greens were roped off to divert trollies but by carrying you can step over, part of the reason for doing it. Areas of long grass were very 'heavy' and it was best to avoid them if at all possible.
You will see that my score on the 1st wasn't great. This isn't unusual. You tee off with trees and a ditch immediately to the right, the trees being out of bounds. There are also trees to the left that make a 'safe' shot to the left impractical. So, you need to be accurate. Better players can play over the righthand trees, but you need a 200 yard plus drive to do this, which I haven't got.
My first shot actually bounced back on to the fairway off one of the left-side trees. My second landed on the left-side path requiring a drop to the left, which placed the left hand trees partially in play. The ball caught a small branch and this stunned the third shot. The fourth placed me just short of the green but the iron dug in the soft mud and the ball hardly moved. The next attempt was better and I then took two putts. So an 8, but with one impeded shot and one duff one, I couldn't have expected much else. I only get one shot on this hole, so it was a nett double bogey.
Things then improved, with a nett par on the 2nd and a 5 on the par 3, 3rd, this being due to an over-hit chip followed by three putts.
The 4th is the hardest hole on the course by stroke index, and it is difficult. I had a good tee shot but fluffed the first fairway shot. The next recovered ground placing me on the right of what is a fairly narrow approach between trees (and out of bounds) on the right, and a lake on the left. I was in longish grass and committed the cardinal sin of looking up as I took the shot, something I'm prone to do when the shot is a bit tricky. The result was an air shot! The next one put me on the green and two putts gave me a 7, a nett bogey. Not bad for the hardest hole after a fluffed shot and an air shot.
The wind took my tee shot on the 5th leaving me in very long wet grass to the right and short of the green. It actually took quite a while to find the ball. The first attempt at a pitch dug in, moving the ball only feet, but a second attempt put me on the green for a single putt. A nett par on this par 3.
The 6th was also a nett par having teed off into the sun with no idea where the ball went, although it was actually in the middle of the fairway.
The 7th was marred by sending my 4th shot into a bunker, from which I escaped but needed another pitch to get on the green, where I two-putted for a 7. Nett bogey.
The 8th was an unqualified disaster, the sort of result that I haven't had for a long time. It was embarrassing in fact. I often find if a hole starts out badly, it continues that way. There's no good reason for this to be so, but it seems to happen. I teed into trees on the left, from where a gentle tap go me back onto the fairway. It's a long hole (441 yards) so this wasn't a good start. The next shot wasn't particularly long and the subsequent one sliced right into long grass with trees obstructing my sight line to the green. I played out of there badly, but was back on the fairway. My 6th shot should have put me on the green but was well short - far too thick! I was then left with a pitch that I shanked into the bunker on the right. I played out of the bunker into long grass and then proceeded to thin the iron shot to the other side of the green, from where I had to chip back on and then took two putts. An inglorious 11 - I did say it was a disaster!
After that the 9th wasn't too bad. My second shot put me on the edge of a bunker from where I played a short safety shot, but I was to the left of the green for 4, chipped on and two-putted for 7. A nett bogey as I only get one shot on this par 5.
The Game Golf system doesn't provide a means of entering your handicap but instead assigns you one after you've completed and uploaded results for 30 holes. At this point, therefore, the scorecard doesn't show my handicap-adjusted scores, but I'm willing to bet that when I'm assigned a handicap it won't be as good as the one to which I'm currently supposed to be playing. Winter isn't a good time to play for a handicap.