9-holes | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Kilburnlad

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 11/10/18

Another day and another disappointing round. The score wasn't outlandish but there were just too many bad shots. My driving is holding up but the mid-fairway shots are unpredictable and the shorter irons frustratingly bad. But the weather was once again amazing for mid October, although the wind did play a part.

The 1st started well, with a safe drive and two reasonable hybrid shots, although the second of those did stray a little too close to the lake on the left. I then was short with what should have been an easy pitch, needing to tap back on with an iron. Two putts a nett bogey 7 that could easily have been a par 5. For once I got the drive right on the 2nd, starting to the left and coming round to mid fairway, making 192 yards in the process. I then pitched on for 2, but three-putted for a nett par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 04/10/2018

Yet another beautiful day in what is a superb Indian summer. And we now have winter rules in force, meaning that it's possible to the lift the ball on the fairway if it's sitting on the bald patches remaining from the scorching summer conditions. Unfortunately this additional advantage didn't stop me once again recording a disappointing score.

My driving wasn't quite as accurate today but I managed for the most part to stay out of trouble and achieve respectable distances. This was the case off the first tee, but I then pulled my hybrid shot sending the ball into the trees to the left. I was only on the edge of the trees but my 6-iron out sent the ball through some foliage. I lost sight of it, but a loud 'wood' contact confirmed I had once again pulled the shot, the destination tree being within the lake hazard. We eventually found the ball, which was unplayable, but I had already dropped and played an 8-iron to the right of the green. A pitch on and two putts for a blobbed 8.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 01/10/18

After watching the highlights of the Ryder Cup (we haven't got Sky!) enthusiasm was high. We always think the next game is going to be The One, but this feeling is often magnified after watching the Pros at work. However, as is often the case, one's dreams rarely match reality.

Once again the weather was fine, although a cold wind necessitated a couple of extra layers. Here's the view looking back down the 7th fairway.

Hole 7 - 01 October 2018

I didn't start too badly. My drive and first hybrid shot were almost of equal distance, leaving me about 130 yards from the pin. I then put the next shot over the bank on the right and into the ditch. I tried playing out, but failed, so took a drop, from where I pitched on. I should have immediately taken the drop, as this would have saved a shot. Lesson learned. What was even more annoying was that I putted in, which would have been a 6 without the drop. As it was, it was a net bogey 7.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 27/09/18

Today's effort wasn't much of an improvement on my outing with the women on Tuesday. Once again conditions were good, which is more than I can say for my golf.

I found the right-side ditch with my drive off the 1st tee. A penalty drop was followed by wild hybrid that put me well into the trees on the opposite side of the fairway. A 7-iron out managed to avoid all the trees and put me back on the fairway, from where a 3-wood recovered some ground. I then got on with an 8-iron and two-putted for a blobbed 8. Not a good start. The 2nd was only a minor mishap in comparison. After my drive I went over the ball with my hybrid, moving it hardly any distance. The next attempt was better, allowing me to pitch on, two putts giving me a nett bogey 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 25/09/18

I missed my Monday golf this week because it was a 'French' Monday, when I go to my U3A French group. So I joined Helen and her friends on the Tuesday, playing off the red tee boxes to be social. That should have made things easier, but I managed to make quite a hash of things. No excuses, the weather was good, the only negative being the rock-hard fairways that still have lots of bald spots.

I was in the left-side trees off the 1st tee, clearing poorly, and then hitting a mediocre hybrid. My 8-iron then left the ball precariously balanced on the edge of the bunker, from where I hit across the green, needing another chip back on. Three putts then sealed my fate with an 8. The 2nd was an absolute disaster. I thought I had found the right-side ditch with my drive, but the ball was in fact just on the edge of the slope, well beneath my feet. I had an air shot with my first attempt, and almost another with the next. Third time lucky but still well short of the green, from where I took a chip and run shot. Three putts finished the debacle with a 9!

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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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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- 13/08/18

Monday is practice day, so today I thought I would use my 6-iron in place of my 23 degree hybrid for fairway shots. I had hit a long 6-iron on a previous outing and I was hoping to reduce the number of bodged shots with this alternative approach. It didn't work. I made as many if not more poor shots with the 6-iron, culminating in high scores on the final three holes after a very promising start.

Conditions were good. The ground is now a bit softer after recent rain and there was virtually no wind. We had a bit of light rain but it only lasted about 15 minutes. So no excuses!

After a safe if short drive on the1st, I took a hybrid but hit a poor shot. This was the moment I decided to switch to the 6-iron, and the next shot with this club was certainly better. I was then a bit thin on my 8-iron but the result was good, putting me on the green with a possible par putt. I needed two, but it was still a nett par 6. Another safe drive on the 2nd was again followed by a poor 6-iron, but I then reached the green on this short par 4 with my 8-iron. Two putts for a net par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 09/08/18

After the long hot dry spell, today rain was forecast. The right decision would have been to watch the rain out of the window and feel good about its beneficial effect on our very sad looking garden. But we took a gamble and went to play golf. It was already raining lightly as we teed off, although it felt quite refreshing after weeks of blistering temperatures. But on the 7th the promised heavy rain arrived, and the 8th and 9th proved to be a struggle. I should have walked in!

My clean drive on the 1st was followed by a terrible hybrid shot that put me into the trees on the left. I managed to get out through the trees with a low 6-iron and then put my next hybrid shot onto the green. Two putts for a nett par was a welcome recovery from a shaky start. But on the 2nd my drive hit the conifer on the left and dropped under it, close to the trunk. All I could do was knock the ball out a few yards with the putter. To avoid the ditch to the right I then put a low 6-iron along the tree line, a shot that exceeded my expectations. All I then needed to do was pitch about 50 yards to the green, but I managed to go left into the bunker. I got out but still needed a chip on, followed by two putts for a blobbed 8.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 06/08/18

Another blistering hot day, my car showing 32℃ after we finished the round. To make matters worse there was a society in front, and at our designated tee time of 11.16 the last group from the society hadn't yet teed off. So we had the 11.08 pair waiting on the tee, us, and another group behind us. Things didn't improve as we made our way around, nearly every shot involving a wait. It was a matter of trying to find shade while things sorted themselves out.

I had a lucky start, my drive going left into the trees but bouncing off one back onto the fairway. A good hybrid on the way to the green gave me a nett par 6. I just clipped a left-side tree on the 2nd but the drive still made 170 yards. My next shot was a bit short and after chipping on I two-putted for a net par 5. On the 3rd I drove just short of the green. A 6-iron 'putt' to keep under the willow branches got me on the green, where two putts secured a net birdie 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 30/07/18

The good rounds of a few weeks ago are certainly becoming distant memories as I lapse back into mediocrity. After a week off, when I went on a French course, I was hoping for a return to form today. Unfortunately this didn't happen, with far too many bad strikes leading to recovery situations and the attendant additional shots.

I didn't start too bad. The drive on the 1st was short and the second poorly hit, but the following hybrid was good and I then pitched to the green for 4. Two putts for a nett par 6. On the 2nd the drive was longer but the ball rolled into the right-side ditch. But because of the lack of rain the ditch is now dry and I played out. My pitch was then long and I needed to putt on from the back of the green. I just missed with my first putt on the green, taking two for a net bogey 5.
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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 19/07/18

Well, it seems my rounds of 45 and 47 were indeed blessed with a fair amount of luck, since it appears that I've now reverted to my usual error-ridden performance. Today was almost a carbon-copy of Monday. Same total and only one less putt. However, I think that at times I was a bit unfortunate, no more so than on the 5th, where what seemed to be a perfect tee shot bounced violently right off the rock-hard ground, straight into a bunker.

I didn't start well. I usually select a slightly higher tee on the 1st to allow for any initial body stiffness, changing to a lower tee when I've warmed up. This time I went straight to the lower tee and topped the ball, sending it an unimpressive 37 yards. I recovered well with a hybrid and was on the green for 5 (effectively 4 after the wasted drive), but I then three-putted for a blobbed 8. After a long drive and a good hybrid I was on the 2nd green for 2, quite a rarity. I was, however, right at the back of the green and having underplayed my first putt on the 1st, promptly overplayed it on the 2nd. With a long putt back it wasn't surprising that I again three-putted.

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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 - 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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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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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 23/11/17

Today was a story of poor play around the greens and terrible putting. Add to that a few not-so-good ground strokes and the result wasn't very impressive. The wind was partly a factor, a squall passing over while we were on the 7th with very strong gusts but fortunately only a few drops of rain. We were on the edge of it. Somebody else got the full treatment!

The 1st wasn't too bad. Certainly better than some recent happenings on this hole. I had a good drive followed by a reasonable 4-iron, only to be thick on the next 4-iron, hitting more mud than ball. The next shot was far better putting me just short of the green in rough to the left. A pathetic gap wedge (I slowed up on the swing!) left me still off the green, although I could putt on. Two more putts for a nett bogey 7.

A longish drive on the 2nd should have allowed me to reach the green for two, but my 8-iron again took too much divot leaving me short. A pitching wedge shot was also just short needing a putt on. I then missed a short putt, the second giving me a nett bogey 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 20/11/17

Back to mediocracy and yet again the 1st and 9th cost me dear. After rain it was damp and the course was soft but the day brightened with the occasional fresh wind that felt a bit chilly and affected a couple of holes.

View looking back from Hole 8

My tee shot on the 1st was fine; 155 yards and dead straight. Then I pulled my 4-iron shot left into the trees, where the ball inconveniently came to rest against a trunk, the only shot playable being a back-flip with my 7-iron. This didn't quite clear the trees leaving me with the need to loft my 8-iron, which I managed just clipping the upper branches. A 7-iron shot to the green then went nowhere as the iron dug into the soft ground. My pitching wedge shot then bounced left off the green and at first I thought it had rolled into the sunken bunker. It hadn't, but was resting in light rough right on the edge. My gap wedge was thin but the ball fortunately hit the pin. I then missed the first putt, the second giving me a severely blobbed 9.

Te 2nd was just the opposite. A drive of 173 yards was followed by an 8-iron to the green. Two putts for a par and a nett birdie. Weird game this golf! Read More…

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 16/11/17

After last Thursday's not-so-bad performance, today was a bit of a let down. A damp but mild day with little wind, but the fairways had been spiked for drainage, making the playing surface a little unpredictable at times. But the biggest problem was me. My driving wasn't too bad, give or take a couple of holes, but my trusty 4-iron wasn't behaving itself, and I missed too many gettable putts. Once again terrible scores on the 1st and 9th bookended a not-so-bad performance on the other holes.

My drive went left on the 1st, which wouldn't have been too much of a problem if the ball hadn't hit the trunk of a conifer and bounced further from the fairway. When I got to the ball there was only a sideways shot available, which I left a bit short and had to drop clear of the path. I then completely miss-hit my 4-iron, sending the ball left back into the trees. I had a clear path out but the 7-iron shot lofted a bit too much, the ball just catching the lowest branch of a tree, and dropping dead. The next 4-iron was also hopeless, making only 70 yards and leaving me once again in the rough. A 5-iron from there was short, requiring a pitch to the green, where I then three-putted to round off a thoroughly dispiriting hole. A 10 wasn't a good start and rendered any chance of a good round impossible.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 09/11/17

I'm a bit late with this report because I've been a bit tied up with other things since I went out last Thursday. It was a chilly day but with hardly any wind, making conditions quite favourable. The spiked greens had settled down a bit, and while still somewhat unpredictable, they weren't as bad as on previous occasions. I managed to avoid high scores on both the 1st and the 9th, which have been my nemesis recently. This made for a much more consistent round but interestingly my score was identical to that on the previous Monday, even though my game 'felt' better.

A longish drive on the 1st left me in the rough just off the fairway. My 4-iron out wasn't bad, but the next 4-iron was enormous at just under 160 yards, leaving me a 25 yard pitch to the green for 4. The putt was longish and I needed a second for a nett par 6.

