Archives for 2018 | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary


Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 16/07/18

After a couple of respectable rounds recently, on Monday I reverted to my usual frustrating play. Too many mistakes and some pretty awful putting stats.

It was yet again extremely hot, pushing 30℃. That didn't help. Also the course is like concrete and any misjudgement on ground shots can have unpredictable consequences.

I didn't start too badly on the 1st, being just off the green for 3. However, a poor chip and three putts resulted in a nett bogey 7. I went well into the left side trees on the 2nd. I knocked out sideways and then proceeded to put the next shot in the right side bunker. I got out but it left me a long putt and I was probably lucky to get down in two for a 6, another nett bogey.

On the 3rd I went well right and had to make a ground-hugging shot to avoid the low hanging willow branches. The ball just made the green and I managed to putt out in two for a nett birdie 4. Having played the 4th brilliantly a couple of times recently, today was payback. I sliced my second shot into the trees and, once more playing a low shot out, I got the direction wrong. Result, the ball was lost in the lake. I dropped, then didn't reach the green with the pitch, putted on and two-putted for a blobbed 7.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 12/07/18

I don't want to say this too loudly, but things seem to be looking up a bit for my golf. After a 45 on 2 July, I almost repeated it today, but my poor par 3 scores made it a 47. Still, by my standards this was exceptional. I've started carrying with a reduced club set, mainly to save having to get a trolly and trolly bag in my small car. But perhaps using fewer clubs allows me to become more familiar with each of them, and think a bit more about each shot. Who knows?

A good drive off the 1st was followed by a less than good hybrid. Playing after a drop from the path I hit a good 6-iron and followed this with an 8-iron that ran off the back right of the green. The pin was, however, towards the back of the green, and an 8-iron 'putt' dropped in, giving me an unexpected par and nett birdie. I managed not to make too much of a mess of the 2nd. My second shot went right and left me with a pitch over the bunker, a shot that went badly wrong on Tuesday. This time it was more controlled and with two putts I had a nett par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 10/07/18

I joined Helen and her friend Lorna today and played off the red tee boxes. It was more of a practice than anything serious. After weeks of blistering heat the temperature had dropped significantly, showing 17 ℃ when we got out of the car, compared to 28 ℃ yesterday. And there was a bit of a fresh breeze. But it did warm up a bit as we made our way around.

I started well, the 160 yard second shot with my hybrid leaving me a pitch to the green. I put the ball on the green but it rolled off to the left, fortunately coming to rest before having the chance to roll further down the slope into the bunker. A decent chip and a putt for a par 5, but off the red tee box of course.

Things went completely awry on the 2nd. The drive came dangerously close to rolling into the ditch on the right. From there I hit a very poor 6-iron and followed it with an equally poor 8-iron. I then had to chip over the bunker and completely over-played the shot, ending up off the far side of the green. The chip on was short, needing two putts for a 7. The red tee box on the 3rd makes it a very short hole and I put the ball on the green. My first putt was left short and I ended up needing two more for a 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 05/07/18

After Monday's remarkable round I had a lot to live up to, but I knew that it was unlikely I would repeat the performance. And I was right. In fact, not only did I not play well, but the lucky breaks also deserted me. I'm not going to give a blow by blow account as the end result doesn't warrant it. It was again very hot, this time with the added discomfort of higher humidity and hardly a breath of wind.

The 1st went well, with no mistakes and a nett par 6. On the 2nd I found the trees on the left and because of the lie had to play into a 'between fairways' area and back on again. This I did quite well but then fluffed the short chip, finally getting a bogey 7. On the 3rd I found the first of the four bunkers that I would get in today. I crossed the green with my clearance, needing to chip back and two-putt for a nett par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 02/07/18

The hot dry weather continues with the car external temperature gauge recording 30℃ when I got back after the round. The fairways are predominantly yellow and like concrete, but the greens and tee boxes benefit from watering so are still refreshingly green. I'm still carrying, with a reduced club set, and I am still using Helen's cast-off driver, which I repaired after the top of the shaft was snapped by an uncaring buggy driver. And today everything seemed to come together, a bit of luck here and there serving me up my best 9-hole score to date.

