First off, my apologies for not being very active with posts over the summer. With school, homework and golf I have not had much time to sit down and write much.
At the beginning of the year my Coach set me a target of 5 Handicap and every opportunity I’ve had I have practiced to try and achieve that. The result was a succession of +0.1 emails from How Did I Do, but I kept practicing and working with my swing coach, friends and family to get my game on track.
June gave me my first missed cut in the Ladbrook Park Club Championship, something I’d practiced for in the week leading up to it. Not a great feeling, but I put that down to too much range practice.
2016 Has been a year of a lot of hard work with my golf. I was lucky enough to be invited to stand in for a few Warwickshire County matches and got an idea of where I need to work on my game.
Slowly chipping away at my handicap and playing a lot of Match Play in County matches soon brought August around. I was lucky enough to go to Woburn for my Birthday and just went out to have fun, shooting a level par 72! (Game Golf Link). Having fun seemed to unlock something in my game.
The having fun part is probably the main thing missing from my game earlier in the year. I was so focused on my swing technique, positions and trying to make par that I was forgetting to enjoy myself and enjoy the game.
On the 22nd October 2016 while trying to put a solid score together AND have fun I had my first hole in one!
Ladbrook Park 5th Hole is not long at 150 yards but the green is small and protected by 3 bunkers at the front, one to the left and a run off to the right. The rise of the bunkers also mean you cannot see where your ball finishes.
A well struck smooth 9 iron never left the pin, but as it landed then disappeared out of view I could not tell if I was 10 feet short, 10 feet past or stiffed it close.
This hole has a way of punishing a missed green and at this stage in my round I was just relieved to know the ball would be on the green somewhere.
As we approached and the ball was not in view I wondered if it had run through the green leaving me a slippery downhill chip.
My pitch mark was about 5 feet short of the hole, and to my amazement my Titleist Pro V1X sat firmly in the bottom of the cup!
The round went on with me shooting one of my lowest of the year, a 69 gross (63 nett) and a hard fought finish! The back 9 holes at Ladbrook always play harder but after my hole in one on 5 I was really just trying to bring it home.
Mission accomplished, my new handicap is now 4.7 – a Category One golfer at last.
Autumn is now here, winter layers, slow greens and no run on the ball – but that’s the beauty of golf. The same course changes every season and even throughout the day making this challenge different every time.