Rutland Water Golf Club - 03/08/18 | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Rutland Water Golf Club - 03/08/18

I played at Rutland Water last July and didn't have a particularly good experience, the back nine being somewhat of a disaster. So for my first Mad Cats' outing this year perhaps Rutland wasn't the best choice. At least this time I didn't freeze, the seemingly never ending hot weather making sure of that. It was, in fact, quite gruelling. The course played well considering the long dry period although the rock-hard fairways didn't help some of my ground shots. And the greens were difficult to hold. On a few occasions what appeared to be good shots, pitching well before the green, ran on and then promptly ran off again. Very frustrating.

On the plus side this time I managed a fairly controlled front nine, coming in on 54, just one better than last year, and again only blobbing one hole. The highlight was on the par 3, 4th, which I parred and also won the nearest-the-hole competition with my hybrid tee shot. My first ever 'win' at the Mad Cats. A box of three golf balls, which almost compensated for the four balls lost over the day.

Four holes - 03 August 2018

Hole 4 - Rutland Water

The 5th would have been a par if I hadn't pulled my tee shot and needed to play a second ball off the tee, which I then got down in 4. The par 3, 7th was almost a 'sandy par' after a good bunker clearance, but I just missed the putt, finishing with a 4. The blobbed 9th was a consequence of a thinned pitching wedge when playing for the green, leaving me with a chip back on, the extra shot meaning I just missed picking up a point. In the end my Stableford score for the front was 14 points.

The back nine didn't start well. I sent my drive right and trees in front of me forced an angled shot across the fairway. It was too strong and ran into a large bunker. Being greedy I tried a 6-iron out from the back of the bunker, but taking 'too much sand' I only succeeded in moving the ball to the front of the bunker. Two shots gone, I only managed a blobbed 8. On the 11th, despite sending the drive into heavy rough, a good 6-iron out and a pitch put me on the green, two putts giving me a net par 5.

The par 3, 12th is a beast of a hole. It's only 130 yards but a lake sits immediately in front of the green. A large lateral bunker is placed behind the green, and behind that is a bank covered in thick gorse. So if you're short you get wet, just too long and you're in the bunker, and excessively long and the ball will probably be lost. To make matters worse, the green slopes steeply from the back towards the lake, so any overplayed bunker shot would almost certainly find the lake. For my first attempt at this hole I took a hybrid and was just short, putting the first ball in the lake. Moving up to the driver (for 130 yards!) I put the next attempt on the bank at the back, the ball fortunately rolling down from the gorse. A very trepidatious chip left me well short of the hole, and cautious putting added another three shots. So with 'two-off-the-tee' it ended up a 7.

I managed to score on the 13th and 14th, nearly parring the latter. The 15th, however, rivals the 12th for difficulty. It's the index 1 hole, and understandably so. A lake sits to the right of the green with a timber retaining wall creating a sheer drop into the lake should you stray that way. Before you get to the green there's a water-filled ditch. After a poor approach I put a hybrid shot, that should have gone much further, into the ditch. I found the ball and walked back for the drop. I then put a pitching wedge shot in the lake, in the corner just shy of the green. I dropped again and repeated the shot almost exactly. Two balls lost in two shots. As I was out of shots for the Stableford I abandoned the hole.

After that shambles I took my driver for the 162 yard par 3, 17th. The ball arced left to right landing on the sloping left side fringe of the green. At first I thought it was going to roll into the bunker, but it stopped just short. When I got there I decided to putt on and the ball went in, a birdie 2 and 4 points. From disaster to triumph, that's what amateur golf is all about. This increased my back nine Stableford score to 10, which is where it remained, as I thinned my shot to the green on the 18th, leaving me an 8 and a blob. Sadly, a 7 would have given me a point.

So that was Rutland for this year, very similar to last year in that the back nine proved to be just a bit too difficult. And afterwards I was pretty well shattered.

Game Golf scorecard (hole 15 not shown):

Scorecard - 03 August 2018

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