Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 25/02/16 | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Lakeside Lodge - Lodge Course - 25/02/16

At one point today I thought that I was going to manage to complete a round without a blob, but I'm afraid I dropped one hole. That said, it was perhaps my best round ever. Certainly my 47 on the front nine beats my previous best of 49.

I mentioned recently that I had modified my swing by trying to keep my right upper arm tight to my body, thus avoiding loose arms that invariably cause the downswing to suffer. On Monday I took my driver to the range to see if this technique would correct the dreaded slice that had caused me to take the driver out of the bag. I only tried 20 balls but the results were encouraging. I tried again on Tuesday, but this time took the driver, 5-wood and 8-iron to the range, playing them repeatedly in sequence to emulate a tee shot, fairway wood and then an iron. Again this went well.

So today the driver was put into action, but not until the 4th, as I'm still wary of the right-hand hazards on both the 1st and 2nd holes.

The 1st didn't go too badly with a gross 7 on the par 5, and I parred the 2nd. I then went on to nett par holes 3 through to 7, nett birdie the 8th and nett par the 9th. This is the first time I've actually played to my 24 handicap over nine holes, today's score actually bettering it. The nett birdie on the 8th was all the more surprising as my drive went left, ending up near the 7th fairway. It was 172 yards, which far outstrips what I've been getting with the hybrid iron off the tee. From there I played over the trees and was just off the green for 3, from where I took a 7-iron and a putt to finish.

The back nine wasn't quite as clean. The 10th was marred by a poor iron shot that almost ended up in the bunker, and I needed another shot to get on the green. I still managed a gross 6 for a nett par. The 11th also didn't go too well. My drive went left flipping across the fairway the bunker and ending up by the tree line. I didn't have a clear shot forward and ended up pushing it right, and also too long, it ending up in the trees on the opposite side of the fairway. A safety shot out was followed by a hybrid that stopped just short of the green for 4, from where I putted on, but needed two more to put it away: gross 7, nett bogey.

The 12th started with a lovely 172 yard drive: dead straight and ending up in the middle of the fairway. A hybrid shot then put me just off the green, from where I putted on, and then two-putted for a gross 5: nett par. The drive on the 13th just clipped the left-hand trees and dropped short. I made a reasonable clearance but then hit a heavy shot that ended up in the bunker between me and the green. I played a 9-iron out in the hope of reaching the green, but it only just cleared the bunker. A 7-iron pitch and run was short, and I then made my only three-putt of the round for a gross 8 and my only blobbed hole.

I went miles left on the 14th but recovered well for a gross 6, nett bogey. On the par 5, 15th I had a good drive and reached the green for 4, two-putting for a gross 6, a nett birdie. I then parred the short 16th having put my hybrid tee shot on the green.

The 17th nearly went pear-shaped when I miss-hit my second shot that seemed to head for the large bunker that protects the approach to the green, but stopped short. Fortunately the next 9-iron put me just off the green to the left from where I putted on, and then two putted for 6, a nett bogey. On the 18th I pulled the drive and it ended up to the left of the ditch that runs along the left side of the fairway. A good hybrid shot left me with a pitch onto the green, where two putts gave me a 5 for a nett par- not a bad ending.

So it was 47 (19 points) out and 52 (15 points) back, which must rate as one of my best rounds, particularly in winter conditions. The modified swing seems to be paying dividends and I'm happy to keep the driver in the bag. A bit more attention to avoiding errors could actually see me playing to my handicap!

Here's the game Gold scorecard:

Scorecard 25 February 2016

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