Another good drive on the 2nd stayed out of trouble. My 7-iron wasn't so good, skewing left and stopping short of the bunker. It should have made the green. I then pitched badly and needed to putt on from the front of the green, followed by two more putts for a nett bogey 6. It should have been two shots better than that.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 06/11/17

Once again poor scores on the 1st and the 9th disguised what otherwise was for me quite a good round. However, the dropped shots on those two holes weren't on this occasion because of intrinsically bad strikes, but more a bit of bad luck. So, overall, I feel quite good about the day.

I drove well on the 1st, the ball just creeping into the light rough to the left of the fairway. I got out cleanly with my 5-iron but kept too far left, the ball again settling in light rough. Once again the 5-iron got me out and left me a pitch to the green of about 80 yards. Unfortunately I was just a bit too far left and the ball rolled off the bank to the left off the green into the sunken bunker. My first attempt to exit failed in the heavy sand but I managed it with the next shot, putting me on the green for 6. I needed the putt for a point, but took two for a blobbed 8.

Another good drive on the 2nd left me about 100 yards from the front of the green. My 7-iron was a bit short, requiring a gentle pitch on and two putts for a nett par 5.

Hole 2 from the tee - 06 November 2017

Hole 2 from the tee


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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 02/11/17

A disastrous start and an even more disastrous ending, but in between things weren't too bad. A chilly day but with hardly a breath of wind. And the course is in pretty good shape, although they've spiked the greens which makes putting a bit of a lottery.

My drive on the 1st went right into the trees and the ball was lost. I had taken a provisional, which also managed to drift right into the ditch. I took a drop but was now on 4 and hadn't got past the distance of my drive. A couple of good 4-irons got me to within pitching distance but the ball rolled off the left of the green and almost into the bunker. A chip on and one putt left me with a blobbed 9. As I've said, a disastrous start.

I managed to keep the drive on the 2nd away from the ditch and it was quite long at 164 yards. I then put a 7-iron shot into a laurel bush to the left, but fortunately it went through and I could pitch on, albeit the shot was far too long. This resulted in three putts for a nett bogey 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 30/10/17

We had perfect conditions today. Although it was colder than of late, there was no discernible wind and the fairways were closely cut and reasonably firm. Winter rules were in place but there was little need to pick up and clean the ball. I didn't start that well but had a good middle section, losing it a bit on the last three holes. But overall I was quite pleased.

My drive on the 1st just managed to roll into the right side ditch, requiring a penalty drop. I then hit a couple of good 4-irons and was left with a simple pitch to the green. One of a number of 'head up' events caused me to shank right, the ball coming to rest on the fringe of the green. A long putt from there left me with a possible point-saving putt, but the ball passed the edge of the hole, leaving me with a second putt and a blobbed 8.

An 177 yard drive on the 2nd was followed by two rubbish irons, both suffering the 'head up' problem, the first skewing left and the second right. I managed to pitch on with the next shot and two-putted for a nett bogey 6, but it should have been a par.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 26/10/17

Things didn't go too badly today although an over-adventurous shot on the 4th resulted in a lost ball, and because we didn't want to delay play I picked up, effectively removing the hole from play. Conditions were still remarkably good and although it wasn't as bright as recently, it wasn't cold and the wind was very light.

A chancy drive on the 1st came close to reaching the right side ditch but just survived. A lacklustre 4‑iron was followed by a better one, and then a pitching wedge to the green. Two putts for a nett par 6. Not a bad start.

The drive on the 2nd was also chancy, but this time I went into the ditch on the right. I dropped but then looked up while taking an 8-iron, topping the ball and sending it a few yards. The next attempt with the same club was better but still short of the green. I pitched on and two-putted but with the penalty drop finished with a blobbed 7.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 16/10/17

Incredibly mild weather for mid-October, all because of Hurricane Ophelia, which while playing havoc in Ireland, simply brought a very pleasant warm wind to southern Britain. A wind that nevertheless caused a few problems on the coarse, particularly where it was blowing across the approach to a hole. As for my play, well it felt worse than last Thursday (which was my return to golf after a few weeks aches and pains recuperation) but in fact I finished with one less shot. I remembered my Game Golf device this time.

The 1st was a bit haphazard. My drive was longish but again just crept into the trees on the left. I got out with my 7-iron but in avoiding the trees went across the fairway into long grass opposite. My 4-iron out wasn't spectacular and neither was the following 5-iron, but I then pitched on for 5. Unfortunately, three putts gave me a blobbed 8.

The elevated tee position on the 2nd has allowed me some long drives recently, and today I made 185 yards, which is good for me. I then thinned the pitching wedge with the ball ending up on the far side of the green in the rough. The chip on left me with two putts for a nett par 5.
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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 12/10/17

After an enforced rest of almost a month, while my back and neck problems calmed down, I ventured out today to see how my aches and pains would bear up on the golf course. It went better than I expected, and more importantly I didn't feel that I had aggravated either of my problems by playing, although that's not to say that they weren't still niggling me a bit.

I forgot to take both my Game Golf device and my Garmin GPS, so no detailed distances today and what I report is what I remember.

I drove well off the 1st tee and although it went left into the edge of the trees I had a good line out. A 7-iron put me back on the fairway but I then pulled a 4-iron shot and we assume that the ball reached the lake. A good 8-iron from the drop position put me just off the right of the green, from where I over-chipped, leaving myself a long putt, which ended up as three! A blobbed 9, but take away the drop and a couple of the putts and it wasn't actually that bad.

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Lakeside Lodge - Manor Course - 18/09/17

I played today but it was pretty much a disaster. My back is still playing up and today was a test to see if I should play the Mad Cats competition on Friday. On today's performance the answer is definitely no!

I didn't start off too bad, getting a 4 on the par 3, 1st. Then on the 2nd I had a good drive, only to thin my pitching wedge shot along the ground and into the bunker. I got out and then shanked my gap wedge, the first of a number of shanks today that left me wondering whether I should bother. I ended up with a 7 on the 2nd. My pitching wedge shot across the lake on the 3rd, although good for length, went left into the trees, and a I eventually finished with a 5 on this par 3.

My drive on the 4th went left into the edge of the trees, settling near some loose stacked timber. I took a free drop and hit a 7-iron shot to safety further along the fairway. I then put a good 5-iron shot into a bunker. I came out with the pitching wedge, taking no sand and going some 80 yards into heavy rough on the far side of the green. It took ages to find the ball, and we found three others before mine. I pitched on and two-putted for an 8, including a penalty drop from the heavy rough.

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Lakeside Lodge - Manor Course - 04/09/17

The main course was booked throughout the morning so we were obliged either to wait until after lunch or play the Manor course. No choice really. I like the Manor but today I wanted to try out my 5-wood off the fairway, and the Manor isn't the best place to experiment. It's a narrow course and doesn't treat wayward shots kindly. In the early days of my golf I often played the Manor, and equally often spent a lot of time in trees. On a couple of holes today I was treated to a bit of nostalgia as I found myself in much the same situation.

Having taken a couple of my hybrids out of the bag, the 1st presented a bit of a challenge as I didn't have the club that I would usually use. I'm a bit unpredictable playing irons off tees but today I took the 7-iron and hit a perfect length shot, the only problem being it was right and landed in a bunker. I played out but then slowed up on a delicate gap wedge shot, not making the green. However, I putted on and holed the ball for a nett par 4.

My drive on the 2nd was just about perfect in both direction and distance. A gap wedge onto the green for two and two putts for a par 4, nett eagle.

Hole 3 - 04 September 2017


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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 29/08/17

I rarely play two days on the trot but Helen asked me to join her today and the weather was still fine, so off we went. It was a lot quieter than yesterday and some people we know let us go off before them, as they were a three-ball. This meant we had a fairly brisk round, only occasionally having to wait for the two-ball in front.

I put my drive into the trees to the left on the 1st and we couldn't find the ball. Conscious that we had been allowed to play off in front of the three-ball, I didn't want to hold them up, so took a drop rather than continuing the search. This meant a 2 shot penalty for the lost ball. I decided at this point that I would try a few experiments rather than aim for a low-scoring round, as the 1st clearly wasn't going to work out too well. After taking a hybrid from the drop, I thought I would try the 4-iron rather than another hybrid shot. I've been playing the irons better lately and was thinking that if the longer irons were working, I could use these instead of the equivalent hybrids, which have been a bit hit and miss lately. As it was, the 4-iron shot matched the sort of distance I would expect from my 23 degree hybrid. Two pitching wedge shots followed by two putts left me with a 9 on this hole, including the two-shot penalty.

My drive was long to the middle of the fairway on the 2nd. A pitching wedge shot was then on the green, but long. Two putts for a par and nett birdie. I went into the bunker on the 3rd and took too little sand with my wedge, the ball crossing the green to the far side rough. After an 8-iron chip back I needed three putts to finish with a nett bogey 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 28/08/17

Well, it certainly was busy at the course today, being a bank holiday. The buggies were lining up like a wagon train and it was amazing that we had managed to get an 11:08 tee time. It was clearly going to be a bit slow out there, but the weather was fine with warm sun and little wind, although a breeze got up later in the round.

Yet again things were going well until I managed to screw it up with a disastrous 8th, followed by a not-much-better 9th. If I could get round the course without messing up a hole I think I could consistently come in with under 50 for nine holes.

The drive on the 1st was turning a bit right and ran into the ditch. After a penalty drop I played a couple of hybrids, leaving me an 8-iron pitch, which I thinned a bit but it wasn't too long, stopping just off the right of the green. A putt on and a single putt for a nett bogey 7. On the 2nd I always steer the drive left because of the ditch to the right, and today it just missed the trees coming to rest centre fairway at 185 yards. My 8-iron was again a bit thin, settling off the back of the green. A 7-iron chip-and-run and two putts for a nett par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 24/08/17

If I hadn't pulled the third shot on the 1st today, I would perhaps have had my best ever 9 holes. But if is a word one tends to use a lot in golf, it's what separates what you think you can achieve from what you actually deliver. That aside, my driving was very consistent and I had some good iron shots, so on balance I was more than pleased. Conditions were good, with the fairways recently cut, although the wind stiffened towards the end. And amazingly we didn't have any slow play up front, so we could progress at our normal pace without having to wait around, something that can disrupt your flow.

As I've said, the 1st went a bit wrong. My drive was superb at 190 yards centre fairway. The hybrid second was also good at 160 yards. I then pulled the next hybrid shot, which seemed be heading for the lake. In fact it had stopped in the rough at the side of the lake, but my shot was obstructed by an old section of fence that had been laid on the ground. This gave me a free drop. All I needed to do was play across the bunker onto the slightly elevated green, but I grounded my pitching wedge while making a quarter shot, and the ball went in the bunker. It took me two to get out, from where I putted on to the green, but then needed two more putts to get down for a 9. When you think that my third shot was almost pin high, if I hadn't pulled it I would have been on the green for 3, with the possibility of a 6 at worst. So three or perhaps 4 shots thrown away.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 21/08/17

Another not-so-good day

Today was again one of very slow play. We waited on every tee box, and often before approach shots on the fairway. We've decided to play the Manor Course next week if the Manor car park is as empty as it was today.

I had been practising a modified swing for my iron shots in the garden, and it seemed to have promise. I had also tried the same swing with my hybrids, and it seemed equally as good. But these were 'dry' swings, as I can't hit balls in my small garden. So I had decided to test out the ideas on the range before playing. But the range was closed as they were recovering balls. Best laid plans …

On the 1st I hit a reasonable drive, centre fairway. I then took my hybrid with the 'new' swing, and almost had an air shot, the ball moving a few feet. The next attempt was better but I was still a bit 'thick' on the ball, reducing the distance. It was the same with the next two hybrids, so after 5 shots I was still short of the green. My new idea wasn't quite working out. I then thinned an 8-iron but the ball still made the green. As if enough hadn't gone wrong I then three-putted, ending up with a blobbed 9.

A good drive on the 2nd was just a little too far left, leaving me obstructed a bit by trees for my next shot. I took a 6-iron, keeping the ball low, and this left me a fairly simple pitch to the green, which I made with the gap wedge. The putt was long and I needed two to finish with a nett par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 14/08/17

So today was the day to try out my new irons. Unfortunately it was also the day that I couldn't seem to hit my hybrids, let alone my irons. Golf is the most frustrating game on Earth. For months I left my driver out of the bag because it was too wayward. Having recently put it back in, I'm now driving quite well, and today was a very good driver day. I drove all the holes, including the two par 3s, and didn't have one shot in trouble. A couple were just off the fairway but perfectly playable. But the hybrids and the irons were rubbish.

