Durham City Golf Club - 03/04/17 | Kilburnlad | Golf | Diary

Durham City Golf Club - 03/04/17

This was the second time we have played the Durham City course. On this occasion we were told that we were still on winter tees. I didn't quite understand what that meant until we got to the 7th, which was closed. This is compensated for by an additional hole between 11 and 12. This, of course, plays havoc with the hole numbering, and while my Garmin GPS device gave the winter course option, my Game Golf device didn't recognise the change. Game Golf, therefore, correctly showed no shots against Hole 7, but then added the shots for the 'additional hole' onto those for Hole 10!

The game didn't start too well. A confusion over the tee time led to me arriving there to find four chaps already waiting. It was just after 10:10 and I had expected to tee off at 10:20. However, they said that we were due to tee off at 10:16; i.e. almost immediately. With no time to warm up, or even take a practice swing, I walked to the tee and promptly took an air shot. I hit the ball with the next attempt, but was thick and took a slice of grass off the nicely prepared tee box. Totally embarrassing, and the shot only went about 70 yards. The rest of 1st was scrappy after that unceremonious start. I took a 9 but that didn't include the air shot as I felt morally entitled to ignore the rushed start.

Things settled down a bit after that, with a 5 on the 2nd (par 3), and a 6 on both the 3rd and 4th par 4s. A 4 on the 5th (par 3) was followed by a 7 on the 6th, this being the stroke index one hole. I then played each of the next three par 4 holes in 6, giving me a total of 55 out, which wasn't too bad after the disaster on the 1st. My tee shots and the majority of my fairway shots were taken with hybrids, the 20 degree club being the most used. I was hitting fairly straight but the distances were down, the average being around 125-130 yards, which isn't that good.

Because the 7th was closed, the back 9 actually started at the hole numbered 11 - very confusing. I made a bit of a hash of this hole. I had made some poor hybrid shots and was attempting to play the 5th across a little valley over to the elevated green. I took too much ground and the ball actually ended up in the bottom of the valley, almost in the little stream. I played up from there with my 9-iron and then needed two putts to finish with an 8.

The next hole was the additional one that replaced the 7th. A short par 3, I miss-hit the drive into heavy rough to the immediate left. Amazingly I got it out with an 8-iron, the ball coming to rest just short of the green. I putted on and then two-putted for 5.

Now on 12, the hole numbering had regularised itself once more. The railway was to the left behind a row of trees, and my pulled drive hit one of the trees and ricocheted towards the railway. Lost ball. The next attempt was better but quite short and I needed a couple of more shots to get on the green. Two putts gave me a 7, after being three off the tee.

On the 13th I was again in trees after my third shot and had to play out sideways for safety. A poor 9-iron shot needed a second attempt, and although I only had one putt it was another 7. The 14th was also a 7, two poor fairway hybrids having robbed me of distance, although this was a 480 yards par 5, so 7 wasn't quite as bad as on the previous par 4.

Things then really fell apart on the 15th. It's a 167 yards par 3 with an elevated green, and I put my shot right by some trees and in low lying soft ground. We couldn't find the ball so I dropped and took a two-shot penalty. My first pitch in the soft ground took more mud than ball, and the ball hardly moved. The next attempt got me up onto the green but I then took three putts for an inglorious 9.

The 16th wasn't much better. A poor second hybrid shot was followed by three hopeless irons before I reached the green, and then three putts for an 8. The back 9 wasn't going well!

Fortunately, the 17th redeemed things somewhat with a 5, but I still had two poor hybrid shots on the way to the green. The 18th was a better approach, but I spoilt things with a three-putt finish for a 6.

The Game Golf scorecard for this round is confusing because of the absence of shots for the 7th and the omission of the additional hole on the back 9, so I'm not including it. My 55 out was followed by 62 back, the individual hole scores coming back being much poorer. I took 19 putts on both the front and back, which is also not great. The real mistake of the day, however, was not asking the four guys who were waiting at the 1st tee to go off before us. They were behind us all the way round, and although we rarely actually held them up, it added pressure, and almost certainly caused us to play faster than was comfortable.

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