Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Kilburnlad

Aylesbury Park Golf Club - 17/09/18

We spent a few days at Hartwell House, a very impressive National Trust owned Relais & Chateau hotel, which was only five minutes drive from Aylesbury Vale Golf Course. We had pre-booked but it was very quiet and we enjoyed 18 holes in pleasant weather with nobody holding us up in front, nor pressing us from behind. This is how golf should be.

The 1st hole showed a ditch at 190 yards but it didn't appear anywhere near that far. I took a 7-iron to lay up but soon realised that I should have believed the distance, as I was still a way from the ditch. A weak hybrid shot went left, just missing the ditch but leaving me an 8-iron shot over the edge of trees. I could only hit to the right and the ball ran on, nearly disappearing into the heavy rough. Fortunately it didn't, but my next iron was short, requiring another chip on. Two putts for a 7 gave me a nett bogey, but it was a very shaky start.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course -13/09/18

Perfect conditions, bright sun but not to warm and little wind. Nothing to blame there, although the fairways are still like concrete, which is a problem for me at least. With that introduction you can guess that things didn't go too well.

8th fairway - 13 September 2018

I put my drive in the left-side trees on the 1st but cleared well with a 6-iron. I then put a hybrid shot about 50 yards short of the green and pitched on for 4. But I four-putted to ruin everything with a resounding blob. I found the trees again on the 2nd and managed to hit one playing out, sending my ball about 10 yards further back from where I started. A good hybrid put me within a chip of the green and two putts rescued a nett bogey 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 10/09/18

It was a sort of middling day today. My drives behaved themselves but I wasn't hitting the irons well, whether it be long or short shots. The weather was fine, a bit cooler than of late and some wind, but nothing to complain about. Once again play was slow, which now seems to be a regular occurrence.

A nice straight drive on the 1st followed by a hybrid of almost the same distance was a good start. My next hybrid was shorter and didn't quite make the green. I then thinned the chip sending me off the far side of the green. The putt on was a bit short but I put the next putt down for a nett per 6. I not only avoided the ditch today on the 2nd but managed a good drive of 182 yards. My 7-iron was then short, needing another chip on. Two putts for a nett par 5, a good start.
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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 06/09/18

Back on track today after Monday's problems. Not perfect by any means, as it involved quite a lot of recovery from poor shots, but barring the 8th, which I messed up after a good approach, things worked out reasonably well. Once again the weather was perfect, warm with little wind. The course is, however, still very dry, with many bald spots on the fairways that are tricky to play off.

My drive on the 1st was good at 182 yards, but the ball came to rest on the path, necessitating a free drop into the rough. I took the hybrid out, which probably wasn't a good choice, as it only made 90 yards. The same club took me forward 144 yards with the next shot, although I was again in the rough. My 8-iron put me on the green and two putts gave me a nett par 6. Not a bad good outcome despite the problems I created along the way. I once again ended up on the path on the 2nd. My drop put me on the sloping bank and the next shot went left, not reaching the green. I messed up the chip and then put the next one long, needing two putts to get down for a nett bogey 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 03/09/18

After Friday's victory, today it was down to earth with a bump. Nothing seemed to be working, and although I scrambled some not-too-bad scores on a few holes, overall it was pretty dire. The weather was perfect, so no excuses there, although the ground was very hard, having dried out again as a result of little rain recently. This made the iron shots a bit more tricky, well for me at least.

The 1st went so badly that it probably psychologically affected the rest of the round. The drive went into the left-side trees, from where I aimed to play out through what was a reasonable gap. But the ball struck one of the trees, rebounding to come to rest hard up against the trunk of a low conifer. There was no option other than to take a penalty drop, after which I managed again to catch a tree, causing the ball to remain within the left-side rough. A hybrid out followed by a decent iron shot to the green got me on for 7, and three putts left me with an inglorious 10.

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Mowsbury Park - Bedford - 31/08/18

For a change I can write a report that is a cause for celebration. Today was the Mad Cats Society's monthly outing. The organiser, John, calculates your handicap based on performance with the society, the starting point being your club handicap. As a result, my handicap had previously crept up to 28, but conscious of my inability to play even to that figure, John had upped it to 30 for today's outing. This act of generosity, aimed at giving everybody a chance to win something, coincided with me actually managing to play a very controlled round. The result was a score of 38 points, enough to make me the top man on the day. Something that was far from my expectations when I set off in the morning.

Conditions were perfect. Bright and cloudy to start with, with the sun breaking through later to produce a warm day with very little wind. As for the course, I'm convinced I've played there before, but I can find no record of this in my diary, nor in archived copies of the Mad Cats' programmes. This remains a mystery.