A 140 yard drive off the 1st tee was followed by two hybrid shots, each also around 140 yards. This put me about 30 yards out and a pitch on left me a putt for a par. I needed two, but it was still a nett par. Not a bad start. I aimed left off the 2nd tee but overdid it, the ball entering the upper branches of a high tree, and then dropping back into the rough below. But it was safe. My hybrid shot hit ground before the ball, sending the ball right towards the ditch. Fortunately it didn't reach and I was able to play an 8-iron onto the green. Two putts for a nett par 5, giving me two nett pars in succession.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 26/06/18

I went out with Helen today and we played the back nine. I played off the red tee boxes with her to be sociable, which also of course reduced the difficulty somewhat. Notwithstanding this, I felt that I played quite well. It was scorching hot, the car showing 27 ℃ when we returned from the round. I'm still using Helen's old driver and must say that it is behaving itself far better than my Ping, as shown by an 88% fairway accuracy today.

After a fair drive off the 10th tee I put my second hybrid shot into the bunker that straddles the fairway, one of the disadvantages of gaining a bit of distance from the red tee box. I was against the lip so couldn't get much distance out. I then put the ball on the green with my 8-iron but three-putted for a 7. On the 11th the drive was shorter but I then hit a very respectable hybrid leaving me about 50 yards to the green. I overplayed the pitching wedge and had to chip back on, but single-putted for a 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 21/06/18

Today I took my Game Golf device so I could check out distances having changed my driver, plus it also helps me remember what happened when writing up these reviews. The problem was that it's so long since I used the thing, I kept forgetting to register the club before the shot. Fortunately it's sophisticated enough to sense the shot, leaving me to fill in the club details back at home.

Things started absolutely brilliantly. A good drive off the 1st followed by two well hit hybrid shots put me just short of the left hand green bunker. A well-judged chip set me up with a putt for par 5, which I made, a nett birdie. The drive on the 2nd was a bit over lofted, and the following hybrid shot again stopped short of a bunker, this time to the right of the green. Another good chip and one putt for another par, and another nett birdie.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 18/06/18

After another longish break I returned to the course on Monday for 9 holes. I didn't take my Game Golf device or Garmin range finder, as I decided not to get too serious about how I played. I also adopted a new strategy, reverting to my carry bag with a reduced club set. And, to complete the transformation, I took my wife, Helen's discarded driver, she having bought herself a new one. The little story behind this is that the shaft of her driver was broken by an idiot who tried to take a buggy through the narrow passage behind our putting green, sending Helen's golf bag flying. The shaft was snapped a few inches from the top and the golf shop wrote it off. But using a short section of an old shaft as an insert, and some resin glue, I fixed it, and we had a new grip fitted. It's a much lighter club than my Ping G30 driver, with a smaller head and a slightly shorter shaft. I find it more like a hybrid, and as such easier to use.

Having said this, on the 1st tee I took a shorter (white) tee and promptly went over the top of the ball, sending it only about 20 yards. Not a good start. The next hybrid shot wasn't great either, and the following one went right into trees way off the fairway. My time away from the game was showing. I hit well out of the trees with a 6-iron and then put a hybrid shot about 15 yards short of the green for 5. I made a reasonable chip on and could have putted for a nett bogey 7, but needed two for a blobbed 8; not bad, though, considering the start.

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Ryder Cup! - 22/05/2018

You may be intrigued by the title of this post. In fact it was the latest instalment of a friendly match series initiated on the occasion of one of the team's 70th birthday. To date all the matches have been Texas Scrambles, allowing one to shelter behind other's superior ability. But this time they decided on match play, thus the Ryder Cup monika.

I was drawn against a 14 handicapper. This meant I was given 13 shots, as I currently play off 27. However, these were allocated as one shot on each of the first 13 indexed holes. This may sound good but I normally get two shots on holes indexed 1 to 9. By only giving me one shot on these 13 holes, I needed score no more than one over his score just to half the hole. On the other 5 holes I needed to match his score to half the hole. That was never going to happen.

