Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 02/01/17 | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

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.

My tee shot on the 3rd was poor, its only merit being that it went straight. I overplayed the next 9-iron to be sure to clear the bunker that protects this green, leaving myself a very long putt. In fact I needed three, the first being well short. So a nett bogey 5.

Another poor tee shot on the 4th left me with a lot to do, and putting the next one in the fairway bunker didn't help. I cleared the bunker well with my 9-iron and then managed to place the next hybrid shot between the lake on the left and the trees to the right. My chip, however, was rubbish, and I needed a second to get on the green, but at least I putted in one for a nett bogey 7,

On the 5th the tee shot wasn't clean and I found myself in the right hand bunker. I got out with my gap wedge, the wet firm sand looking highly unattractive for a sand wedge. A deft 8-iron chip left me with a single putt for a nett par 4, not bad after being in the bunker.

Another hopeless tee shot on the 6th left me in rough short of the fairway. I took a 5-iron and hit it well to leave me about 100 yards from the green. My 9-iron was then hit rather too well, going long and left, the ball ending up behind trees past the green. Fortunately I had a line through, just, and a low 7-iron got me on, although I needed two putts for a nett bogey 6.

The 7th started better with a half decent tee shot. I had gone from a low red tee to the next size up, a blue one. I then took a couple of good 5-irons but unfortunately the second put me in the left hand bunker. My third bunker of the day, I again took the gap wedge and thinned it slightly. I was out but now on the far side of the green from the pin position. In the circumstances three putts weren't a surprise, so after a good approach I ended up with a nett bogey 7.

After the relative success of the 5-iron on the 7th, I used it again on the 8th after another reasonable tee shot. This time two 5-irons in succession were fluffed, and I was still 160 yards from the pin. I was in light rough but the ball was sitting up so I took my 20 degree hybrid, hands down the grip, and was amazed when the ball took flight, worrying at one point that it would reach the green, which was still populated by a women's four-ball. In fact it had ended up about 10 yards short. A 9-iron chip and one putt for a nett par 6. Not bad after two rubbish 5-irons.

At this point, thanks in part to my new handicap, I had scored on every hole. I just needed to hold it together on the 9th. The tee shot was good, as was the second hybrid, and the third although it drifted right leaving the ball in among trees at the edge of a bank. Unfortunately I didn't have a direct line from there to the pin and I punched a low 5-iron out to the fairway. The next shot should have been a straightforward 30 yard pitch, but the iron dug in and the ball didn't make 15 yards. The next didn't quite make it either, but was just off the green, the pin being close to the edge. I putted on and then single putted for 8, a nett bogey with my new handicap, thus completing nine scored holes.

The final outcome was a 56 and 15 putts, the latter total not being bad considering there were two 3-putts in there. Only 12 points but every hole scored. My tee shots were very unreliable and no doubt cost me a few shots. There were some good chips and putting was generally good. All in all I wasn't too displeased.

Game Golf scorecard:

Scorecard - 02 January 2017

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