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MURPH's Handicap Mission


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#856 BuggeraCup

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 04:09 AM

A Christmas Eve hit out today, played in a decent winter fog that hung around most of the day, at Arabian Ranches in calm conditions. I started off hitting the ball really solid, especially with the driver. Irons were only okay but I was still hitting plenty of greens for the most part and putting was solid. Even though I didn't actually hole a heap of them I felt like I had a good feel for line and speed.

 

I birdied the 1st, which is always nice but I disappointingly bogied 8 (which is an 'easy' Par 5) and 9 to turn in +2, 38. Back nine was more of the same including a birdie on the drivable Par 4, 15. Again though I finished poorly and bogied both 17 and 18 to come home the same in +2, 38.

 

Overall, I hit the ball great, although I did start hooking a few towards the end of the round but a +4, 76 is always a good score - especially on this tough course off the back markers. 

 

+4, 76 (2 birdies, 10 pars, 6 bogies)

11/14 fairways

10 GIRs

32 putts (1 x 3-putt)

3/8 up and downs


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#857 BuggeraCup

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 06:39 PM

Played a couple of rounds over the last week so I'll combine the two into one write-up.

 

Played on New Year's Eve with a few mates at Arabian Ranches in windy conditions. I drove the ball really well again today, which is the strength of my game. Again though my irons were a little inconsistent. I putted well, although I didn't make a lot of long putts , I made everything that I should have made (inside 6ft) and rolled my long putts really nicely. I birdied the last (my only birdie), for a respectable +9, 81 in a round that was solid other than a terrible triple bogey 8 on the 'easy' Par 5, 3rd.

 

On Monday I finished up work nice and early and snuck in a round at the Els Club on my own. Again it was quite windy, probably a 2-club wind and the temps were quite cool. I started really well with 6 consecutive Pars to be Even after 6. The 7th is a short but tough Par 4 with water all the way down the left side. It is something of a bogey hole for me and in this case it was actually a double-bogey hole when I putt my second shot into the piss! After that I kind of lost it a bit mentally and, although I still played okay, I seemed to hit one poor shot per hole. I was on the bogey train and just leaked oil all the way in to finish +8, 80. Again, not a terrible score but the last 12 were played in +8 which is clearly not good enough for a sub-5 handicapper!!!


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#858 BuggeraCup

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 01:24 AM

I've been a little quiet with my posts lately but I have actually been playing a few games. I've had a mate, who is a Pro on the European Tour, staying with us for the last couple of weeks while he played in the HSBC Abu Dhabi event and the Dubai Desert Classic.

He wanted a few games to shake off the rust as these were his first tournaments since the PGA at Royal Pines. It's always good to play with a great player as you learn a lot just by watching them and he's always happy to pass on a few tips. Games we played were;

Els Club - shot 78 and hit it pretty solid and putted great. Couple of bad holes really cost me.

Al Zorah - 77. Nice conditions and everything was pretty solid.

Trump International - tough course and I didn't hit it terribly. Putting was terrible though, including 4 X 3-putts for an 81 (Par 71).

My mate missed the cut in Abu Dhabi but had a decent week in Dubai and was actually briefly leading during the 2nd round!
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#859 Francie

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 01:29 AM

Just watching the replay now at work.   Great finish.  


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Inaugural winner "Castlemaine" Vic ISG golf day 2009
Inaugural Victorian OOM Putting Champion - Long Island 2011
Inaugural ISG National Golf Champion - Queensland September 2012

Inaugural winner Casey Rotary Golf Day 2012 - Part of the 'Dream Team'
Hole In One - 7th Hole Portsea GC - 9/10/2012
Long drive "champion" - Stinks 3 club challenge - 22/9/2013

Shipwreck Coast Classic - B Grade Men Winner (Warrnambool) - 9/11/2013

Inaugural holder - ISG TBPNTHWAOOM trophy - 2015

Eagle - Par 4 - 18th at St. Andrews Beach - 1/9/2015​

Eagle - Par 4 - 3rd at Long Reef GC (NSW) - 18/9/2018
Holder - Brass yacht trophy - 2015

Player of the Year (VPGC) - 2015

Winner - ISG Tombstone event - Lang Lang - 4/9/2016

Half of 4BBB Champion team with Commish - 2016 National Event

Half of winning finalist - Doubles Match-play team (VPGC) - 2016

​Team member - Winners of Australian ...... Matchplay Championship - 18/11/2016

Veterans Champion (VPGC) - 2016 

 

"If a foursome is pressing you, wave them through - and then speed up." - Deane Beman

 

http://www.golflink....k_No=3013311351

 

Lowest ever handicap - 7.5

 


#860 BuggeraCup

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 04:17 AM

Finally got around to having another hit today with a round at the Els Club. It was my first round since my mate was here for the desert swing of the European Tour. My warm-up on the range was very rusty and inconsistent and it didn't change much when I went to the course to be honest. I guess it was to be expected with my lack of recent play but that doesn't stop me being pissed off with the way I hit it. 

 

I was missing my driver both ways, snap hooking my 3-wood and mostly getting my irons a bit thin. On the positive side I felt like I was putting alright. To be honest, the ball striking wasn't completely diabolical but, combined with a decent wind today, I was missing the greens in some terrible places. With the greens being lightning quick it meant that I was making more bogies than pars.

 

No birdies at all today. At least the back nine was slightly better in terms of both scoring and ball striking. Back to the range I guess!

 

44 + 39 = 83.


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#861 BuggeraCup

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 10:08 PM

Played twice in the last week, both times at Arabian Ranches in nice warm weather with the standard decent afternoon breeze.

 

The first round I drove it great, hitting all but two fairways, and one of those misses (the 18th hole) was by about 1 foot. My irons were pretty decent as well although I was tending to slightly push them. That being said, I still managed to hit 11 greens which is decent. The greens and surrounds at Ranches are terrible at the moment though for some reason and it turned the short game into a bit of a lucky dip. As a result, even though I felt like I was rolling them alright, I didn't really make anything of any note.

 

Other than a bladed bunker shot on 14 which lead to an unplayable and a triple bogey, it was all pretty solid. Ended up shooting an 82 which I thought wasn't just reward for how I hit it but not too bad considering I had a triple and the greens were sh*t.



#862 BuggeraCup

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 10:21 PM

Yesterday though was ordinary and I don't really know why. My ball striking and address just felt off for some reason. I still hit 9 of 13 fairways which sounds alright but my driving still didn't feel great. My irons were abysmal though, I don't really recall one iron shot that I would consider pure. Plenty of them were skinny as well which is somewhat better than fat I guess but still not the way to play good golf. 

 

Again the greens and surrounds were ordinary and, because I missed a lot of greens, I was caught out several times by the unpredictability of the fringes. Some stopped dead in their tracks, others skidded through and some acted like I thought they should. On top of that, putting was a bit of a lucky dip which didn't result in any longer putts being holed.

 

I ran out of time and light to finish my round, which didn't really upset me to be honest such was my demeanour with my ball striking. By the time I called stumps after 16 holes I was +12 so not really a lot to take away from the round to be honest.



#863 BuggeraCup

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:47 PM

I played yesterday again at Arabian Ranches having not played or scored well there the last few rounds. It was particularly windy again yesterday, probably a two club wind.

 

I felt like I hit it pretty well. In fact I drove it really well except for a short stretch in the middle of the round where I hit a couple of roping draws (bordering on snap hooks!). I only missed 3 fairways for the entire round which was good. 

 

My irons are never as strong as my driving but I actually felt like my ball striking with the irons was pretty good today though. That being said, with the strong wind I still missed as many greens as I hit but most of them were still pretty close to the putting surface.

 

Today though my putting was unbelievable!!! I think I pretty much made everything inside 10ft. In fact, on the front 9 I went around in only 11 putts - seven 1-putts and two 2-putts. I had only 26 putts for the entire round.

 

Good putting invariably leads to good scoring and today was no different. 75 off the stick on a tough course in very tough conditions. I hit the ball pretty well but I've certainly hit the ball much better and scored much worse previously so it just goes to show what a strange game it is but also how important putting is!


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#864 BuggeraCup

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 03:05 AM

Played on Monday at the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates which is a really nice Greg Norman designed course where they hold the final of the 'Race to Dubai' on the European Tour. Like most Norman courses it has lots (excessive?) bold bunkering both on the fairways and around the greens. The greens are quick and fairly heavily contoured with also a fair bit of water in play as well. 

 

It was windy today but I hit the ball pretty well. My driver was a little weak off the tee with a few weak push-fades which weren't always effective, especially with the wind. Luckily I managed to keep most of the balls in play and my irons were actually pretty solid for the most part. Also, my chipping and putting were excellent today which kept the scoreboard looking healthy despite some inconsistent driving.

