Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 02/05/16 | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 02/05/16

Today I played an Irish 4 ball club competition. In case you don't know what that is, as I didn't, a 4-person team plays to their normal Stableford handicaps and the scoring is as follows:

Holes 1-6: score of a player with highest Stableford points.
Holes 7-11: scores of two highest scoring players.
Holes 12-15: scores of three highest scoring players.
Holes 16-17: all four scores.

Needless to say, for the later holes we didn't always have enough scoring players to contribute!

The weather forecast had been threatening but we managed to complete the course before the rain arrived, although play was terribly slow with us having to wait on nearly every hole before teeing off or playing to the green. The wind freshened considerably throughout the game and was a factor on a number of holes.

For me the front nine wasn't good. My tee shot on the 1st went left into trees, but must have rebounded off a tree as it ended up a lot further left than I hit it. I had to pitch through trees to get back to the fairway and nearly managed it, landing on the edge of the tree line. I didn't strike the next hybrid shot well, but the following two were well hit getting me to about 70 yards from the green for 5. I put an 8-iron shot on the green but unfortunately then three-putted for a 9. Not the best of starts and no points, but one of the team managed two points.

A reasonable drive on the 2nd drifted right and rolled into the murky water in the infamous ditch that runs the length of the hole. I took a penalty drop but didn't hit the next hybrid shot cleanly. As if to make up for this I put the next one on the bank at the back of the green, from where I pitched on and single putted for 6. Only one point but another team member did better.

I hit the willow tree with my 5-wood tee shot on the 3rd and needed two 7-iron attempts to get me on the green. Three putts left me with a gross 6 and no score. Things were not going well.

A drive to the left on the 4th required me to play out of the rough, the resulting hybrid being short and leaving me a tricky distance from the green. The lake was in play and I found it. Second lost ball of the day. I dropped and just managed to clear the lake with a heavy hybrid shot, from where I pitched on with my 9-iron and two-putted for a gross 8, and obviously no score. Could it get any worse?

The 5th brightened things up a bit when I pitched from the right of the green and put down a long curving putt for a par and 3 points.

Yet again I went left on the 6th but I ended up with a reasonable lie on the top of a bank. I must have pulled the shot as I didn't see where it went, but Helen spotted it some 100 yards further up the course, in trees to the left. I should have pitched on from there as I had a clear shot, but needed two attempts to reach the green, and two putts for a gross 6 and one point.

I really pulled the tee shot on the 7th and watched the ball disappear into the lake between the 7th and 8th fairways. I took another shot off the tee for 3, which turned out to be a nice straight drive, and I followed this with a 150 yard hybrid shot. An 8-iron pitch overran the green and needed a 7-iron pitch-and-run back on. Two putts gave me a gross 8 and yet again no score. My contribution to the team to that point had been the 3 points on hole 5, everything else either having been blobbed or gaining a miserable one point.

The par 5, 9th is not a hole where I would expect to do well, especially after my terrible start, but a good straight drive, two good hybrid shots and a 9-iron, and I found myself just off the green for 4. A pitch-and-run on and a single putt gave me a gross 6 for 2 points.

After the disastrous tee shot on the 7th I decided that I was perhaps turning too much when taking my tee shots, and some of my fairway shots for that matter. If I create too much body turn, and too long a backswing, I find that I tend to hook the shot. I had, therefore, moderated my turn on the 8th and 9th, and in both cases the drives were much straighter.

Continuing with this approach, my drive on the 10th actually went a bit right. A couple of reasonable hybrids put me within pitching distance of the green but I needed two to get on and two putts to finish for a gross 7 and one point.

Another good reasonably straight drive on the 11th, followed by a hybrid shot that was almost as long, allowed me to pitch on for 3, and two-putt for 5 and three points. Things were looking up a bit.

The 12th was sad. A long drive that stopped just short of the second bunker on the right was followed by a hybrid shot that put me about ten yards short of the green. I then managed to chip-and-run a 7-iron right across the green, requiring another chip back on. I then three-putted for a gross 7 and no points. Ten yards off the green for two and then five more shots to finish is extremely depressing.

The 13th could have been a lot worse than it turned out. After a good drive, which again was straight, I put the hybrid shot under a conifer to the right. I played out blind from under the low branches, using my 20 degree hybrid down the shaft to keep the ball along the ground. It only went 60 yards but I could chip on with my gap wedge from there and two-putted for a gross 6 and one point.

On the 14th my drive went right for a change. I didn't have a clear shot at the green from the lie but managed to put a hybrid about 60 yards from the pin, from where I pitched on with my gap wedge and two-putted for a gross 5 and 2 points.

The 523 yard par 5, 15th benefits from a good long drive off the tee, so hitting the ground and only reaching the ladies tee at about 80 yards wasn't a good start. The fairway is wide so I risked a couple of successive 5-woods and these between them added 285 yards and left me with about 150 yards to the pin. A cleanly hit hybrid actually over-egged things a bit ending up off the back of the green for 4, from where I used the 7-iron to chip-and-run and single putted for a gross 6 and 3 points. Not bad considering the lacklustre tee shot. Our team actually picked up 9 points on this hole.

Hole 15 - 02 May 2016

The par 3 short 16th was into what was now a strong headwind so I took the driver, which was actually just short ending up on the bank that surrounds this elevated green. I chipped up with my gap wedge and two-putted for a gross 4 and two points.

The 17th saw my longest drive of the day at 193 yards, but an ambitious 5-wood didn't quite make it and ended up in the bunker that stretches across almost the entire frontage of this green. I played out well onto the green where my scorecard says I three-putted, although my memory is of only two. However, the Game Golf monitor supports the scorecard so I'm going with a gross 6 and one point.

And so we went to the 18th. A reasonable drive into the teeth of what was now a very strong wind, followed by a respectable 5-wood left me about 80 yards from the green, but unfortunately my 8-iron shot fell to the left. A gap wedge chip and two putts gave me a gross 6 for one point, the final putt being a good 10 feet, and a good one to sink in front of the gallery.

In the end I was 59 out and 52 back. Putting could have been better although an average of 2 isn't the end of the world. Iron shots were generally good, which is an improvement on a few months ago, and if I can control my turn and backswing it seems that the driving will be more predictable, as shown by the improvement over the back nine.

Here's the Game Golf scorecard:

Scorecard - 02 May 2016

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