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Back on the course

After a fairly long break I ventured out yesterday. My back is still a bit suspect so I decided to take a less ambitious approach to my game. With the weather now looking much better, and the fairways firming up, I reverted to a hybrid for my fairway shots, occasionally opting for my 3-wood where space allowed for a wayward shot. Both these clubs are less demanding on my body than the irons, which I tend to swing a lot faster. So, that was the strategy.

It started well on the 1st. My drive wasn't long, and drifted a bit right, but it didn't reach the ditch. Two hybrids later I was about 90 yards from the green (I didn't take my Garmin or the Game Golf device). I then surprised myself by putting the ball on the green for 4 on this par 5. Unfortunately I then three-putted for a nett bogey 7. But it was a surprisingly good start.

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Golf in the doldrums

If indeed anybody reads this diary, they may have wondered why there have been no reports since 5 February. The reason, pure and simple, is that I've hardly played since then, and when I have it's been so dire as not to warrant a report. I did in fact play, badly, on 15 February, but that was the last time until this Monday, 19 March.

So why? Well, there's the poor play, obviously, but there's also the fact that my body, or to be more precise my back, seems to be suffering much more lately after playing golf. My lay-off since February brought with it the disappearance of my sciatica, which immediately re-appeared when I played again this week. And, of course, there's been the appalling weather this winter, with the course being very wet and muddy.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 05/02/18

It was really cold today. After five minutes warm up on the putting green my hands were frozen. But it was bright, and the wind was much lighter, if bitterly cold.

My hopes of improved iron shots after last Thursday's deliberations did not materialise. After a reasonable drive off the first tee I topped the 4-iron, sending the ball left and less than 20 yards. The next was better, and I was nearly on the green with my fourth shot. A chip on and two putts for a nett bogey 7. We were playing off mats again and on the 2nd I floored the driver, causing the ball to go right and run into the ditch, where it was lost. A penalty drop was followed by a poor 5-iron that left me well short. The pitching wedge got me on but three putts left me with a blobbed 7.

My driver shot on the short 3rd only avoided the 'seasonal' lake to the right because it bounced back off a tree. A low 7-iron got me on the green and two putts gave me a nett birdie 4. Having just avoided the bunker with my drive on the 4th my 6-iron was poor, leaving me on a raised bank. I took my 5-iron to go for the green, but again the shot wasn't clean, leaving me well short. Then I muffed the pitch, needing another to get on for 5. Two putts for a nett bogey 7.
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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 01/02/18

Today offered up a brief respite from the seemingly endless rain this winter, the temperature having dropped accentuated by a 20 mph cold wind. Hardly ideal, especially as the ground was still pretty soft. Thankfully the greens were open but we did have to play off mats, positioned forward of the normal tee boxes. Making the right tee peg choice was sometimes difficult, with the rubber inserts positioned at different depths in the mats, thus either decreasing or increasing the height of whatever tee you would normally use.

A good drive on the 1st was promptly wasted as I was high on the ball with my 4-iron, gaining me less than 60 yards. I then pulled the next 4-iron shot sending the ball through the trees to the left. It fortunately found its way through without impact, leaving me an awkward shot to the green that was obstructed by a high tree. I opted to steer right of the tree, meaning that the ball dropped to the right and short of of the green, and it was plugged. I took a free drop and pitched on, then put in a long putt for a nett par 6. Quite amazing considering the chequered approach.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 18/01/18

It's been a long time since my last report. In fact I haven't played much golf. A combination of aches and pains, Christmas, appalling weather, a virus, and a general apathy to going out on a course that has been subjected to day after day of rain. I did in fact play after my last report in November, but I forgot my Game Golf device, and played very badly, so I didn't bother to report the day. I also played in a Texas scramble at the beginning of December, but again played badly. So, how did things go this time? Well, it started not too badly, but then went downhill.

The 1st started very well, with a reasonable drive and two 4-irons getting me pin high. But, unfortunately, I had drifted left and was in the bunker. I got out but was short of the green. A chip on and two putts gave me a nett bogey 7, which was a disappointment. On the 2nd I drove the right-side ditch and lost my ball. A reasonable recovery after a drop left me just short of the green, but my pitch was long and I needed two putts for a nett bogey 6.

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