 

I birdied the Par 5, 2nd and the Par 5, 14th but other than that I was just boring the course to death. That was until I doubled the short Par 4, 15th which has a heap of bunkers (which I found!!) but still should be a birdie hole. However, it was still a good round and I ended up shooting a solid +5, 77. 


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#865 BuggeraCup

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 03:13 AM

My mates and I had another hit today, this time back at the Els Club which is probably my favourite course in Dubai and it is always in mint condition with firm, fast greens. It's starting to get pretty hot over here and it was probably just over 40 degrees when we teed off with a decent 1-2 club breeze in play as well. 

 

My front nine was very good today, I actually went out in Even Par 36. I eagled the Par 5, 6th with a perfect 3-wood into the wind from 220m and an epic, curling, downhill putt from about 40ft!

 

However, the back nine was another story and shots that I got away with on the front side with a good short game started to catch up with me. Not helping the situation was the fact that my putter went cold even though I felt like I was putting a good roll on the ball. On a positive note, I birdied the Par 5, 18th to at least break 80 and sign for a 79. So it was a bit disappointing to be Even Par at the turn and only shoot 79 but I guess overall it was still a pretty decent round in tough conditions. 



#866 Halfer5

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 12:29 PM

So like all good stories I read a couple of pages then skipped to the end to see what happened - did you get to 5 in 2009 (of since?) what are you off now & if better what has been your key - lessons, new kit, practice ???
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#867 BuggeraCup

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 05:14 AM

SCOTTISH GOLF TRIP

 

In April I managed to fulfil a bit of a life-long bucket list item by completing my first (but hopefully not last!) golfing pilgrimage to the ‘Home of Golf’, Scotland. This trip was a belated 40thbirthday present from my wife and kids and I tacked it onto the end of a family vacation to Paris and London. So while I kissed the family goodbye at Heathrow Airport as they headed back home to Dubai, I caught a flight up to Edinburgh for a week long golfing odyssey. 

 

I was travelling and playing alone so I decided to utilize a golf booking company in St Andrews in order to maximize my chances of getting onto the Old Course (which can be problematic as a ‘single’). The tour company was brilliant and it turned out that they had a couple of ‘singles’ there at the same time so they ‘teamed’ us up and put us into the ballot. This, combined with the fact that it was still early in the season, meant that I was lucky enough to play the Old Course twice on this trip. 

 

I stayed right on the 18thhole of the Old Course at the Macdonald Russack’s Hotel which was an epic location. It was surreal having breakfast every morning while watching the golfers tee off on the course that I have dreamed of playing. I also decided to use a local caddie at every course I played as well which was not only beneficial to my game but also a lot of fun as well and certainly added to the memories of this trip. 

 

My itinerary was as follows;

 

April 6th– Kingsbarns

April 7th– St Andrews Old Course

April 8th– Carnoustie (Championship)

April 9th– St Andrews Old Course

April 10th– travel day from St Andrews to Inverness. Possibility to play Cruden Bay near Aberdeen on the way.

April 11th– Castle Stuart (36 holes)

April 12th– Royal Dornoch (36 holes)

April 13th– travel day from Inverness back to Edinburgh. Possibility to play one of the courses at Glen Eagles on the way.

 

Two weeks before the trip the weather in Scotland was pretty heinous apparently. In fact, I was looking at pictures of the Old Course that were covered in snow and thinking that this was going to be the golfing trip from hell with sh*t weather and even sh*ttier course conditions. Additionally, as a North Queenslander that now lives in the Middle East, I owned sweet F.A. wet/cold weather golf gear and I certainly wasn’t used to playing in the cold. However, the gods were smiling on me, the condition of all of the courses was amazing. In addition, while it was cold (not unbearable though), I never once got rained on while on the course! In fact the only time it rained was on my two planned travel days so I ended up skipping playing Cruden Bay (because the rain was coming in horizontal that day!!!) and Glen Eagles but other than that the weather was just about perfect……….well as perfect as April weather in Scotland can be I guess.


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#868 BuggeraCup

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 05:15 AM

DAY 1 - KINGSBARNS

 

I jumped off the plane in Edinburgh from London and immediately jumped in a hire car and drove the 90mins up to St Andrews and straight to the carpark at Kingsbarns for my first round of golf. I met with my tour organizer who outlined the plan for the week and handed me my clubs which had been couriered directly to them (awesome service again!). Although I just stated previously that the weather was perfect, I only meant that I didn’t get rained on while playing golf. It was cold…..very cold and it was windy……very windy, a solid 30kts. I was wearing literally every piece of warm weather golf gear that I owned……literally!

