Lakeside Lodge - Manor Course - 28/12/15 | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Lakeside Lodge - Manor Course - 28/12/15

Yesterday I played on the Manor Course at Lakeside Lodge, my home club. The main Lodge Course was busy, and we hadn't booked.

I like the 9-hole Manor Course, the 563 yard par 5, 6th being particularly challenging. There's a lake and a left-hand dogleg at just over 200 yards and from there the approach to the green is relatively narrow, with dense trees either side should you make a wayward shot.

Conditions yesterday were quite bad, with very soft ground and surface water in many places. Most of the bunkers also had standing water. The greens, which are never quite up to the standard of the Lodge Course, were covered with heavy dew, making distance judgement extremely difficult.

The first tee for the 160 yard par 3 is off an elevated platform from where you need to clear two lakes. This will change soon, as the owner has permission to build houses that will encompass the first tee, so the men's tee will move to near the ladies' tee, which is between the two lakes. This will make it somewhat of a 'non-hole' for most men, which is obviously a retrograde step. Yesterday I got the distance right (23 degree hybrid off the tee) but pulled it into the trees on the left. It took me two to get back on the green and two putts for a 5.

The 2nd is a short 281 yard par 4, but with out-of-bounds trees on the immediate left, although it's better to approach the green from the left. I managed a 5 after a duff shot off the soggy fairway, saved by a single putt.

The 3rd is a short 90 yard par 3 over a lake that extends from the tee to almost the edge of the green. It's a long narrow green with slopes. It's surprising how many balls end up in that lake, despite the short distance. Yesterday I plonked the ball about ten yards from the pin but the heavy dew caught me out and I three-putted for a 4.

The 4th is a 476 yard par 5. You tee off uphill with trees on either side, any tendency to slice guaranteeing a place in those on the right. The Manor Course is characteristically quite narrow and this hole is no exception. Yesterday I did well to get on the green for 4, given the state of the ground, and putted out for a 6. A nett birdie for me.

On the 181 yard par 3, 5th I tried to reach the green with my 5 wood but sliced into the trees, ending up about 20 yards from the green. My attempt to play over the trees was partially successful, bouncing off one, and the ball landed on the bank just short of the green, from where I chipped on. Two putts gave me a 5.

And so to the famous 6th: my drive went high and was short, and my second shot took too much mud, leaving me a lot to do on this long hole. The third shot was a corker only to be followed by a miss-hit that moved the ball a few feet - I tried too hard. The 5th shot redeemed things somewhat and I put the 6th on the green, although it nearly rolled off the back of the steep upward slope. Two putts gave me an 8, a nett bogey, but without the mistake on the 4th shot it would have been a nett par, so I didn't feel too bad.

The 336 yard par 4, 7th was a mess. The uphill drive didn't reach the fairway and left me in long wet grass. The next shot didn't add enough distance, and after three shots I was an awkward distance from the green with a high-banked bunker to play over. I misjudged and ended up in the bunker, got out (just) for 5 and needed another chip onto the green for 6. I managed a single putt for 7 but the hole was blobbed!

On the 158 yard par 3, 8th I put my tee shot into the bunker in front of the green with a big splash! Following a free drop in the bunker I pulled off what for me was a good bunker shot, leaving me a doable putt. It just caught the lip of the hole but didn't sink, leaving me with a nett bogey 4.

The 9th is a challenging 336 yard par 4, the challenge arising from the closeness of the trees on either side, combined with the need to start off to the right, so as to give a line past projecting trees on the left. I had a short drive and a short second, again because of ground conditions. The third was meant to skim the projecting trees but went left into them. I expected the worst but found that the ball had bounced out - a bit of good luck. From there I pitched on and two-putted for 6.

So the end result was 50 for 9 holes, 14 points, which for me isn't bad, especially considering the conditions.

I'm hoping that for future reports I will be able to use my Game Golf analysis rather than having to describe everything longhand.

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