I found the feel of the forged heads on the new irons entirely different to the Callaway Steelheads that I had been using. They felt 'softer', not seeming to impart as much impact for a given driving force. This resulted generally in my underplaying of shots. No doubt I will get used to them.

On the 1st the ball settled close to the path. I took a drop to avoid standing on the path, which was lower than the grass. Unfortunately the ball rolled into a depression, so I took my new 7-iron rather than the hybrid. The result wasn't great, as I didn't get behind the ball. I then hit a lacklustre hybrid, again not getting behind the ball. The next was better and I pitched on from there with my wedge, but was again thin. However, the ball made the edge of the green almost pin high. I puttedIon and single-putted for a nett bogey 7, not bad considering the haphazard start.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 10/08/17

Despite an aching shoulder, some numbness in my left arm and a stiff neck, I decided that I had been sitting indoors too much so ventured out onto the course, promising myself not to 'try too hard' in order to reduce the stress on my various aches and pains. It was a pleasant day with a light wind and plenty of bright spells, so at least I didn't need to battle the elements as well as my infirmities.

I caught the drive clean on the 1st but pushed it left into the trees, a pity as at 185 yards it would have run further along the fairway. I fluffed the shot out although fortunately it still made the fairway but didn't add any distance. I then topped the hybrid, which gained me a paltry 43 yards! The next one was better, after I told myself to keep my eyes on the ball while taking the shot, and after that I put the next just off the right of the green for 5. I putted on and single-putted for 7, a nett bogey. Not bad considering the start.

I was lucky on the 2nd as the drive entered the trees to the left but rolled out to just off the edge of the fairway. My hybrid shot wasn't great but I then pitched on and two-putted for 5, a nett par.
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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 31/07/17

I'm a bit late posting this diary entry because I've been re-theming this web site and I waited until I had finished before adding new content. Added to that, I was in no real rush to review the round, given that it was pretty awful. An old back problem has been playing up recently and I found that I was flagging at Rutland Water the previous Friday. The same happened today, a goodish start and then it all went to bits. I've also some weakness in my left arm and have decided to give the golf a rest for a couple of weeks or so while I get a medical opinion. So this report may be the last for a while.
Hole 2 - 31 July 2017
As I've said, I started quite well, some very poor putting marring what otherwise would have been an excellent first few holes. I was on the green for 4 on the 1st with a par chance, but awful putting left me with a 7 and a nett bogey.

My drive of 193 yards on the 2nd was, by my standards, enormous. I then made the green in 2, and yet again three-putted for a very disappointing nett par 5.

I went right on the 3rd and fluffed a short chip out of a poor lie, getting on with the next for 3. I then once again three-putted for a nett bogey 6. It's a good job I now get two shots on this hole!

A reasonable drive and second on the 4th were then wasted when I put the next shot in the lake. After a penalty drop it took me two more to get on, but at least I only two-putted for a blobbed 8.

Into the wind on the 5th I took the driver and hit a lovely straight shot to the back of the green. Then, as you might have already guessed, I three-putted for a nett par 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 27/07/17

I nearly managed a good round today but after seven holes with no real disasters, I threw it all away at the 8th. Conditions were good with the weather starting off a bit overcast but brightening by the end of the round. There was a bit of a breeze but I didn't find that it affected me to much. I had the driver in the bag again today but a few balls on the range with it before teeing off weren't that inspiring.

I took the driver on the 1st even though it was risky, with the ditch and trees close on the right and more trees to the left. It wasn't a very positive hit but pulled around from the right to land mid-fairway at about 130 yards. My hybrid usually goes further! The next two hybrids were also pretty weak but then I managed to pitch on with my 8-iron. Two putts for a nett par 6.

I didn't risk the driver on the 2nd with its sloping bank into the all-catching ditch on the right. My 20 degree hybrid did a good job at 153 yards, centre fairway. I then used the 27 degree hybrid and put the second at the back of the green. Two putts and a par 4, nett birdie. Read More…

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 20/07/17

We arrived at the course today in torrential rain. So much for the light rain predictions from BBC weather. Those who had been out had for the most part walked in - drenched. However, at around our 11.00 am tee time the rain eased and by the time we teed off about ten minutes later it had stopped.

I had a few swings on the driving range yesterday and had brought my driver out of storage. Surprisingly it had performed well, so today I decided to give it a try. Just to reinforce the generally held view that what happens on the driving range doesn't necessarily translate to the course, I put my drive on the 1st into the left side trees. At least I didn't slice, which was what I used to do far too often with this club. I chipped out from the trees but my next couple of hybrids weren't that long, so I eventually chipped on for 5. Two putts would have rescued a point but it took me three, for an 8 and a blob.

I bravely took the driver again on the 2nd, risking the right side ditch. I needn't have worried, the ball careering into the large conifer on the left. We didn't see it drop but amazingly as we walked up the fairway we found the ball some 20 yards further on, it having gone through the conifer and come to rest back on the fairway. A bit of luck. My next hybrid was lacklustre again, needing a chip on, but then another three-putt finish left me with a nett bogey 6. Not a great start.

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Lakeside Lodge - Manor Course - 11/07/17

I played the Manor course today and things didn't go that well. It was a fresher day than of late with rain threatening, and quite a strong breeze was evident on the less sheltered holes. I like the Manor course but it demands accuracy, being generally quite narrow with plenty of trees to welcome stray balls. Today I wasn't accurate and I paid the price.

On the now shorter 1st I found the bunker on the right and took two to get to the green. With two putts it was a nett bogey 5.

I went into the right side trees on the 2nd and played an air shot on my first attempt to get out from under low branches. The next didn't clear the trees but I managed to get clear with the third. A pitching wedge to the green and two putts for a nett bogey 7.

I cleared the lake and put the ball on the green on the 3rd, but the putt was very long and I needed three for a nett par 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 06/07/17

My usual 9-hole Thursday outing, making it the third game this week, which is unusual. Another humid day but with a fresh breeze and thunder audible in the distance, but fortunately it stayed dry for us. As has become commonplace on Thursdays, we had a slow round following other groups. Players' etiquette is sadly lacking in many cases and the fact that they are playing slow seems not to trouble them in the slightest.

After birdying the 1st off the red tee on Tuesday, today didn't go anywhere near as well. I topped the ball on the tee shot and only made about 80 yards, just past the ladies tee. The second was better, but I then went too far left and presume that the ball rolled into the lake, as I couldn't find it. I dropped and put an 8-iron shot just off the green, chipped on and two-putted for a blobbed 8.

On the 2nd my tee shot went well into the left side trees, from where I chipped out sideways. Playing for the green I then went right, the ball stopping just short of the bunker. I then 'slowed down' on my lob wedge shot and put the ball in the bunker! I took a sand wedge out and two putts for a blobbed 7. Not a good start.

My tee shot drifted right on the 3rd, possibly because of the cross wind as the shot appeared true when it left the club face. I pitched up and two-putted for a nett birdie 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 04/07/17

I played with Helen and two other women today, and to be sociable went off the red tees with them. Another warm and humid day with little wind, but the cloud cover protected us from direct sun.

After a good 150 yard tee shot on the 1st, I hit a really good second of 184 yards. This left me a 50 yard pitch to the green, which was good, and I then sank a fairly long putt for a birdie 4. What a start!

Hole 1 - 04 July 2017

I had another good tee shot on the 2nd but took ground on my next shot, which sent the ball right and I was short of the green. My pitch was then too strong sending the ball off the far side of the green, from where I chipped back with my 8-iron and single-putted for 5, a nett par.

I put the ball on the green with my 27 degree hybrid on the 3rd and two-putted for a par.

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Lakeside Lodge - Manor Course - 03/07/17

We hadn't booked a tee time on the Lodge Course today so went up to the Manor. I rather like the Manor. It's usually less busy than the Lodge and I find it more varied. It's also quite a narrow course that demands a degree of accuracy.

The 1st tee is now further forward, the owner having developed a couple of houses where the men's tee used to be. Now you tee off over one lake, rather than the two lakes as before. It's in fact the former ladies tee. At 115 yards it's short with a lake immediately behind the green. My 27 degree hybrid did the job, the ball settling just off the right of the green. I putted on and single putted for a par, a nett birdie.

After a reasonable tee shot on the 2nd my 9-iron was short. This green also has a lake immediately behind it, so short is better than long. I decided to try the lob wedge, which I put in the bag after my trip to Pavenham last Friday. I struck the ground a bit behind the ball with the result that the ball went only a few yards. I then did the same thing again. In fairness it's a club I was lent and I've never used it before. Still short of the green I putted on then two-putted for a bogey 7.

The 3rd is a 90 yard par 3, over a lake. I've put many a ball in that lake, and had taken to using my hybrid to ensure that I cleared it. However, with my iron play improving of late I went with my 8-iron and got over, but went off the right side of the green. A more successful lob wedge put me back on and I two-putted for a nett par 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 08/06/17

I'm either not playing enough golf to keep my hand in or I'm just getting progressively worse. My first game since last Thursday and it wasn't good. To be fair, for June the weather wasn't great. It was overcast with the constant feeling that rain was on its way, the wind freshening to strong throughout the morning.

I hit the ground about two inches behind the ball on the 1st, at about 80 yards the shot not reaching the fairway. I then put the next one well left and to compound things it hit a tree and bounced further into the trees. I found the ball at the base of a tree, a short chip being the only option. My next hybrid was good but a bit too close to the left side tree line, catching some branches towards the end of its journey. I then put the next hybrid on the green, pin high, from 165 yards. Golf is certainly a game of highs and lows! Two putts for a nett bogey 7 wasn't a bad outcome considering the start.

The 2nd was worse. A badly hit tee shot went into the left side trees, again requiring a short chip to get out. I then hit a good hybrid to within about 50 yards of the pin but muffed the pitch (slowed down on the ball!), needing another to get on. Three putts then gave be an inglorious 8. And I lost my French Franc ball marker when my cap blew off in the wind.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 01/06/17

Hot, no wind and quiet on the course, all it needed was for me to put a decent round together. You won't be surprised to hear that I didn't manage it.

The 1st started reasonably well, with a straight if not long tee shot. The second hybrid shot was a bit heavy but then I made up lost ground with a clean 168 yard hybrid third. I pitched on with an 8-iron and just missed a par with the first putt, a nett par 6 being acceptable.

The success wasn't very long-lived. On the 2nd, the paranoia of keeping out of the right-side ditch led me to go well into the trees on the left. However, the ball must have bounced off a tree, as we found it laying just outside the tree line. I then proceeded to waste this bit of luck by catching a tree while attempting a low 7-iron, the ball this time bouncing well back into the trees. After chipping out sideways onto the fairway I tried for the green with my 20 degree hybrid. It was good for length but drifted right into the bunker. It took me two to get out of the very 'firm' sand, after which I putted on and single-putted for 8 on this short par 4 that offers a birdie opportunity.

The tee shot went right on the short 3rd but I managed a chip on with my 8-iron and single-putted for a par. This gave me at nett eagle 1, for 4 points, now the hole has had its index reclassified, ridiculously so in my opinion.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 25/05/17

It was probably the hottest day of the year today, with no wind, so it was a bit stifling. Amazingly the course was extremely quiet. Nobody teed off in the half hour before we went, and nobody followed us in at the 9th. Mystifying. You would think with good weather and nobody to delay us, or chase us, things would have been perfect for a good round. Unfortunately my golf didn't take advantage of these favourable circumstances.

I miss-hit the tee shot on the 1st, the ball ending up 80 yards away on the women's tee. Despite this ideal 'lie', the next wasn't great either, nearly catching the ditch on the right and only making about 110 yards. The following shot was worse, at about 90 yards. Finally with the fourth I got some distance, leaving me a pitch to the green. This went left, the ball coming to rest against the grass cut line. The pin was near so I needed a gentle pitch, but the grass behind the ball impeded the club and the ball didn't make the green. I putted on and then single-putted for 8.

The 2nd was worse. I went badly left off the tee, the ball hitting a tree and bouncing back into long grass. I chipped back onto the fairway then messed up the next shot that was supposed to get me near the green. My fourth shot still didn't reach the green on this short par 4. I was on for 5 but then three-putted for another 8.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 18/05/17

After an encouraging round last Thursday, today I had hoped to keep the good stuff going, plus with a Mad Cats' competition tomorrow I needed to get a bit of practice having not played for a week. I'm sorry to say that the good stuff had again taken a rest, and far from reassuring me for tomorrow, I finished wondering what sort of disaster it may turn out to be.

Off the 1st I went just into the left side trees, which wouldn't have been so bad if the ball hadn't been under low branches and close to a tree trunk. I managed just 20 yards with the clearance but was back on the short stuff. A couple of hybrid shots got me to within pitching distance but I then conspired to mess up two consecutive 8-iron shots. The heavy rain the day before had softened the ground considerably and I dug in with both shots. Another 8-iron finally got me on the green for 7, and with two putts it was a heavily blobbed 9.

The 2nd restored my confidence a bit. A good tee shot landed in a shallow divot hole. I took my 5-iron rather than the hybrid but still didn't connect cleanly, gaining only about 100 yards. However, I pitched on with the pitching wedge and single-putted for a par 4, a nett birdie.

On the 3rd I went right under the trees where a seasonal water hazard often forms. Fortunately there wasn't any water but my shot needed to keep low under willow branches. I took the 7-iron and managed the low shot, but it was long and off the far side of the green. A gentle pitch and two putts for a nett par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 11/05/17

At last, a round without any complete melt-downs. A few mistakes, certainly, but by and large I kept things together.

It was a much milder day, with an occasional breeze that wasn't any trouble. Play was again slow, with waits on most tees up until we reached the 7th, when the groups finally spread out a bit.

I got away on the 1st without any problems. The second shot wasn't that long but I then hit a good third, albeit it strayed left and I was fortunate it hit a fence post at the side of the lake, otherwise it would have gone in. I pitched up but was long, needing two putts to get down for a nett par 6. Not a bad start.

The 2nd was probably the most untidy hole. I miss-hit the tee shot sending it into the trees on the left, but it was a reasonable length. I pitched out with the 7-iron to the centre of the fairway. My next hybrid unfortunately found the left bunker. I got out but it was almost like a shank, ending up on the green but a long way from the pin. I needed three putts to get down, giving me a blobbed 7. It turned out to be my only blob, but after going in the trees, and needing to play out of a bunker, I suppose I can't complain at a 7.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 09/05/17

I played with Helen and two of her friends today and for simplicity played off the red tees. A cloudy windy start, with a bit of a chill, but the wind moderated and although it remained cloudy it became a lot warmer.

My tee shot on the 1st was a ground-hugger but still managed 134 yards. The second went to the right into light rough but the third was long at 152 yards, fortunately coming to rest to the left of the green where the slope can easily put you in the bunker. A chip on with the pitching wedge and two putts for a nett par 6.

Another ground hugger off the second tee only made 109 yards. The second was good for length but ended up in the left side bunker. A sand wedge out was short of the green, so I chipped again with the same club and two-putted for a nett bogey 6.

Off the red tee the 3rd isn't much more than 100 yards, but I went right and had to chip up from low ground. A small stick under the ball may have contributed to a thinned pitching wedge sending me over the green. I pitched back on and single putted for a nett birdie 4. I now get two-shots on this hole since they revised the hole index, which is really ridiculous even off the yellow tee.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 04/05/17

Today I nearly managed 9 holes without a disaster, but a couple of wayward shots on the 4th spoilt it. It was a bright but windy day and as has become the norm recently, we were following slow players. I'm not very good, but I sometimes think that some people aren't quite ready for the Lodge Course. Since they closed the Church Course, which was ideal for practice and saw a lot of my early golf, very few people seem to use the Manor Course and most appear on the Lodge. This is resulting in regular slow play.

Three good hybrids on the 1st got me to within 30 yards of the green, from where an accurate pitch left me with a par opportunity. It was a shortish putt that seemed dead on line, only to turn at the last moment. So it was a nett par 6 in the end. A safe tee shot on the 2nd and a second that kept out of trouble left me a pitch to the green and two putts for another nett par.

I tried a bit too hard on the 3rd tee and topped the ball, which ended up among trees about 60 yards forward to the left. From there I intended a lofted 8-iron to the green, but instead hit the ball along the ground. Amazingly it made the green and left me with two putts for a nett birdie 4 (I now get two shots on this hole after the stroke indices were changed). Read More…

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 01/05/17

Another "why do I bother" sort of day. Overcast with the possibility of rain, which happily didn't arrive, there was a bit of a breeze but it wasn't too cold. We had a later tee time than usual as there was a club competition earlier in the morning. Unfortunately the three-ball in front were playing quite slowly, as was the group in front of them, so there was a lot of waiting around.

My hybrid off the 1st tee went left but stayed on the fairway and was just shy of 160 yards. The next wasn't too bad either but the third shot was well short, as was the following 8-iron into the wind. I chipped on and two-putted for a nett bogey 7.

To say the 2nd was a disaster is an understatement. I usually aim left off the tee because of the ditch to the right and the left-to-right slope of the fairway. This time, however, I was well into the trees and we couldn't find the ball. I dropped in the trees and took a two-shot penalty for a lost ball. A gentle chip back onto the centre of the fairway set me up for the next one onto the green - I wish! The ball scooted along the ground coming to rest behind the left bunker. My pitching wedge then dug in, the ball just clearing the bunker but coming to rest right on the edge of it. I tried to chip from there, but the club face caught the face of the bunker, the ball going just inches. Another chip didn't quite make the green. I putted on and two-putted for 11! It was clear at this point that I wasn't going to have a good round.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 27/04/17

The weather forecast for rain 'early afternoon' wasn't promising, the drizzle actually starting when we were on the 2nd hole. On the plus side it wasn't too windy.

The 1st started reasonably. My tee shot went a bit left but was in a good lie in light rough. The next two hybrid shots were good, and an 8-iron put me on the green with a par opportunity. In fact I needed two putts for a nett par 6.

Having avoided the ditch on the 2nd with my tee shot, I caught the ground with my second, the ball skewing right into the ditch! Lost ball. I dropped but playing of the sloping bank I was heavy on the next shot, needing another pitch to get to the green for 4. Two putts and a nett bogey 6.

I hit a cracking tee shot on the 3rd, but unfortunately it went left and sailed into or over the high conifers alongside the 4th tee box. I couldn't find the new ball but did find another that looked almost new. I skipped the hole as I had no idea where my ball had fallen, there being a possibility that it went out of bounds.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course -20/04/17

It was our regular Thursday morning outing today. The weather was overcast and there was a chilly wind but the course was dry after a couple of weeks of very little rain. I didn't start that well, but then improved, before going downhill again over the last three holes.

I was high on the ball off the 1st tee, the shot going left into the trees. I had to play out across the course to avoid the trees, leaving my next shot way off the fairway and again partially obstructed by a tree. I ended up hitting through the branches, again diagonally across the fairway into rough on the far side. From there I finally hit a more direct shot but it again ran into the edge of the rough. I chipped on with the 9-iron and two-putted for an 8, a nett bogey. A very wayward hole!

A good hybrid off the tee on the 2nd got me 162 yards out. The next hybrid was off the back-left of the green. A pitching wedge chip and two putts for a nett par 5. The tee shot drifted right on the 3rd, the ball settling in long grass just short of the green. My chip out wasn't good and I was still just off the green. Another 9-iron chip and two putts for a nett par 5.

My 5-wood off the tee on the 4th drove the fairway bunker. I got out clean with my 9-iron, taking me nearly 100 yards further. From the edge of a bank I took a hybrid and put the ball pin-high for 3, but off the green to the right. I chipped on and two-putted for a nett par 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 13/04/17

I had been carrying a cold for over a week so for our weekly Thursday round I decided to limit myself to 9 holes. The weather was very kind, not too cold nor too hot, and with a gentle wind. We also didn't have anybody pressing us from behind or any delays up front. In fact I was at one stage wishing I had committed to 18 holes. The first couple of holes weren't that good but things then improved dramatically.

My approach on the 1st wasn't bad, my first two shots gaining me 320 yards. The second, however, ended up in rough and I took a 5-iron out. This left me a 9-iron pitch that was good for length but right of the green in long grass. It's infuriating when being no more than a couple of yards off the green lands you in such a difficult lie. With the pin close I tried to gently chip out of the heavy grass but the club stalled and the ball moved only a couple of feet, but at least it was now on the short grass around the green. I putted on and two putted for 8, a disappointment after such a good approach.

The 2nd went completely wrong. My first tee shot drifted right, bounced on the sloping bank, crossed the ditch and went out of bounds. I took a second off the tee, which seemed to be safe to the left, but I had obviously put a bit of slice on the ball, which curved right and once it reached the sloping bank rolled into the water-filled ditch. Two balls lost on one hole after having not lost any over the previous 45 holes of golf. Such is the 2nd hole on the Lodge Course. I took a drop on the bank and was on the green two shots later, then needing two putts to finish. With the two penalties it was another 8. Not a good start.

I put my tee shot to the right of the green on the 3rd, chipped on and two-putted for a nett birdie 4. The 4th was even better. I had put the 5-wood back in the bag and used it on this hole as there was a bit more space to play with. I hit it well and followed up with a good hybrid, leaving me about 120 yards form the pin. My next hybrid went a bit right but rolled off the bank, allowing me to putt on and single put for a 5. Another nett birdie.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 23/03/17

It was really disappointing today. A bright day after heavy overnight rain with a fresh south-westerly wind, so conditions weren't too bad. It was just my golf.

A short tee shot off the 1st stayed out of trouble, with the next two shots being mediocre at best, leaving me in thick grass off to the right. My attempt to dig the ball out with my 5-iron failed on the first attempt, being little more than an air shot. The second attempt wasn't much better but at least put me 70 yards nearer the pin. My 7-iron pitch was slightly long and off the green to the right. I putted on then needed two putts to finish with a blobbed 9.

I looked up on the 2nd, causing my tee shot to be thin and skew left. With a tree obstructing a direct shot to the green, and the perilous ditch to the right, I was cautious and luckily hit a shot that was again thin but hugged the ground and thus avoided the tree. My next hybrid was clean and got me just short of the green. I then made a poor 8-iron chip and needed two putts to finish with a nett bogey 6.

My tee shot on the 3rd arced right but landed safely in light rough short of the green. My 7-iron chip and run dug in the soft ground and left me a very long putt, which I didn't get, ending up with two putts and a nett bogey 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 16/03/17

After an absolutely glorious day yesterday, almost like summer, today was overcast and the wind had a chill to it. To begin with the course was very damp because of a heavy dew and the fairway grass was in places a bit longer than it should ideally have been. I had put my 17 degree hybrid in the bag, a club that in the past I have tended to slice, but it does offer a lower trajectory, which is useful in the wind.

The 1st didn't start too well when I put a decent tee shot left, well into the trees. I was left a tricky shot through trees, basically sideways although I managed to get a bit of forward distance. The next couple of hybrids were good, leaving me about 70 yards from the pin. Rather than a lofted 9-iron, today I tried a 7-iron with more of a chip-and-run approach. This worked well and I was only inches short of making a single putt. In the end it was a nett par 7.

Despite just clipping the upper branches of the tall tree on the left, my hybrid tee shot was nearly 160 yards. The next was good for length but turned into the bunker on the right. It took me three attempts to get out, which ruined the hole. My sand wedge was thick with clay afterwards, there being very little sand covering a firmer undersoil. I might have been better trying to pick the ball off with a gap wedge. Once out of the bunker I putted on and then single putted for a blobbed 7.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 09/03/17

A glorious sunny day albeit with a fresh westerly wind that caused a few problems. Also the course wasn't too busy, which was a surprise. After some very mediocre play over the past couple of months, today started off well and at one point I thought I might even complete 9 holes in nett par. But, as they say, I fell at the last.

My tee shot on the 1st wasn't a great start as it went into the left side trees. Fortunately it ran through to a more open patch from where I could get a decent shot, but I didn't strike the ball well and only added 65 yards. The next hybrid was, however, very well hit, taking me forward 164 yards from where I put the next shot just off the green for 4. I putted on and two-putted for a nett par 7.

The 2nd started the same as on my last outing, the ball being taken by the strong left-to-right wind and ending up in the water filled ditch. I took a penalty drop and played a solid shot off the sloping bank that stopped just short of the right bunker. A pitch over with my 9-iron and a single putt rescued a nett par 5, not bad with a penalty.

On the short 3rd I hit nearly 170 yards with my 20 degree hybrid, about as far as I can get with that club. I was off the back of the green from where I chipped short with my 9-iron. Two putts for a nett par 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 16/02/17

After overnight rain today was very pleasant, almost spring-like save for an occasional freshening wind. The golf, however, remained much the same. Today's problem was the short game.

I aim left off the 1st tee to avoid the ditch on the right, and today I overdid it ending up just off the left of the path. However, I cleared well with a hybrid, and using the same club was about 80 yards from the pin for three. My 8-iron was short and then I thinned the next shot out off rough, leaving me just off the green but a long way from the pin. I putted back on but needed two more putts for a nett bogey 8, disappointing after a good approach.

My tee shot on the 2nd wasn't long but I avoided the ditch to the right and the trees to the left. I was 150 yards from the green but didn't connect well with my hybrid and was short. I pitched on for 3 with my 9-iron and took two putts for a nett par 5.

I was short of the green on the par 3, 3rd, chipping on with my 8-iron and two-putting for a nett par 4. Things were looking a bit better.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 09/02/17

A very cold day, and after some very poor performances lately it was touch and go whether I would play today. But it was dry and I'm not one to give in that easily.

We played as a two-ball, which meant things moved along quite swiftly. A careful tee shot on the 1st almost crept into the ditch but stopped short. I got it out of the rough with my 5-iron, setting me up for a fairway shot, but I miss-hit it and was again in the rough, this time across the path. A good 5-iron clearance put me back into play but I then sliced my hybrid losing the ball in the right hand ditch. After a penalty drop I pitched a 9-iron shot on the green but needed two putts for a 9. Not a good start.

Keeping left on the 2nd I clipped the edge branches of a tree, the ball dropping to the fairway underneath. The next hybrid went right leaving me a pitch over the bunker, which for safety was long. I had to putt back from just off the green, but then single putted for a nett par 5. A bit better.

The tee shot on the 3rd was awful, ending up behind conifers to the left. I managed a low 8-iron out, putting me off the green to the right. An 8-iron chip left me with a gettable putt, which would have been a good result given the poor approach, but in fact I needed two putts for a nett bogey 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 02/02/17

After a break of a couple of weeks I returned to the golf course today. I had hoped that some time away would expunge the bad memories of recent rounds and give me a fresh start. In reality nothing had changed and the round was again dispiriting. I don't propose to provide a full summary as most of it isn't worth recounting.

Yet again I found it difficult to maintain decent tee shots, which meant that I started a number of holes with my tee shot having been either ridiculously short or ending up in a poor lie. This in turn led to 'catch up' shots, which invariably go wrong as one tries to make good the awful start. I probably had no more than a handful of good shots today, which makes golf such a frustrating game. These 'good' shots show what you're capable of, but cannot be consistently reproduced. I was mulling over the fact today that if I had spent as much time on any other endeavour as I've spent on golf over the past six or so years, I would probably have a lot more to show for it.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 19/01/17

Today was another dismal performance. At this rate I may give up. At least it was dry and, with no wind, conditions were favourable. It was even a bit warmer than of late at around 6℃. So what could go wrong? Well quite a lot as it happens.

The 1st was safe if not sparkling and if I had put the first attempt with my 8-iron on the green I could have perhaps got a nett birdie, but I settled for a nett par 7.

The 2nd wasn't quite the fiasco of last Thursday but it was close. My tee shot was short and to the left. I then managed to hit a tree square on with my second, the ball rebounding to a position about 20 yards back from where the drive landed. I put the next one in the ditch and lost my ball. A penalty drop and a decent 8-iron put me just off the green, a 7-iron chip and one putt totalling 7 - a blob.

My tee shot on the 3rd went right into the trees. The ball had settled against a tree trunk and was completely unplayable. A penalty drop was followed by an 8-iron that fell short. A 7-iron chip and two putts for 6 gave me another blob.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 12/01/17

I did play yesterday but it was a disaster. The forecast was for rain and possibly snow so I had originally decided not to play, but my friend Bob talked me into it. As it happens I should have stayed at home. It was very cold and fortunately despite having an 11.15 tee time we were able to get off early as nobody turned up for earlier times.

After a reasonable tee shot on the 1st my game gradually fell apart. I ended up with an 8 on the 1st, which still earned me an undeserved point. My tee shot on the 2nd was appalling, ending up behind a conifer, which I hit with my next shot, the ball dropping under the tree and requiring a backhand flip to clear it. I ended up with a 9 on this short par 4. On the 3rd my nett par 4 was a bit better although the tee shot was again poor. Another fluffed tee shot on the 4th, and an excursion into the trees left me with a 7, which in the circumstances wasn't actually that bad. Another 7 on the 5th after yet another poor tee shot and I was ready to give up.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 05/01/17

A freezing morning with weak winter sun and we were on temporary greens. My Game Golf system can't really handle temporary greens since while you can physically reposition the hole and pin on the map, Game Golf then records all putts as off the green and therefore doesn't count them. Furthermore, the so-called temporary greens were just areas of fairway, uneven and frozen, making any attempt at a measured putt meaningless. In fact we adopted a 'gimme' approach for anything reasonably close to the hole. For this reason I'm not going to write a full review of the round as the results are fairly meaningless.

Generally speaking my tee shots were again sadly lacking both in terms of consistency of contact and direction. I think I'll have to get on the driving range as a poor tee shot invariably leaves me with a lot to do if I'm to have a reasonable hole. My fairway shots also suffered from poor direction although were generally better hit than the tee shots, which is weird but seems to be what I do. Chips were more consistent if one ignores the mess I made on the 5th, where a thinned gap wedge on my second shot sent me way past the pin, and two awful 8-irons didn't get me back for a sensible putt, the third 8-iron managing it followed by a putt for a 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 02/01/17

The New Year and back to the golf course after a bit of a break. Gastric problems have kept me indoors so it was good to get out into the fresh air. And fresh it was, with a chilly wind to take the edge off the winter sunshine. I checked the handicap book before playing and noted that I was down for 27. I had started a couple of years ago with a 24, which was totally unrealistic, and I had agreed with the handicap secretary to increase it by 2 for this year. What I didn't realise was that I had already crept up to 25, so rather than going to 26 I've gone to 27. I don't mind at all, as 24 was impossible. At least now I may be a bit more competitive, although Bob my playing partner says he's going to buy me a sombrero for the summer - sarcasm for the fact he thinks I will be a bandit on 27.

After the break, and a week of back pains, anything could have happened with my tee shot on the 1st, but using the 20 degree hybrid I made a respectable if not overly long 146 yards. Most importantly it was on the fairway. The next three hybrid shots off the wet ground (it poured all day yesterday) weren't so good, neither was my attempt to pitch on, requiring a second attempt. Two putts and an 8 for a nett bogey with my new handicap.

The 2nd didn't start as well. I sliced with the hybrid, which is unusual, and ended up in the water-filled ditch - lost ball. I dropped and managed a decent recovery off the sloping bank. I then put my 9-iron shot on the green leaving me an easy putt for 5, a nett par, which after a drop was more than acceptable.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 22/12/16

A cold day but at least it was dry with a fair amount of sun. Unfortunately people in front were playing a pathetically slow game and we ended up taking 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete 9 holes. Not so bad in the summer, but waiting to take nearly every shot in cold weather is no fun. I started well but whether it was the frustration, or perhaps just the cold, but things went steadily downhill as the round progressed.

On the 1st, I was just off the green for 4, courtesy of four hybrid shots. I putted on, leaving the ball close to the hole, and then single putted in for a nett par 6.
Hole 2 - 22 December 2016
A 160 yards hybrid tee shot on the 2nd set me up for the second hybrid shot onto the green. Two putts for a par, a nett birdie.

I slightly topped the ball on my tee shot on the 3rd, leaving me short but not in any trouble. A 9-iron pitch and two putts for a nett par 4.

So a strong start, but now things started to unravel. My hybrid tee shot on the 4th was long at 160 yards, but it went left onto a bank. I took a 7-iron and chipped back onto the fairway. This left me within range of the lake so I took the 7-iron again with the intention of gaining perhaps 90 yards, much the same as the previous shot. But I shanked the shot and ended up under a conifer to the right. I tapped out with the 7-iron, putting me back on the fairway again, but now on my 5th shot. My 8-iron went left, landing just inside the water hazard, where it was embedded in a mole hill. A free drop (burrowing animal) and I chipped on with my 9-iron for 6. I needed two putts so ended up with a nett double bogey 8.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 19/12/16

More mixed fortunes today but I did come away with one birdie. A misty damp day with almost zero wind and an eerie silence that accompanies that sort of weather.

There was no time for practice swings so I took the hybrid for greater reliability on the 1st tee. It went straight if not exceptionally far. A couple of more mediocre hybrids placed me about 110 yards from the pin but I was short of the green. A nice 8-iron chip left me a single putt for a nett par 6: not too bad.

To avoid danger I went left on the 2nd but the hybrid shot just clipped a tree and dropped at 140 yards. My next one was fluffed and then I put the following shot in the right hand bunker. I got out with the sand wedge and putted on, but was short, needing two more putts for a blobbed 7.

I was a bit unlucky on the 3rd, the tee shot landing to the right of the left hand bunker but then bouncing sideways into it. I again got out and was well on the green but after that achievement three-putted for a nett bogey 5. I really shouldn't have missed the second putt.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 15/12/16

Back to the golf course after a two-week break. Sometimes a break can be good, but I regret to report that my game hasn't changed that much. It was the usual story, some good shots but also many bad ones.

The 3-wood off the tee on the 1st at least went straight on its way to reaching a meagre 120 yards. The next hybrid was thick on the soft ground and only added another 100 yards. The next was better but I then put what should have been a simple 8‑iron pitch onto the bank to the right. My 9-iron then went to the left of the green, rolling through the bunker to rest on the downslope of the bunker edge. The gap wedge was supposed to chip it out of this awkward lie but instead ran it through the bunker, the ball flipping over the bunker lip and coming to rest only a few feet from the hole - lucky. A single putt for 7 and a nett bogey.

A hybrid tee shot on the 2nd went wildly left, to be found under a conifer tree. A 'unplayable' drop allowed me to make a good hybrid shot to within 50 yards of the green. A 9-iron pitch and two putts for a nett bogey 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 01/12/16

Another cold day but not as bad as yesterday, which was well below zero. For some reason they put us on temporary greens, which means smallish areas on the final approach to each green that are definitely not greens. If I had known beforehand I wouldn't have played, as putting becomes a game of chance.

Course photo - 01 December 2016

My Game Golf system is completely confused by the temporary greens, recording a round of 51 with zero putts! My score, however, was actually quite good compared with recent rounds, and I actually took 15 putts, which in the circumstances was very acceptable.

There's not much point in giving a blow by blow account but I persevered with my 3-wood off the tee and except for a fluffed shot on the 8th this club didn't get me into any real trouble. It has certainly pushed up my tee shot distances compared with the hybrid that I was using previously.
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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 28/11/16

The weather forecast was good and so it turned out. It was fresh but we enjoyed bright sunshine and little wind.

With the disaster that was my last outing, today I decided to experiment a bit. I put my 3-wood back in the bag after an absence of more than a year. The driving range was closed meaning that I couldn't practise a bit beforehand. Consequently my drive off the 1st tee was a leap of faith and unsurprisingly it curved right into the ditch. After a drop, three mediocre hybrid shots left me with a gap wedge chip onto the green, with two putts for a nett double bogey 8.

The 2nd was a repeat performance, the drive again going towards the ditch, but this time it was lost. Another penalty drop followed by a decent hybrid and a 7-iron chip on. Two putts and a nett bogey 6.

Having taken my 20 degree hybrid out of the bag I didn't really have a club to reach the 3rd green. My 23 degree club was short, but safe. I pitched on and two-putted for a nett par 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 24/11/16

Today was so bad that I'm not even going to report on it! Well, not in detail at least.

It was a welcome dry day after all the rain but with a cold north-easterly wind. The course was heavy but not in bad shape considering how much rain we've had.

My main problem was that I couldn't seem to get loft on any of my shots, which is unusual as I tend normally to get more loft than most. My hybrid shots off the fairway and light rough were rubbish, with most just scooting along the ground. By the time I had reached the 7th I had 4 blobs behind me, so with nothing to lose I decided to start using my 4-iron rather than a hybrid. It was somewhat better, but far from being the grand solution. I went on to blob both the 8th and the 9th.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 17/11/16

Today was not good. The weather forecast threatened rain around 2 pm so we hoped to get 9 holes in beforehand. In fact the rain arrived a bit early and we got rather wet as we came down the 9th. The wind was also very strong, causing some difficulties on a few of the holes. It was another case of starting reasonably well and then everything falling apart; the story of my golf.

On the 1st, three mediocre hybrid shots left me about 120 yards from the green, from where I put my 27 degree hybrid on for four. Two putts for a nett par 6 wasn't a bad start.

The tee shot on the 2nd was better and I followed it with the 27 degree hybrid again, putting the ball just off the back of the green from where I putted on. The next putt wasn't difficult but the ball turned as it approached the hole, and I needed another for a nett par 5.

My tee shot went right on the 3rd and left me with the need to hit a low trajectory iron under overhanging branches. I managed this but the shot was a bit long, coming to rest at the back of the green. It was a long putt and although close, I needed another for a nett par 4. Three nett pars and 6 points from the first three holes.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 14/11/16

Although my total score today was certainly not as bad as in some recent rounds, I didn't feel that it was a performance to feel good about.

We started in rain, causing me to dispense with my usual practice swings and warm up. The result, I miss-hit the ball off the 1st tee, it coming to rest only 36 yards away. The next couple of shots weren't that brilliant either, but the 4th got me to within a pitch to the green, which I put to the left. A chip back on and two putts left me with a nett double bogey 8.

The hybrid tee shot on the 2nd made 150 yards despite clipping trees on the left. The next hybrid put me on the green and I should have parred the hole, but missed a shortish putt for a nett par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 10/11/16

Another chilly morning with a slight threat of rain, although it actually turned out quite nice in the end. As for the golf, I thought that this was going to be The day. The first three holes went extremely well, and although I faltered a bit at the tricky 4th, I was still playing within my handicap. Then, as often is the case, I made hard work of the 5th, very hard work of the 6th, and thereafter it all fell apart.

Autumn photo

Today I experimented with my 23 degree hybrid off the tee. Theoretically 'shorter' than the 20 degree one, it tends to be less inclined to slice. Off the 1st tee I made 163 yards, which is as good as I usually get with the supposedly longer club. I reverted to the 20 degree club for my second shot but it was 'groundy', so I decided to go back to the other club, which put my third shot about 50 yards from the green. I was then a bit short with the 9-iron but the following 7-iron chip-and-run put me a few feet from the hole. One putt for a nett par 6.

My tee shot on the 2nd went left into the edge of the trees but bounced out into the clear. With the 23 degree club I put the next shot just short of the green on this shortish hole. A nice 8-iron chip and one quite longish putt for a nett birdie 4. Read More…

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 07/11/16

A better day today: only one blob and that was caused by a two-shot escape from a bunker. A cold day with a chilling northerly wind, plus a few squally showers for good measure. But the sun came out towards the end and despite still being very cold it became a lot more pleasurable.

Hole 6 photo - 07 November 2016

The tee shot off the 1st was safe on the fairway and then and I put the next one into the trees on the left. Most unusual, as my hybrid tends more often than not to go right. I was lucky to punch the ball out back onto the fairway, negotiating my way through the trees. A couple of more hybrid shots got me to the right fringe of the green from where I putted on and then single-putted for a nett bogey 7.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 03/11/16

A cold day with a chilling wind but at least it was dry and although the club had imposed winter rules, the course was in fact not that wintery. However, the piles of leaves were still around waiting for a stray ball but other than that there weren't many problems.

I hit the ground before the ball on the 1st, so although the shot was straight it only made just over 100 yards. The second and third were better, leaving me a 100 yard 8-iron shot to the green. I pulled it left and ended up in the bunker. My clearance only just made it, leaving an awkward chip from the very edge of the bunker wall, but it was good enough for a single putt. A nett bogey 7.

On the 2nd three out of four of us ended up in the ditch to the right. At least it is now dry and all the balls were found. My penalty drop rolled almost all the way back to the ditch but a well struck 8-iron got me to the middle of the fairway. My 9-iron was then short and just avoided the right bunker but the following 9-iron chip almost went in, leaving me a gimme for a nett bogey 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 01/11/16

The first day of November and we teed off in drizzle and gloom. Fortunately the drizzle fizzled out by the end of the 1st hole and the sky brightened somewhat. There was also a gusty wind that affected some holes.

The 1st didn't go too badly. My hybrid tee shot was to the left and unfortunately kicked abruptly left on landing, leaving me of the wrong side of the path. The lie wasn't bad and I cleared with a hybrid to just off the right of the fairway. The next shot also kept right but I was able to hit the fourth to the green, albeit a long way from the pin which was at the other end. Despite a firm putt it was well short and I needed another two for a nett bogey 7. Read More…

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 27/10/16

Hole 8 - 27 October 2016
A remarkably pleasant day for late October so I decided to put in a 9-hole card, which I think fulfils my obligation to the handicap secretary for this year.

My new strategy was to leave all the woods at home and use only my hybrids and irons. Fairway accuracy improved to 71% so the hybrids were certainly more accurate than the woods off the tee, but unfortunately I had a few tee shots where I was high on the ball, resulting in short ground-hugging trajectories.

I was cleanly off the tee on the 1st and two further hybrids left me with a 40 yard pitch to the green. The pin was at the back and I was short with my 8-iron, needing two putts for a nett par 6, which was nonetheless very acceptable.

The hybrid tee shot on the 2nd was long at 151 yards and although it crept right, it stayed away from the path and ditch. My next shot was also good, coming to rest just off the front of the green. Unfortunately I then made a mess of what should have been a simple 7-iron chip, going right and off the back of the green. Another 7-iron on and two putts for a nett bogey 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 18/10/16

Another day perhaps better forgotten. We arrived in rain with the promise things would brighten up, as they indeed did.
A blue sky with the clouds whisking across in the strong wind. The autumn colours were in evidence.

View of Hole 8 - 18 October 2016

I started well, with a long hybrid off the 1st tee, followed by a couple more and an 8-iron onto the green. Two putts for a nett par 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Coures - 13/10/16

It was just my friend Bob and me today so I decided to experiment a bit. Firstly I consigned the 5-wood to the bag, the Driver and 3-wood already being at home in the garage. I used my 20 degree hybrid off the tee for the longer holes. I had also put a metal 4-iron in the bag for lies that weren't favourable for my 4-iron hybrid equivalent.

It was cold and rain threatened at times, accompanied by a gusty wind, but all in all conditions weren't too bad. After heavy rain in the night the ground was wet and soft but it was only in the longer grass that this caused any issues.

A nice straight hybrid on the 1st set me up in the middle of the fairway, followed by a couple more leaving me with a pitching iron to the green, which was a shade short. I putted on and then two putted for a nett bogey 7. So it wasn't too bad a start.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course -10/10/16

After last Thursday's meltdown I tried again today to put in a card for the handicap secretary. Having found out I could put in a 9-hole card, this is what I did. I could have been doing this throughout the year but thought for handicap purposes I needed to do 18 holes. It appears that this requirement has been relaxed.

Things went a lot better today. It was chilly but when the sun shone through quite pleasant. The wind was light give or take the occasional gust when clouds passed over. In fact the conditions were very good for October.

I took a hybrid of the tee on the 1st, which while only making 120 yards was straight! The next couple of hybrids were each around 160 yards allowing me to pitch on for 4 with my 9-iron. I nearly putted out for a par, but tapped in for a nett par 6. A much better start.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 06/10/16

Yesterday I decided to put in another card towards ensuring that my handicap was maintained by the club, there being a need to submit at least three cards during the year. Having neglected to do this so far, I'm now catching up, having put in a card last Thursday, today was supposed to be number two. However, things went so badly that at about hole 7 I decided not to bother, and instead of doing 18 holes I went in after the 9th.

It's days like these that make you wonder why you bother. It went wrong from the start. My hybrid tee shot on the 1st rolled into the ditch on the right. More often than not my tee shot ends up in the trees to the left as I try specifically to avoid this ditch. A penalty drop and clearance was followed by a miss-hit 5-wood, into rough. My hybrid out of there ended up in the ditch to the far right of the approach, somewhere that I can't remember ever being before. Another penalty drop, 8-iron pitch and two putts for an inglorious nett triple bogey 9.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 22/09/16

Back to the course after two weeks holiday. Today was to get myself back into the swing of things prior to a 'Mad Cats Day' tomorrow.

It started well enough. My 5-wood off the tee on the 1st went left and as is often the case ended up under the branches of a tree. I jabbed a 7-iron out then hit a decent 5-wood leaving me about 100 yards from the green. I made the green but was to the right leaving a longish putt. I got down in two for a 6, nett par.

Unfortunately on the 2nd my hybrid tee shot bounced to the right and ended up in the ditch. We couldn't find it so I took a drop from what is a water hazard for a one stroke penalty. The ball almost rolled back in on the sloping ground, leaving me an awkward lie. The 7-iron wasn't clean and only went about 70 yards. From there I over-pitched with an 8-iron to the back of the green. A 7-iron chip and a single longish putt got me a 6, nett bogie.

I miss-hit the hybrid tee shot on the 3rd, which went about 70 yards slightly left. I took an 8-iron from there playing over the bunker and was pin high to the right of the hole. The first putt was close but I needed another for a 4, nett par. Things weren't going to badly.

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Lakeside Lodge - Manor Course - 05/09/16

First outing for a week and the main course was closed for maintenance, so we went on the Manor. I like the Manor but today it caused me a fair bit of grief. We started in very light drizzle, not that wetting, but it made the greens very slow. In fact the Manor greens aren't that good to start with, so today was challenging.

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.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 25/08/16

Another middling 9 holes today. After a scorching day yesterday and rain overnight, the humidity was high but there wasn't any wind.

I again drove into the left hand trees on the 1st. A creditable 201 yards but in the wrong direction! I tried to loft over the trees with my 8-iron but didn't strike the ball clean and was lucky that it went through the trees and landed off the edge of the fairway. A good 163 yard 5-wood got me back into business but my 8-iron was short and I had to putt onto the green, then needed two putts to finish with a nett bogey 7. Better than the 9 last time but still disappointing.

I pulled my hybrid shot off the 2nd tee, which went violently left, the ball landing on the 8th green, where it would have been set up for a single putt! I free dropped off the green then unwisely took a hybrid to make up for lost distance, only to send the ball into the ditch on the far side of the fairway. I was lucky to find the ball, the ditch now being almost dry. A penalty drop and I put the 9-iron into the right hand bunker. Out in one and two putts for a nett double bogey 7. It was a matter of going from one hazard into another.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 22/08/16

Our Monday practice round. It was very warm and the wind was gusting strongly, causing a few problems along the way. It turned out that I was to have seven reasonable holes, bookended by a bad start and a bad finish on the two par 5s.

I had been watching the women's Olympic golf final day yesterday and taking pointers from their game. One thing I did notice is that they tend to hold the grip lower than I would normally do, so today I tried repositioning my hands. I'm not sure if this made a great deal of difference as I had good shots and bad ones, much the same as usual.

