Corby Priors Hall - 25/08/17 | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Corby Priors Hall - 25/08/17

After Thursday's encouraging performance at Lakeside Lodge I was feeling confident as the Mad Cats lined up to tee off at Priors Hall. Last July I almost managed a prize position on this course so hopes were high. The 1st tee is high above the fairway, reflecting that this area was once a large quarry, although all other evidence of this has since been obscured by nature. Conditions were perfect. Warm, with little wind, and if anything a bit too hot later in the day.

On the 1st I drove well but the ball drifted right and rolled towards the tree line after landing. I didn't think that there would be a problem finding it, but our joint efforts failed to do so. Going back to the tee wasn't an option as this would have delayed following groups, so I dropped and took a two point penalty for personal scoring purposes. As far as the Mad Cats' competition was concerned, the lost ball meant the hole was blobbed. Playing out the hole didn't go that well anyway, my hybrid shot after the drop was short and right, landing the in rough. A pitching wedge shot was then equally bad, needing another to get on the green. Two putts gave me an 8. Last year I parred this hole, so my start couldn't have been more discouraging.

Fortunately the 2nd went much better. A good straight drive, that managed to miss both fairway bunkers, was followed a hybrid and pitching wedge, leaving me just off the green. A putt on and two putts for 6 gave me a nett par. Last year I picked up on this hole after three unsuccessful attempts to get out of the green-side bunker. Win some, lose some!

Feeling better after this recovery I then managed to negate this by making a mess of the 3rd. The drive was average but then I hit two very poor hybrids, adding 70 and 55 yards respectively. The next hybrid was better, after which I pitched on and two-putted for 8 and another blob. Last year it was a nett par.

The 4th was a lot better. A good straight drive and two average hybrids got me to just off the green. I putted on and two-putted for a nett par 6. I was short on the par 3, 5th, but then chipped to just off the back of the green. A putt on and two putts for a nett bogey 5. My drive was short on the 6th but two reasonable hybrids left me with a pitch to the green. Unfortunately I three-putted for a nett bogey 7.

The 8th was a 'nearest-the-pin' par 3. I went for it with a hybrid and the ball just clipped the lip of the bunker, falling back into it. So close! A very good sand wedge out left me with a chance of a par, but I needed two putts for a nett par 4. A long drive (191 yards) on the 9th followed by a hybrid left me with what should have been a simple pitch on, but I thinned it and the ball ran through the green. I chipped back on and two-putted for a nett par 6.

Last year the 10th was a nightmare hole for me, but today things went more smoothly. The drive wasn't long although the fairway is uphill, which tends to shorten the distance achievable. I then hit a very poor hybrid, but the next was better at 180 yards. I pitched to just off the green, putted on and two-putted for a nett bogey 7. Last year I scored 4 points on the 11th, and while I didn't quite manage that this time, I did get a nett birdie for 3 points. The drive was good, as was the next hybrid. My pitch ran off the back of the green, but I single-putted after chipping back on.

The 12th was the second 'nearest-the-pin' par 3. I took my driver and in fact was just short of the green, having not given it the 'full' power. A par was in the offing, but after putting on I missed a short putt, ending up with a nett par 4. The 13th is characterised by two rows of bunkers as you take your final shot to the green. After a good drive and reasonable hybrid, I wasn't confident to make it across both banks of bunkers. I played a pitching wedge to the space between the bunkers, and then another to the green. The second, however, wasn't well hit, and settled just off the right of the green narrowly avoiding running into another bunker. I chipped on and two-putted for a nett bogey 7.

On the 14th, after a reasonable drive and a good hybrid, I needed to pitch over a bunker. I was short. A sand wedge out ran onto the green and two putts gave me a nett par 6. The 15th is a long par 3. My driver was well short but the next pitch was on the green. Two putts for a nett birdie 4. I played the 16th well. A good drive, hybrid and pitch put me a couple of feet from the pin. A hesitant putt was unforgivably short, the second giving me a nett par 5.

Hole 16 - Corby - 25 August 2017

In case you haven't noticed, I had now played the 4th through to the 16th without blobbing a hole. If only I could have maintained this trend.

I pulled the drive on the 17th. The first and only time during the round. The ball settled behind some smallish trees, and I was confident that I could play my 8-iron over them. Unfortunately I think I tried a bit too hard with my first attempt, the club digging in and the ball only going a few yards. This placed me nearer the trees, making the shot more difficult. Although my next attempt was well hit, it caught the top of a tree, and the ball fell to the base of the tree. Standing close to the trunk, I played a 7-iron out quite well, making 90 yards onto the fairway. But this escapade had now cost me three shots. My pitch then went left, the next pitch crossing the green. I putted back on and then two-putted for a 9. A complete and utter blob and a great disappointment as I had totalled 14 points on the back 9 up until this hole.

The 18th didn't do me any favours either. After my first pulled drive on the 17th, I sliced on the 18th. Among trees I took a 6-iron to keep the ball low and played out at a sideways angle, gaining some forward distance but not much. In fact I almost ran into a bunker across the fairway. A good hybrid then put me about 115 yards from the green, which sits high as you are now leaving the former quarry. I should have taken my 8-iron, which I had been playing reasonably well. But to be sure I took my 27 degree hybrid. I hit the ground before the ball, pushing it right and short, whereupon it ran down a pathway. Bizarrely, I went down the same pathway last year! I managed to play an 8-iron through the trees, which amazingly made it to the edge of the green, but left a very long putt on. I then needed two more putts to finish with a blobbed 8.

I think that the lost ball on the 1st unsettled me over the early holes, after which I felt that I was playing quite steadily, although there were a number of poor shots. Comparing my game with that of last year is interesting. Last year's round was exceptionally good for me, but on both occasions a few blobbed holes detracted from an otherwise reasonable performance. Golf is very unforgiving and it's almost impossible to recover a good score once you have thrown away one or two holes.

Total score today was 111, with 37 putts and 26 points. Here's the Game Golf scorecard:

Scorecard - 25 August 2107

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