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Keeping the swing going

written by Ryan Blackwell 25/05/2016

I recently had a few days off work and it’s been lovely spending time with my family and friends.  Whilst being off I thought I would squeeze in some extra golf.  Club Championships are a couple of weeks away so I want to be on top of my game.  It is also knockout season and whilst I am out of the singles competition I still had 2 pairs matches to play.  Here is how my few days of golf went;

Friday: I played at Hazlemere with my buddy JP.  A tee time of 8:34am was booked, an early start for a day off but the course was clear and the weather was good so no complaints.  JP beat me the last time we played shooting 40 points versus my 35 points so he took a one shot handicap reduction.  I got off to a bad start with a tee shot that frustratingly could not be found, it took me a little while to calm myself down.  I did not have the best front 9 but hung in there.  On the turn the scores were 13 points versus 17 points in favour of JP.  I often play the back 9 well so I thought if I scored well I could close the gap.  I did play well and shot 4 over par on the back 9 scoring 21 points however JP shot 20 points and claimed victory for the 2nd time in a row.

Saturday:  I had a later tee time than usual as I was out celebrating Mrs B’s 30th birthday on Friday night.  It was competition weekend so another chance to try and get my handicap down.  I am currently playing to handicap most rounds I play even with making a few mistakes.  I know that if I get a day where everything clicks I can score well. Most of my game was good but my putting let me down again.  The greens are a little slower at the moment and I am finding them difficult.  I ended up shooting 1 over my handicap so it was still ok.  The weather was better than forecasted which cheered me up but not as much as the group in front who provided some entertainment with some good old club throwing.  Sometimes launching one club through the air is just not good enough and you have to throw your whole bag (twice).  I won’t name names as they know who they are ;0)

Sunday:  This was going to be a day off golf and I was spending the day with Mrs B at Stoke Park.  We had an overnight stay planned and use of the spa.  Jen booked herself in for some treatments so I decided to hit the driving range.  I had two hours to kill so hit about 150 balls.  That might not sound a lot to some people but during a round of golf that takes over 3 hours if I play to handicap I hit 84 shots and 34(ish) of those are putts.  It was good to have some time and work on some parts of my game though.  I don’t really practice parts of my game I just get out on the course, probably something I should change in order to get my handicap down.

Monday:  I had some tokens for the driving range at Stoke Park left over so I decided to hit a few more.  I took one bucket of 35 balls and did not hit them all.  I felt it would be a waste not to use the facilities again.  It’s not often you get a grass range as most places have you play off AstroTurf mats.

In the evening I had a pairs knockout, alternate shot was the format and my partner was my dad.  It is not the best I have seen my dad play and we went crashing out. We both put ourselves under pressure and took on shots we would not normally take.  It’s not a format that seems to work for us as we did not do well last year either.  We seem to enjoy putting each other in the rough, in the bunker or behind a tree and not on the fairway.  We both much prefer playing our own ball and it’s easier to be mad at yourself for leaving the ball in a terrible place.

Tuesday:  My last day off work and another pairs knockout.  Better ball is a format both my dad and I prefer.  You both play your own ball and you take the better score on each hole.  We both felt confident as we were to get several shots off the pair we were playing.   We did not get to play the match due to our opponents not being able to make it on time but we were granted a fast pass through to the next round.

As we were at the club we decided to play 9 holes rather than waste a visit.  I watched a few YouTube videos on how to play out of the rough the night before so it was a good opportunity to practice what I had seen.  The rough has grown around the course recently and I have lost a few shots by being slightly wayward of the tee, finding the rough and struggling to find the green from longer grass.

The videos helped and I played well from the rough.  I know the trick is not to go there in the first place……. Easier said than done.

After a few days of getting to grips with my game I am looking forward to medal weekend coming up.  Fingers crossed it is when everything comes together.

The photo is from the driving range at Stoke Park and I am wearing the CMAX LOGO KILO WHITE POLO Polo Shirt and the Loomtek Navy Trousers Trousers




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