Lakeside Lodge - Manor Course - 05/09/16
It started reasonably well, the first tee having been recently repositioned, making this par 3 only about 125 yards. My hybrid tee shot bounced before the green and ran on, only to run off the back. A gentle 7-iron chip and two putts for a nett par 4.
On the 2nd my 5-wood tee shot went right, influenced by thick out-of-bounds trees on the immediate left. We found the ball in thick rough and I played a 9-iron to the back of the green, chipped on and only then realised it wasn't my ball! That should have been two penalty shots but as it was only a practice round, and as there wasn't anybody close behind, we went and found my actual ball. My 9-iron this time clipped tree branches and didn't make the green, but another gentle 9-iron got me on for a single putt and a par, nett birdie.
It all went wrong on the 4th. My tee shot didn't reach the fairway on what is an uphill shot. The next 5-wood dug the ball out of light rough and placed it in the centre of the fairway. However, the following 5-wood was badly miss-hit, sending the ball left into a fairway bunker. I played out with a hybrid that went 100 yards but unfortunately crept into the trees on the right. I didn't have a direct line to the green and although I hit a good 7-iron out, it ended up in the left hand green-side bunker. I picked it out clean off the hard sand with my gap wedge but it overran the green, needing another 7-iron chip back on. Two putts left me with a 9, nett double bogey.
The 5th wasn't much better. I hit a good 5-wood tee shot that unfortunately just rolled into the left hand green-side bunker. I got out, but only just, then I overdid the gap wedge, needing a long putt back to the hole. I in fact needed three putts for a 6, a nett double bogey.
The 6th is the index 1 hole, a long par 5 with a right-to-left dogleg around a lake. My 5-wood tee shot went right into rough and my hybrid out only just made the fairway. Not a good start on a long hole. However, I then had two good 5-woods, followed by an 8-iron that put me on the back left of the green for 5. Two putts for a 7 gave me a nett par, which on this hole is more than acceptable, especially as my first two shots weren't good.
The 7th is an uphill drive followed by a slight dogleg from left to right. My 5-wood tee shot didn't make the fairway and the next hybrid left me about 110 yards from the green, but with a bunker guarding it. Still playing uphill I hit a 7-iron that miraculously ran through the bunker after landing in it, despite the high lip on the far side. I still needed to chip on, which was short (wet green effect!) and two putts gave me a nett bogey 6.
A miss-hit 5-wood got me 50 yards into the rough on the par 3, 8th but an 8-iron dug me out and the ball ended up on the green. Two putts for a nett par 4.
On the 9th a reasonable 5-wood tee shot left me too far to the left of the fairway, large trees obstructing a straight shot towards the green. A 7-iron set me up for an uncomplicated approach to the green, but the pitching wedge ran off the left. A gentle 9-iron chip back on and two putts for a nett par 6.
Today's story was one of the 5-wood at times getting me into trouble. I think there might have been a bit of 'head up' on some of the wayward shots, and later in the round I tried hard to avoid that happening. I was pleased with a number of my iron shots, having been trying a slightly different approach, setting up a little right with the face slightly closed. This has promise. But yet again it was disappointing that these occasional wayward shots ruined the round.
Game Golf scorecard: