Playing 2 rounds of golf in 1 weekend, it is inevitable that I would end up having to write a review, such is my game at the moment, as I seem to have contracted a case of the Tom Hanks (Shanks) which is not helping my game or confidence on the course and I need to shake them quickly.
After attending Neal’s wedding reception in Brighton, East Sussex last night, he and Paul were absent this morning. Stuart and myself had an earlier night, so were ready for action. We were joined by Carl Martin for an 18 hole medal competition. I’ve been having a few chats with Paul recently, as my handicap has been dropping, and he’s told me these are the better format of competition to be in, to help with developing a better all round game.
We stepped on to the first tee, and for the 3rd round in succession, I made a par on the first. Stu and Carl both made 5′s. The wind has been blowing quite strongly from the North recently, so this does help going down the first.
On to the 2nd and I hit another good drive (my driver has gone from the worst club in my bag to the best!) but pushed my 2nd left behind a small mound. I managed to scramble a 5 for a solid 1 under first 2 holes. Stu also had a 5 and Carl made a nice par.
The 3rd has been a tough hole recently, as you turn back in to the wind. It’s only 180 yards, but plays so much longer in to the wind, so we were all hitting hybrid shots and still coming up short.
We continued to play well on the front 9, and I ended up shooting 40 and Stu and Carl weren’t far behind.
The back 9 started well too, but then we got to the 14th. I hit 2 great drives, but they were to far left and ended up in the rough just off the fairway, which is starting to get really long now. We looked for a good 5 minutes, but to no avail, and as we were playing a medal I had a nice jog back to the tee to played my 3rd ball on the hole (which I ended up making a par with – shame about the 2 lost balls before it) and finished the hole with an 8.
Then came the 15th. Stu had the honours and after hitting 2 balls in to the trees on the left (if you haven’t played Littlehampton before, it’s a very tight hole) with his driver the day before, he opted for his 3 wood. He unfortunately put 2 balls in a row in to the trees. He then changed to an iron and played a nice tee shot to the right hand side of the fairway. His next shot went in to a bunker and he finished the hole with a 10 (medal competitions can be SO punishing!).
The 16th was quite uneventful, so we moved on to the 17th. We all hit good drives, but mine down the left ended up behind a nice clump of grass. I played a sensible shot down the fairway and pulled out my 6 irons for a nice shot in to the green but pushed in right, in to a hazard with a few trees in it. I managed to find my ball nestled under some small branches and not thinking clearly, proceeded to try and chip it out (I should have taken an unplayable lie and get a drop to a better place – oh well, that will teach me!). I finished the 17th with a 10 and this killed my confidence going on to the 18th hole, where I nearly hit the people waiting on the first tee yesterday.
We moved to the 18th. I wasn’t happy after my 10 on 17, but I hadn’t had a shank all day. I pushed my drive on 18 to the right and on to the 1st hole, but had a nice lie and a clear view of the green. I scuffed my next shot a bit and ended up in some light rough on the left. I had my 52 degree wedge in hand, to flick a small shot on to the green, but ended up shanking the ball over towards some people sitting just off the course and nearly hit Brett Neal, another member at the course, but got a bit of luck when my ball bounced off his bag back in to play, rather than going out of bounds. I finished with a 6 while Stu and Carl had batter luck.
I don’t think any of us will be pushing for honours today, but nice to get out in the sunshine and play some golf. I’m going to try and get out during the week for some practice and to try and ‘shake the shanks’.