 

However, despite those conditions, I don’t know whether it was the weather that made me concentrate or the fact that I was on day one of my dream golfing trip, but I had possibly the best ball striking round that I’ve ever had! 

 

1st– Par 4, 380m

It was playing downwind off the right so my caddie told me to hit a 4-iron to stay short of the traps on the right which was achieved. I then had a 7-iron into the green which I had to aim 20m to the right of the green. I hit it perfectly to 15ft and then holed the uphill putt for birdie on my first ever golf hole in Scotland!!! (Birdie, -1)

 

2nd– Par 3, 165m

Playing downwind I only had to take a 9-iron but despite hitting it absolutely pure, I still couldn’t stop it on the green and it rolled through to a pretty crappy lie in the fescue. A decent chip left me 8ft for par which I missed on the low side. (Bogey, Even)

 

3rd– Par 5, 477m

I hit a decent drive to the right centre which left the green in range as it was downwind. My 4-iron was a little weak and flared to the short right which left me with a near impossible pitch from short of the traps. My pitch was impossible to stop and it rolled through the green and from there I failed to get up & down for wrote down a pretty soft bogey. (Bogey, +1)

 

4th– Par 4, 389m

Now we had turned back into the wind so I couldn’t take on the massive fairway bunker on the left. Good drive to the fairway left a 4-iron into the green. The wind knocked my shot down but it still found the green but about 30ft short. Two-putts from there. (Par, +1)

 

5th– Par 4, 370m

Again a nice drive found the narrow fairway but still left a tough shot into the green as we were still into the epic wind. I had 128m in and was tossing up between a 5 and a 6-iron, that’s how strong the wind was! In the end, I decided to play a punchy 5-iron but (having not really practiced that shot!) I ended up just about shanking it and it actually went out-of-bounds. Penalty drop and replay found the green and two-putts lead to a double and I was pretty dejected. (Double Bogey, +3)

 

6th – Par 4, 301m

Sometimes drivable but certainly not in this wind. Drive found the fairway which still left a 7-iron in. My approach rode the wind and missed short right. I hit a decent chip but couldn’t hole the putt and I felt like I was going to be in for a long day with this wind. (Bogey, +4)

 

7th– Par 4, 431m

Index number 1 playing uphill into the wind. I hit a great drive and still had a 3-wood in which again I pured. I was walking up to the green feeling like I was now swinging great and full of confidence and then proceeded to three-whack with the putter, do’h!!! (Bogey, +5)

 

8th, Par 3, 132m

Playing slightly downhill but still straight into the gale. I ended up hitting 6-iron and again it was pure. It ended up about 6ft and I duly rolled the putt in the middle of the cup. (Birdie, +4)

 

9th, Par 5, 500m

Finally back downwind back towards the clubhouse. I hit a decent drive but I leaked it a little to the right and found the rough but I was lucky that it didn’t roll down the bank towards the 7thand I drew a pretty good lie. It was so good that I decided to go for and hit a great 3-wood that just actually rolled through the green long. Really nice chip left a tap-in. (Birdie, +3)

 

Front 9, +3, 39

6/7 Fairways

5 GIRs

16 putts

 

10th, Par 4, 366m

Piped a drive straight down the middle into the wind. Nice 7-iron found the green, two putts from about 30ft. (Par, +3)

 

11th, Par 4, 399m

Eleven was more crosswind than anything and I hit a solid drive but I thought it was too far right but the wind curled it back nicely towards the end of its flight to the right fairway. Had to start my 9-iron over the gully and let it drift back which it did to about 20ft. Very nearly made the putt but I’ll take the tap-in par. (Par, +3)

 

12th, Par 5, 538m

After a beautiful walk to 12 tee you are faced with a awesome hole along the coast. However with the epic winds, this was the longest 538m hole that I think I’ve ever played! I’m not a short hitter by any means and for me I hit three perfect shots into this Par 5, a driver, a 3-wood and then still a 6-iron!!! I was then gutted to three putt from about 40ft. (Bogey, +4)

 

13th, Par 3, 123m

Straight downwind and slightly downhill and I hit a terrible shot. My caddie told me don’t miss short and/or right so what did I do? I tried to baby it thinking the wind would do the rest but you’ve still got to commit to the shot. The pitch from down there is dead, I had nothing and then I duffed my chip from the other side after that just for good measure!!! (Double Bogey, +6)

