Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 17/02/16 | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 17/02/16

Helen, my wife, had a golf lesson today and I went along. As with a large percentage of high handicap golfers, her problem, like mine, is one of coming round on the ball, or coming from the outside on the downstroke. This, of course, creates the infamous slice as well as introducing a host of other problems. One tip the pro gave her was to keep the right arm close to the body on the backswing, as this helps to discourage the 'outside-to-in' action. I thought that I should give this a try.

Keeping the arm close to the body in this way limits my backswing because my rotational flexibility is itself limited by age and a history of back problems. So while disassociating the arm from the body allowed me to artificially increase the length of the backswing, by swinging the arms further than a simple body turn would permit, this brought with it the problem of the arms adopting an outside to inside downswing. A few swings on the practice range with the 5-wood using the revised approach seemed to produce good results, with the drives going straight and the dreaded slice absent.

My 5-wood has been in retirement over the winter as I found it difficult to get clean fairway shots in the wet conditions. Now the course has dried out a bit I decided to bring it back into service. We played the back nine, which is generally more open than the front nine, and therefore allows a bit more experimentation. Today was very much a practice round to try out what I had learnt during Helen's lesson.

It started well. On the 10th, using the 5-wood, I was on the green for 3 and only just missed the par with a gross 5. This hole is index 2, so that gave me 3 Stableford points. The 11th was even better, being just off the green for 2, I chipped on and putted for a par, which in this case gave me 4 Stableford points. A superb start by my standards.

Of course, it was bound not to last, and sure enough I didn't connect well with my 5-wood tee shot on the 12th, pulling it to the left. My second shot hit the trees that project from the left, landing among piles of cut wood where the ground staff have been tree pruning. I tried hitting out with the 5-wood, which was a mistake and then muffed the next hybrid shot, finishing with a gross 8. However, I did hit a solid 8-iron on to the green using the same arm-tight-to-body style, which was encouraging as my irons had become very unpredictable.

The 13th was a fairly uneventful gross 6. On the 14th I miss-hit the 5-wood tee shot, proving again that my revised technique wasn't a cure-all, but recovered well with a good second shot, although this did go off the fairway to the left (which is usually better than to the right!). I then muffed the shot out of the long grass, where an iron would have been an infinitely better choice than the hybrid I used, and then hit trees with the next shot. However, from beneath the trees I put a 7-iron on the green and two-putted for a gross 7.

For the second day running the 15th didn't go well. The 5-wood tee shot was good for length but ended up in long grass to the right of the fairway. A foolhardy attempt to play the 5-wood out of there failed miserably, and the next shot with the same club only added about 75 yards. The next was better but from there I needed three more bites at the cherry to get on the green, and with two putts ended up with a gross 10 for the second day running. To think that I have parred this hole a couple of times in the past. A nett par (gross 4) on the 16th, again the same as yesterday, was more encouraging.

The tee shot on the 17th went left and ended up behind trees, requiring a short safety shot back out onto the fairway with no gain in distance. From there I hit a good 5-wood but spoilt things with two under-hit 9-irons before chipping on with a 7-iron and two-putting for a gross 8. Finally, the 18th was marred by sending my second shot onto the bank by the lake on the left, from where it rolled into the edge of the lake. From the drop position I put an 8-iron shot over the trees, which was encouraging, chipped on with the 7-iron and single putted for a gross 6. Not bad considering the penalty stroke for the drop.

This was a practice round and I was trying different things, so it's perhaps not surprising that a few things didn't work out precisely as intended. With that in mind, I didn't think things went too badly. I'm happy to keep the 5-wood in the bag and have regained a bit of confidence in using my irons when approaching the green. But more practice is definitely needed.

Game Golf scorecard.

Scorecard - 17 February 2016

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