A mate and I had a hit at Trump International the other day. Trump is the newest course in Dubai, I've played it only once before but (despite being named after a f*@kwit) it is a very, very good course. I hate to say that it is a "links style" course (being as it's in the middle of the desert) but it does play quite different to most of the courses in this part of the world. It is set up very firm and fast and the fairway and greens are the same type of grass, just mowed a bit shorter, so you can play low, running shots or putt from well off the green with confidence. It is also usually quite affected by the wind so I do find it a very difficult course, especially off the tips from where we played it.
My warm-up went great and I took that ball-striking form to the first tee. I was hitting the ball great but it's just a bloody tough course. I lost count of the number of times I had to hit Driver, 4 or 5-iron into a Par 4 green, and once I even had to hit a 3-wood into the green for my approach shot into the wind! That meant I always felt like I was trying to salvage par with a long range putt or trying to get up&down from off the green.
I leaked a few shots on the tougher and longer front nine to turn in +5, 41. The back nine is slightly easier but I was still hitting the ball really well. I came home in a respectable +2, 37 to end up with a +7, 78 off the stick. I was pretty happy with that score and my ball-striking on a tough course in tough conditions.
As we were having a bite to eat and a beer after the round a couple of other mates called and said they were teeing off on the same course in an hour. Based on the way I finished my first round, I decided, what the hell, lets go around again. So I ended up playing 36 holes for the day. However, the second round was horrendous from a ball-striking point of view in comparison to the morning round. I don't know if it came down to a matter physical or mental fatigue but the swing and, consequentially, the scoring just wasn't there.
I even hit a ball out-of-bounds on the back nine which I don't remember doing in a long time (it was a terrible snap hook). I ended up shooting a disappointing +16, 87!!! I actually also played 36 holes without having a single birdie! Golf is such a funny and frustrating game, it was hard to believe that those two rounds were played on the same day because they were vastly different.