My drive off the 1st tee was good, which is always reassuring on a society day. The second shot, however, needed to clear a lateral ditch, so I played safe and laid up. I put the next iron shot to the right of the green with a bit of a shank, but played a good gap wedge over the banking around the green, allowing two putts for a nett bogey 6. The 2nd was very controlled. A longish drive, hybrid and iron down the middle, with a chip and one putt for a nett birdie 5. A good result on this long par 4 (418 yards) which is a par 5 for the women.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 28/08/18

I went out with the women again yesterday having missed my Monday golf because of a family event. This gave me the opportunity to hand in another card and thus fulfil my obligation to submit three cards to maintain a handicap rating. The previous two cards weren't great. Today was a bit better if one ignores the complete and utter disaster on the 15th. Another interesting outcome was that I had a 6 on each of the outgoing 9 holes, bar the par 3, 3rd, where I had a 4. The back 9 wasn't so good.

A straight drive off the 1st tee followed by two similarly straight hybrids allowed me to put an 8-iron shot on the green. I was a couple of inches short of a par, but the knock-in gave me a nett par 6. On the 2nd my drive arced right and the ball bounced into the ditch, which fortunately is still dry. A drop and a couple of iron shots got me to the green, where two putts gave me a nett bogey 6. Yet again my attempt to lay up on the 3rd didn't quite work out with a very short tee shot. I managed to pitch over the bunker but the ball ran off the back of the green. A chip on and one putt for a nett birdie 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 23/08/18

Another frustrating day. The day before I had tried out my 3-wood on the driving range and was pleased with the way it performed. Previous experience with this club was that of unwanted slices, but on the range the balls were going straight and long. So I decided to take the driver out of the bag and go with the 3-wood. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake. Yet again, play was painfully slow, meaning that we had people waiting behind us on a lot of the tees. Just what you need when you're making a hash of things.

It started well on the 1st. The 3-wood cracked off making a 170 yard fairway shot. Two middling hybrids followed by a nice 8-iron put me on for 4, my putt stopping no more than an inch from the cup to rob me of a par. Nett par 6. The euphoria didn't last long. On the 2nd I had taken the hybrid out of the bag for the tee shot, fearing I would slice out-of-bounds with the 3-wood. But my confidence got the better of me, and I returned for the 3-wood. Result. A slice out-of-bounds. I took a second off the tee with the hybrid but it wasn't that great, needing a drop off the path. I then sliced again and put a second ball out-of-bounds. Now on 5, my 7-iron made the green but I needed two putts for a blobbed 8.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 20/08/18

After last Friday's embarrassing outing I was hoping that today may go a little bit better and help restore my confidence. I changed my driver from Helen's old Cobra to the one from a PGA set that I bought years ago. With a higher capacity head I was hoping for a bit more distance while retaining the relative good behaviour of the Cobra club. The conditions were perfect, warm with absolutely no wind, if a bit on the humid side. And fortunately while we had to wait a bit from time to time, play was nowhere near as frustratingly slow as last Friday.

Things didn't start too well. I hit a good drive of 180 yards, thus justifying the change of driver, but the ball ran on into the left-side trees and I had to drop from under a conifer. A sideways chip out was followed by a long hybrid shot of 163 yards. The next, unfortunately, was sliced and went out-of-bounds to the right. Another penalty drop and I put the ball off the left of the green. My chip through the long grass was hopeless, needing another to get on. A single putt made my shot tally 7, but with two penalties it was a 9. Not a great start.
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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 17/08/18

I was talked into playing for the third time in a week, another 18 holes and a supplementary card for handicap purposes. It all started so well but quickly deteriorated into probably the worst game of golf I've played since I first picked up a golf club. Embarrassed is an understatement, and on this occasion I certainly shan't be documenting all the finer details. To make matters worse, it was again a painfully slow round with people waiting on every tee. My golf is pretty hopeless but quite frankly some people just shouldn't be on the main course. Both their golf and their golfing etiquette just doesn't merit their presence.

As I've said, things started well with a par on the 1st. My second hybrid shot equalled my drive in length and I was on the green for 4, finishing with a single putt. The euphoria was short-lived. My drive on the 2nd sliced right out-of-bounds. The next drive went into the trees to the left and my first attempt to get out found a tree. Back on the fairway for 5, I put the next shot left into a laurel bush where it was unplayable. A penalty drop for 7, then a pitch to the green and two putts totalled an unbelievable 10. Psychologically I don't think I recovered from this, as on the 3rd I found the bunker and took no less than three shots to get out, giving me an 8 on this par 3. You are probably starting to get the picture.

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