My drive on the 1st just crept into the trees on the left but was quite long. I topped the ball with my 8-iron clearance only managing about 80 yards and then muffed a hybrid shot leaving me about 170 yards from the green after three shots. I took my 5-wood and managed to pull it left, the ball sailing into the lake. I took another shot only to do almost the same thing again, although this time the ball bounced off a fence post, but still managed to find itself behind the fence and unplayable. So a drop and pitch on for 7, and two putts for 9. A nett triple bogey. Read More…

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 18/08/16

Back to my home course and still feeling a bit under the weather after a virus laid me low with coughing and a temperature. It was a warm muggy day which didn't help as my temperature control mechanism appears to be all out of sorts. Despite my feeling a bit off colour I didn't play badly, two wayward tee shots spoiling what otherwise would have been a memorable 9 holes.

With the driver back in the bag on the 1st I drifted a little right but avoided the ditch and got past the end of the tree line. A nice 182 yard 5-wood then set me up to put a hybrid shot pin-high, just off the right of the green. I putted on and single putted for a par 5, a nett birdie.

As is now my practice I took my 23 degree hybrid off the tee on the 2nd, there being a ditch and out-of-bounds to the right that will trap any slice. The hybrid is more controllable and I hit it 150 yards, which was more than acceptable. The same club should then have reached the green but I was heavy on the shot and needed to chip on with my 9-iron, which strayed right, needing another gentle 7-iron chip-and-run and a single putt to finish for a nett par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 11/08/16

Golf two days running - most unusual. Today was my normal Thursday outing with my friend who's also a Bob. I was still feeling a bit washed out after all the coughing and sneezing of the last week, pushing the trolly being a bit more of an effort than usual.

Today I had the 3-wood and 5-wood in the bag, the driver having been left in the garage. I rushed my shot a bit on the 1st as we had jumped in an apparently vacant tee-time, but having done so a group were seen coming up to the tee. I got under the ball with the 5-wood lofting it into the trees on the left. It wasn't a bad distance, 152 yards, but I had to play out using my 20 degree hybrid to keep the shot low through the trees. This was successful and I then hit a long 5-wood allowing me to put an 8-iron onto the green. After yesterday's under-hit putt, today I got close to the pin and putted in for 6, a nett par. Not bad considering the shaky start.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 10/08/16

I've had a terrible cough and a bit of a raised temperature over the past week and I missed my normal Monday game. Today Helen suggested that I come along with her and although I still felt a bit under the weather I decided to give it a try. It was breezy and a bit chilly to start with but soon warmed up, the wind being a bit troublesome on some holes.

I had 20 balls on the range before teeing off. The driver was occasionally slicing but the 5-wood was going very well. This fact influenced my game after the disastrous 4th.

My drive on the 1st was exemplary, well for me at least - 198 yards down the middle of the fairway. This was followed by an exceptional 5-wood, which added 201 yards. I then put a 9-iron shot on the green for 3 on this par 5 - what a start. Unfortunately the pin was at the back of the green and I was at the front, and my putt was well short as I didn't allow for the slight upslope. It took two more putts for a disappointing 6, although it was a nett par.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 04/08/16

I was one degree under today recovering from a cough and a temperature, but having sat indoors for two days I needed to get out. A warm day but the wind was gusty and problematic on some holes. Cloud was building but rain stayed away.

A good straight drive on the 1st set me off well, and the next 5-wood was also good, allowing me to put the next hybrid to the right of the green. The 7-iron chip on was too strong and put me off the back of the green. I putted on and then two-putted for 7, a nett bogey.

I took my 23 degree hybrid off the 2nd tee for accuracy and was surprised when it went 160 yards. My next hybrid went through the green but a good 8-iron chip set me up for the par putt, a nett birdie.

Unusually I shanked my 20 degree hybrid off the 3rd tee and ended up close to the out of bounds line, almost the identical place to where I put an 8-iron last time out. Like last time I hit a good 8-iron over the trees, which landed within putting distance of the pin. Unfortunately I didn't make the putt, but a 4 was acceptable after the 8-iron recovery shot. A nett par. Read More…

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 01/08/16

Fresh from relative success at Corby, today I first spent a while on the driving range to try to sort out the dreaded 9-iron shank that possibly cost me a winning score last Friday. I think I made a bit of progress as although I only took 20 balls, by the end I was managing to hit the gap wedge through to the 7-iron reasonably straight. It was a matter of coming through closer to my body, with less of an out-swing on the club. Difficult to describe but I know what I mean.

The 1st started as it often does, with me going left into the trees. I tickled the ball out through the trees gaining very little distance. I then hit a lovely couple of hybrids to get me pin high off the right of the green for 4. A 7-iron chip-and-run went in, giving me a par 5, nett birdie 4. A good start considering the short clearance from the trees.

I took a 23 degree hybrid on the 2nd to ensure accuracy, and it worked. At 157 yards it wasn't much shorter than a drive, but all importantly it was mid fairway. The next hybrid scuttled along the ground, being poorly hit, but nevertheless almost reached the green. A gap wedge chip and two putts for 5, a nett par.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 28/07/16

A warm day with light winds although rain was threatened for later. I'm out with the Mad Cats group tomorrow so today was a 9-hole practice session.

My usual playing partner, another Bob, wanted me to try a different approach on the 1st. I have been going into the trees to the left because of the fear of the ditch and out of bounds on the right. He gave me a couple of found balls and suggested I try for a straight drive. This actually worked and I was 160 yards out in the middle of the fairway. The next 5-wood was thin and skimmed along for about 120 yards but the following one was well hit at 157 yards, leaving me a short 7-iron chip-and-run. A putt for a par 5 was definitely on but in the end I needed two for a 6, a nett par.

The 2nd also has a ditch and out of bounds on the right, aggravated by the fact that the ground falls away towards this hazard, meaning anything rightish will probably bounce or roll in. Bob again suggested a more positive approach as I have recently been going into trees to the left on this hole as well. This time it didn't work. I took a hybrid hoping for greater accuracy but this sliced into the ditch. I then took the driver, which hit the fairway but was turning right. The slope of the ground ensured that it also found the ditch. Amazingly we found both balls, so I played the first after a penalty drop. A good hybrid almost got me to the green. A chip on and two putts for a 6, a nett bogey, which wasn't bad after the penalty drop.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 25/07/16

A warm but not excessively hot day with light winds.

I managed to redeem myself a bit after last Thursday's meltdown. In fact things started off similarly, with my first drive going left into the trees. This time, though, I had space to loft an 8-iron over the trees back onto the fairway, from where I hit a good 5-wood to within 50 yards of the green. The following 9-iron shanked right of the green, and my 7-iron chip was feeble, but with two putts for a 7, I managed a nett bogie. If I had made a decent 9-iron it could have easily been a par 5.

On the 2nd, again like last Thursday, I put my hybrid tee shot into the left side trees. The clearance was poor but a good hybrid took me to the right of the green. The 7-iron chip was again weak and I needed two putts for a nett bogie 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 21/07/16

Over two weeks since I played and it showed. A somewhat cooler day after a few days of suffocating heat, but it was still very warm. The wind was light and the course in good shape, so no excuses other than bad play. I forgot to take my Game Golf device, and my Garmin distance finder, but given my performance that was probably a good thing.

I took 20 balls on the range to get my hand back in, but worryingly I was tending to slice my drives, something that carried over to the course. Conscious of the possibility of a slice, I erred to the left on the 1st, anything right being out-of-bounds. Left it went, into the trees. I got out with a somewhat lucky shot that was thinned but scooted along a fair distance forward. The next 5-wood was again thin, but the following hybrid put me to the right of the green just past the pin for 4. A putt on bumped over a blanked-off hole, which slowed it, and I needed two more putts for a 7, nett bogie.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 04/07/16

Our Monday morning practice round. A beautiful warm day with mainly light winds, although it gusted at times as the cloud cover started to build during the round.

My drive and two 5-woods on the 1st set me up to pitch on the green, but the 9-iron was a bit thin and went off the back. I chipped back on with the 7-iron but needed two putts to finish with a 7, a nett bogey for one point.

The drive was too far left on the 2nd and I had to play out of rough in the trees. I thinned the 8-iron but it was one of those lucky shots where the mistake didn't affect the outcome that much. The ball went low and ran to within 20 yards of the green. A gap wedge chip and one putt for a par, nett birdie and 3 points.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 30/06/16

Back to mediocrity!


After what has been a quite good run of games today went badly. The weather forecast had said 19C but in fact it turned out to be very warm with a light wind. Having donned a long-sleeved shirt I soon became too hot. Whether that was a factor in my poor play who can say.

It started well. On the green in 4 on the 1st and two putts for 6, a nett par.

The 2nd also played out nigh-on perfectly. On the green in 2 and two putts for 4, a nett birdie.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 23/06/16

It seems that the worse thing possible with golf is to assume that you're getting better. Whether this causes you not to concentrate quite as hard, or whether it's just the randomness of the game, but as soon as you feel that you may have your golf under control, it all seems to fall apart again.

I've had a few good rounds recently but this morning I couldn't seem to do anything right. My drive on the 1st drifted right and just failed to clear the tree line. I took a provisional, which I ended up playing as the first had indeed gone into the trees, which are out of bounds. The provisional had landed on the path, so I dropped and played a good hybrid followed by a good 5-wood to put myself about 30 yards from the green. The pitch was short and I needed three putts to finish, giving me a 9 for a nett triple bogey.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 21/06/16

I missed my usual Monday golf yesterday because of the rain, so today Helen and I went out for 9 holes. After yesterday's rain, today was warm and bright, with plenty of sunshine and very little wind. Other than the bunkers, the effects of yesterday's heavy rain were minimal.

I have had a good run of games recently and I started the 1st confidently with a good drive 175 yard onto the fairway. I then ruined everything by pulling my 5-wood shot, which hit a small tree on the left of the path and dropped immediately beneath it. A back-flipped 7-iron was all I could do to get it out. The next 5-wood was good but then I put a hybrid shot into the deep bunker to the left of the green. I got out but needed another chip to get on the green and two putts to finish with a 9 - nett triple bogey. Not a good start.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 16/06/16

I seem to be on a bit of a roll. Rain had been threatened but the forecast changed and we were treated to a warm largely overcast morning with hardly a breath of wind. Whether it was these benign conditions, or the fact that I'm actually starting to get a grip on this game, I can't say, but I managed my best 9-hole round to date.

The drive on the 1st went left but the lie in the rough was good, from where I hit my hybrid 153 yards, setting me up for a 5-wood to the green. I was, however, still about 180 yards out so I didn't expect to reach it. In fact I nearly did, and a 7-iron chip-and-run set me up for a par putt, which I made. A very good start.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 06/06/16

Well, summer seems to have arrived. After last Thursday's very cold game today the sun shone, it was very warm and there was hardly any wind. Perfect conditions in fact.

My friend Bob put his drive in the right hand trees on the 1st, and I then did exactly the same. But by a stroke of good luck mine hit a tree and bounced back out onto the fairway. A couple of decent 5-woods got me within range of the green and then a second stroke of luck steered a badly hit 8-iron along the ground and onto the green. Two putts and a nett par 6.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 02/06/16

June 2nd, cold, cutting north-easterly wind, at times drizzly, what a start to summer. Nine holes were more than enough today.

A really good start to what wasn't a bad nine holes, considering the strong wind. A long straight drive off the first tee to 190 yards, followed by a 154 yard 5-wood. The next hybrid shot was one club short, needing a 7-iron chip-and-run onto the green, and two putts for a nett par 6. The 2nd was also good, my drive again being down the middle, and the subsequent 5-wood putting me on the green. Two putts again but this time for a nett birdie 4.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 28/04/16

Today could have been the day that I played nine holes without messing up, but it wasn't to be. A beautiful sunny morning and despite a somewhat wet course after heavy rain yesterday, the conditions were generally good.

A sensible drive on the 1st set me off, but I then miss-hit my 5-wood into the trees on the left. After a safety shot out I put a hybrid shot about 90 yards from the green and pitched on with my 8-iron. Two putts gave me a gross 7, nett bogey, which wasn't bad after the earlier mistake.

I had a bit of luck on the 2nd where my drive went left into trees but rolled back out onto the fairway. Unfortunately my hybrid shot found the right hand bunker, but I played out and two-putted for a gross 5, nett par.

