Back on the course | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Back on the course

After a fairly long break I ventured out yesterday. My back is still a bit suspect so I decided to take a less ambitious approach to my game. With the weather now looking much better, and the fairways firming up, I reverted to a hybrid for my fairway shots, occasionally opting for my 3-wood where space allowed for a wayward shot. Both these clubs are less demanding on my body than the irons, which I tend to swing a lot faster. So, that was the strategy.

It started well on the 1st. My drive wasn't long, and drifted a bit right, but it didn't reach the ditch. Two hybrids later I was about 90 yards from the green (I didn't take my Garmin or the Game Golf device). I then surprised myself by putting the ball on the green for 4 on this par 5. Unfortunately I then three-putted for a nett bogey 7. But it was a surprisingly good start.

The 2nd soon reminded me of my limitations. Taking the hybrid off the tee to reduce the risk of a slice into the right-side ditch, I made a classic head-up shot, the ball trickling off the end of the elevated tee box into long grass. What was almost an air shot followed, and then a poor clearance, meaning I wasn't even on the fairway after three shots. The next was better, but I then underplayed my shot to the green, needing another chip, followed by two putts for a blobbed 8.

My drive on the short 3rd almost made the green, but I made a mess of the chip, getting on for 3. Three putts gave me a nett bogey 6.

My drive on the 4th landed a little way off the fairway to the right, the ball settling in long grass. Another air shot followed! The next got me out, but not that far. I then played a good hybrid, followed by another that I put just short of the green. A chip and putt for a nett bogey 7 was a reasonable recovery.

My drive on the short 5th went right into horrible long grass on the right-side bank. The first attempt to get out was well short of the green. The next, also out of long grass, got me on, but with a long putt on what is a very contoured green. I read it well, the ball turning towards the hole as it lost pace, but it stopped just short. So it was a nett bogey 5.

After a good drive on the 6th I tried my 3-wood but didn't get any loft. However, the ball ran well, leaving me a pitch to the green, which I thinned, sending the ball over a bank at the back. A nice gap-wedge chip got me on, with a single putt for a nett par 5.

On the 7th after an average drive I hit two 3-woods, this being an open fairway that tolerates slightly wayward shots. From there I pitched on and two putted for a nett par 6.

The 8th wasn't so good. My fairway shots, again with the 3-wood, weren't too bad, but I made a meal of the irons shots, needing three to get on the green, followed by two putts for a blobbed 8.

After a safe drive on the 9th, my 3-wood sliced right into the light rough but made good distance. I played out with my hybrid, leaving me a possible 7-iron to the green, but it was well short after poor contact. I pitched on and two-putted for a nett bogey 7.

After all that it was a 59 with 17 putts. Two 8s and two air-shots didn't help, of course. On the positive side, using the hybrid and 3-wood certainly took some of the strain off my back, the dreaded sciatica not recurring. And there were a few good shots that pleased me.

My plan going forward is to play once a week, on Thursdays. Lets hope that with fewer games, and my new strategy, I can reach a compromise with my back and enjoy my golf more.

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