Another Saturday and another round of golf for the 3 Men team. And we were 3 men again this week, as Neal if off on his stag do in Las Vegas, but Stuart was back this week after a 3 week trip to Australia.
I was looking forward to having Stuart back this week, after a long break, hoping that not playing golf for a while would have had an effect on his game and he would have ended up writing the review this week. But once again, I have a couple of bad holes, fall behind again, and then try too hard to catch up. My lessons have helped with the shots I am playing, now I just need to work on the mental side of my game and not let how other people are playing change the way I play.
The sun was out and there was very little wind, so we were all looking forward to a good morning of golf. And to welcome Stuart back, the course was fully open with no temporary greens.
Stuart didn’t get off to the best start and got a 6 on the first (and he started to think it was going to be one of those days for him). I shot 1 over whilst Paul got a par.
I shot par on the next 3 holes, as did Paul, to put us both 2 under, whilst Stooey’s game started to pick up and he was level par. Then came the 5th hole. I hit a big hook over to the 4th fairway, but wasn’t too annoyed as this would take the water out of play (or so I thought!). My next shot, I caught fat and pushed it in to the rife. Stuart had hit a good drive down the middle but managed to smack his 2nd shot in to the bank of the rife and it buried itself. We both ended up with 7′s – not good for me, as I now don’t get a shot on the 6th & 7th, so really want to have a few extra points as a safety net before I get there. Paul got another par and was flying ahead.
We finished the front nine with me on 17 points, Stuart on 19 and Paul shooting a fantastic 22 points, and after a 2nd place finish the day before on the South Coast Golf Tour, he looked unstoppable.
On the 1oth tee, Paul managed to hook his tee shot up on to the dunes, and after locating it, his only option was a sensible chip back out on to the fairway (good course management there). He finished the hole with a 6 and we wondered if, like last week, he might fall apart again on the back 9 and give the rest of us a chance. Stooey was building on his good finish to the front 9 and was starting to look like he hadn’t been away, and looking even more like a golfer that should be playing off a much lower handicap than his current 19! We must enter a few more competitions soon, so he can get cut!
I was managing to get a bit of consistency going and scored 10 points on the first 5 holes of the back 9 and then we got to the 15th tee. If you haven’t played at Littlehampton Golf Club before, this is probably the tightest hole we have. As I had started to make up a few points on the others, and after Stuart had hit a great drive down the middle, I decided to go with my driver too and hit a massive hook in to the trees on the left. I reloaded and pushed my 2nd way right. 2 balls lost in a matter of minutes, my 2nd blob of the round and my fight back was over and I conceded to having to write the round review.
It was now down to Paul and Stuart to fight for 1st place. Stuart took the lead after a good par on the 16th (Paul got a 4) but then a big sliced drive on 17th made him end up with a 7 and they were both tied as we reached the 18th tee. They both hit their drives left, in to the rough, but Paul hit a great recovery shot with a hybrid to the back of the green. He finished with a par, Stuart had a 5, so the honours went to Paul this week.
He ended up with 37 points, Stuart had 36 and I finished with 34. Not my best round, but only my 2nd round with my new clubs and wedges. My game is coming together and a few more rounds and I should be fighting for top honours a bit more often.
Really looking forward to next weeks round, when, for the first time in about a month, all four of us will roll out together. Lets hope for more sunshine and it will be great fun. I think a bit of practice during the week is going to happen too!