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Lakeside Lodge- Manor Course - 11/04/16

The Lodge Course was closed for maintenance this Monday so we went on the Manor Course. We haven't played it at all over the winter as it's been closed.

The 1st hole has been shortened and the men and women now play off the same tee, situated between two lakes about 110 yards from the pin. Previously the men played from further back and had to play across both lakes. My tee shot was length perfect but the right to left wind drifted it to the left of the green, where it plugged in very muddy ground. There followed a comedy of errors as I took three attempts to cover less than 15 yards and then two-putted for a poor gross 6 on what is a par 3.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 07/04/16

I had a better day today. We teed off at 09.22, a bit earlier than normal, as the course was busy. There was a chilly wind and the threat of rain later in the day. I arrived with only a little time in hand so there wasn't much chance to warm up or practise.

On the 1st I managed not to go as far left as I have been doing, ending up on the path, from where I dropped. My next shot was slightly obstructed by a conifer but I managed a decent hybrid down the fairway, from where I hit another longer hybrid putting me about 100 yards from the green. I pitched on and two-putted for a 6, which is highly respectable for me on this par 5.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 04/04/16

Another day, another struggle on the golf course. I sometimes wonder why I bother. Conditions were generally good, with a very light wind that only freshened slightly when we had a bit of rain on holes 7 and 8. So what went well? I continue to hit some solid drives but am still going left. Not a draw, but straight drives in the wrong direction. I watched a video this week where the pro was talking about hitting the ball on the upstroke for greater length, but he cautioned that this would make the drive go left. He suggested setting up with a stance aiming slightly right. I tried this today on holes where actually going right wouldn't have been a disaster, and it seems to have promise. It also indicates, perhaps, that I'm hitting on the upstroke.

I also experimented using my 20 degree hybrid for fairway shots in place of my 5-wood, the latter having been a bit random lately. The wood is a longer club but not by much, as demonstrated on the 2nd today when I hit the hybrid 151 yards to the green. Bar one slightly wild shot on the 4th the hybrid certainly behaved more predictably than the wood. I managed to miss-hit the 5-wood off the tee on both the 3rd and 5th par threes, which further reduced my confidence in it, although I think perhaps I set the tee too low on both occasions.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 31/03/16

A glorious day with bright sunshine and hardly any wind, so it's not possible to blame the weather for anything. If blame is to be apportioned, it must go to the sticky fertiliser that had been spread over the greens. It certainly slowed the ball and left it sticky to touch. My putting wasn't good.

The 1st started well with a drive of around 170 yards down the middle. Pity, therefore, that I totally miss-hit the next 5-wood, pushing it into the trees on the left. A somewhat lucky clearance set me up to put the next shot on the green for 4. I then ruined everything by three-putting. A strong drive on the 2nd clipped the tall tree on the left, which is becoming a habit. Luckily it was playable but it needed a lofted shot over other trees and my attempt to loft and get distance with a 7-iron only succeeded in hitting a tree again. I played a safety shot out and then proceeded to put the next 9-iron shot in the right hand bunker. A decent bunker shot got me on the green for 5 and a single putt gave me a nett bogey, which wasn't bad considering I'd hit two trees and got out of a bunker.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 24/03/16

Yet another day of hope that ended with the now familiar story of mistakes and missed opportunities. Such is golf.

Rain was forecast for 1pm so the decision was made to play only 9 holes, which proved to be a good decision as the rain arrived precisely as predicted.

The tee shot on the 1st was a bit leftish and settled in light rough, but at just under 180 yards it was long for me. The next hybrid shot was also long taking me to the 150 yard marker, but it settled on a small hill in long grass. Unfortunately I muffed my attempt to hit a long hybrid shot out of this lie, and also left the next shot short of the green. I was finally on the green for 5 and two-putted for a gross 7.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 21/03/16

Sometimes nothing seems to go right, and today was one of those days. In fact I debated even writing up the diary as there wasn't very much positive to report. But I suppose that you have to take the rough with the smooth, although in my case for smooth read 'not so rough'.

I had 20 balls on the range before starting and to be honest things weren't going to well at that stage. My drives were drifting right, which may have been due in part to the crosswind, and the 5-wood off the mat wasn't too encouraging either.

The tee shot off the 1st was actually good, 150 yards onto the fairway, but I then came down on top of the ball with my 5-wood, trickling the ball some 25 yards. The following 5-wood at 158 yards was more like it, but it drifted right into long rough. The hybrid shot out was short, followed by a 7-iron that was long, requiring another back onto the green for 6, and then two putts for a gross 8.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 07/03/16

Mondays are for practice but today I felt that I was practising to play badly. Having over the past couple of weeks got the driver back into play, and reasonably under control, today my fairway shots went to pieces. The course had dried out a bit since Friday's boggy conditions but the ground was still very soft. There was also a cold wind and towards the end of the nine holes my hands were starting to get numb. I've stopped carrying my clubs because the carry-bag strap was aggravating a shoulder problem. I am now pushing a trolly, meaning that I can't keep my hands in my gilet pockets between shots.

It started to go wrong after my first drive, which was itself long but ran across the path on the left and into the rough. An attempt to use my 5-wood failed miserably, the ball going only 25 yards. The next 5-wood shot was long but went to the right of the fairway, again into the rough. My hybrid shot out was slightly sliced and ended up on the top of the right-hand bank, where the ground conditions resembled a ploughed field. The iron shot from there crossed the green, requiring a long chip back, and then two putts for a gross 8 and a blobbed hole.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 29/02/16

After last Thursday's encouraging round I thought that it had all gone pear-shaped again today. We did the Par 3 course while we were waiting for our tee time. Now the weather has improved the course is busier, so having just turned up and played during the less clement weather we now have to wait our turn - or book a tee! The Par 3 didn't go all that well, which was I suppose a bit of an omen.

My friend Bob persuaded me to use my driver on the 1st, against my better judgement, but I got away with it, albeit that the shot didn't go much further than I have been getting with my more accurate hybrid. The next two 5-woods each screamed along the ground as I failed to get any loft, although between them they added about 220 yards. An 8-iron got me on the green for 4, but three putts meant I got a gross 7 (nett bogey). Not a brilliant start.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 19/02/16

I joined Helen and two of her friends today for the front nine. I wanted to have another try with my modified swing, as mentioned yesterday, involving keeping the right arm tight to my body. This limits the backswing, which actually is no bad thing, as an extended backswing in my case (and for many people) involves the right arm lifting and this can mess up the downswing.

Another beautiful morning, a bit chilly but bright and the wind was light, but it freshened considerably later in the round. We're still playing off the mats, unfortunately.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 17/02/16

Helen, my wife, had a golf lesson today and I went along. As with a large percentage of high handicap golfers, her problem, like mine, is one of coming round on the ball, or coming from the outside on the downstroke. This, of course, creates the infamous slice as well as introducing a host of other problems. One tip the pro gave her was to keep the right arm close to the body on the backswing, as this helps to discourage the 'outside-to-in' action. I thought that I should give this a try.

Keeping the arm close to the body in this way limits my backswing because my rotational flexibility is itself limited by age and a history of back problems. So while disassociating the arm from the body allowed me to artificially increase the length of the backswing, by swinging the arms further than a simple body turn would permit, this brought with it the problem of the arms adopting an outside to inside downswing. A few swings on the practice range with the 5-wood using the revised approach seemed to produce good results, with the drives going straight and the dreaded slice absent.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 04/02/16

Another potentially good 9 holes spoiled by what were for the most part avoidable mistakes, although the spiked 9th green didn't do me any favours.

We're still playing off mats, which can make setting up the tee a bit tricky. Fortunately this only caused me a problem on the 6th, when I knew the tee was too high but played the ball anyway. This was the only bad tee shot, going only about 50 yards.

The wind had abated compared to recent outings although was still gusty in places. Fortunately a bit of drizzle didn't come to anything and we survive the round dry.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 01/02/16

Another round spoiled by silly mistakes, although the weather didn't help. The wind was gusting and towards the end of the round became consistently strong, requiring that shots needed to be played with allowance for wind drift. I got all the tee shots away, not always quite how I would have liked, but there were no complete failures. This is more than can be said for some of the approach shots, the worst being a fairway hybrid shot that I attempted to drive into the ground, but which actually ended up a couple of feet behind where it started!

The 1st hole wasn't bad until I four-putted for a gross 9. The heavily spiked green was a lot faster than I had allowed for, although having sailed past the pin with my chip and run, I really shouldn't have gone so far past on the return putt.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 21/01/16

I was in two minds whether to play today as in addition to the need to play off temporary tees, the greens have now also been closed. Temporary holes are never much fun and so it was to prove today.

We played off the red tees again as at least some of them were still open. The 1st didn't start well. It was very cold and I had been waiting to tee off for about 20 minutes, my shot going into the trees on the left. A good clearance (117 yards) put me in the rough on the right. The next shot was poor but the fourth got me to within a pitch of the temporary hole. In fact it took me two pitches, the rough rock-solid ground not helping. Then came the putting, which was a joke. On other holes they had created the temporary greens within the run-up apron onto the green proper. But on the first there is no such apron, so we were literally putting through the rough! Totally pointless, as nothing in one's previous putting experience prepares you for that. The end result was a 9.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 18/01/16

Another good start today but it quickly went downhill. My spirits were, however, lifted by a good spell in the middle of the 9-hole round, only to be demolished by a terrible performance on the 9th.

The dry weather continues but the temperature is now more characteristic of January. It was nevertheless a pleasant day that would have been even better without the chilling wind.

We were a three-ball today and once more played off the red tees, for reasons already mentioned when reporting previous rounds, and also because Claire, a friend, joined us today.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 15/01/16

We didn't play yesterday because of the rain, but today the sun was shining, although it was necessary to wrap up against the cold wind. My friend Bob and I played 9 holes on the Lodge Course. Having told him I had been playing off the ladies tees while our tee boxes were closed, he said he would like to give it a try.

I started very well. The tee shot was to the right of the fairway, and my second shot added nearly 150 yards, allowing me to put the third on the green, a single putt giving me a true birdie on this par 5. The cold weather had firmed up the ground a bit, but there were still a lot of soft areas.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 12/01/16

Another Tuesday game today, this time as a nine-hole two-ball with Helen. The course is still very wet and the men are playing off temporary tees, some of which are not much better than muddy patches. I played off the red tees with Helen. In these conditions we are only practising so the advantage I get isn't really an issue, and it's largely offset by the ground conditions.

I was really quite pleased with my game today. I parred three holes, the 3rd and 5th (par 3s) and the par 4, 6th. However, the 1st didn't start off too well as I put my tee shot into the trees on the left. Having dropped clear of standing water, a poorly hit 8-iron put me back on the fairway, but with little added distance. The next two shots were good, taking me on to the green, but three putts for a gross 7 wasn't a good finish.

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Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 31/12/15

Yesterday was try out day for my new Game Golf device. We usually play the Lodge Course on a Thursday and we have been playing nine holes during winter. It's a bit of a trudge in the heavy conditions and I carry during the winter, so 18 holes can be a bit exhausting.

It was a lovely bright day, a bit chillier than of late, very windy but dry! However, the course wasn't dry, far from it. Some areas were quite waterlogged and we had to play off uncut grass in front of the tee boxes in a few cases, as the ground staff were obviously trying to protect heavily used patches. The approaches to the greens were roped off to divert trollies but by carrying you can step over, part of the reason for doing it. Areas of long grass were very 'heavy' and it was best to avoid them if at all possible.

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Lakeside Lodge - Manor Course - 28/12/15

Yesterday I played on the Manor Course at Lakeside Lodge, my home club. The main Lodge Course was busy, and we hadn't booked.

I like the 9-hole Manor Course, the 563 yard par 5, 6th being particularly challenging. There's a lake and a left-hand dogleg at just over 200 yards and from there the approach to the green is relatively narrow, with dense trees either side should you make a wayward shot.

Conditions yesterday were quite bad, with very soft ground and surface water in many places. Most of the bunkers also had standing water. The greens, which are never quite up to the standard of the Lodge Course, were covered with heavy dew, making distance judgement extremely difficult.

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