 

14th, Par 4, 336m

I was pretty angry after the last two holes and I used that anger to beat the sh*t out of my tee shot on this short downwind hole. My tee shot ended up about 20m short of the green and I was left with a pretty simple pitch which I stuck to about 8ft but then proceeded to miss the putt which did nothing to ease the pain! (Par, +6)

 

15th, Par 3, 151m

Fairly iconic hole to a peninsula green. Downwind I hit a punch 8-iron to the left pin. It was a good shot and ended up about 15ft from the pin. A decent putt but it just missed on the low side. (Par, +6)

 

16th, Par 5, 507m

Straight downwind I hit a great drive and then an even better 5-iron to the centre of the green. Two putts from there. (Birdie, +5)

 

17th, Par 4, 408m

Still downwind and another really nice, and long drive found the fairway. My 7-iron was slightly pulled and I missed the green on the left. I was left with a very quick chip but I played it pretty nicely but was still left with 10ft for par. Made it! (Par, +5)

 

18th, Par 4, 383m

Back into the wind for the home hole and I hit a great drive down the left side. The approach has to clear a massive ravine with a wee burn in it. I still had 4-iron into the wind and even though I hit it well the wind was just too strong and I actually got lucky that it stayed dry. I hit a great flop shot from well below the green and then lipped out the downhill putt that looked in for all money! (Bogey, +6)

 

Back 9, +3, 39

7/7 Fairways

6 GIRs

19 putts

 

TOTAL = +6, 78

13/14 Fairways

11 Greens in Regulation

35 putts

 

 

As you can see, I was stoked with the way I hit the ball. My ball striking was excellent and my stats reflect that. It was a great round considering the windy and cold conditions. My putting let me down though and it cost me what could have been a really great score.


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#869 BuggeraCup

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 05:16 AM

DAY 2 – ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE

 

It was with great excitement that I ate breakfast overlooking the course that I’ve dreamed of playing ever since I fell in love with the game. I’ve been lucky enough to play some awesome and famous courses in my travels (Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass, Torrey Pines South, Royal Melbourne, Barnbougle Dunes) but this course is different……it’s the home of golf. I had a comfortable 10:00am tee time, had a bit of a warm up and headed over to meet the rest of my group on the first tee. The weather was perfect with basically nil wind (which was surprising considering yesterdays weather!) and blue, sunny skies – it was perfect! 

 

1st, Par 4, 376m

Two out of my three playing partners actually hit it out-of-bounds right off the tee believe it or not so I wasn’t filled with confidence standing over the ball considering I was already a bit over-excited just being here! I took my caddie’s advice though and actually aimed it right over towards the Swilken Bridge and got a pretty decent drive away. I had 8-iron in which I thought I got pretty solid (in fact I did) but I just got caught out by the cold, heavy air. So while I was posing over a shot that I thought was going to scare the pin it actually fell out of the sky and caught the bloody burn!!! I couldn’t believe it, two solids shots and I ended up putting it in the bloody burn short of the green!!! Pitch and two putts and I had started with a 6!!! (Double Bogey, +2)

 

2nd, Par 4, 411m

The funny thing was, I didn’t care about making double, I was still smiling and just happy to be playing the Old Course. Good drive off the tee conservatively towards the hotel to take the trouble out of play. Nice 7-iron but it came up a bit short which left me with a really tricky putt. I had three goes at it! (Bogey, +3)

 

3rd, Par 4, 370m

Still smiling, didn’t really care about my score, and I hit a pure drive straight down the middle over the mounds. PW from the fairway was also good and left me about 15ft for bird which I duly made. (Birdie, +2)

 

4th, Par 4, 419m

Another great drive split the fairway. My 6-iron approach was a little chunky and came up short. My chip was also a little timid and I was starting to struggle with the green speed which I found to be quite slow. 2 putts. (Bogey, +3)

 

5th, Par 5, 514m

Decent drive but it started leaking a little right and flirted with the nest of bunkers on the right side but I got lucky and found short grass. My 3-wood should have been in range but I leaked it right as well. Pitch was okay but not close enough. (Par, +3)

 

6th, Par 4, 374m

Pure drive split the fairway and safely avoided the Coffin bunkers.  A nice 9-iron didn’t really release like we expected but still found the green. Two putts from about 30ft. (Par, +3)

 

7th, Par 4, 359m

Caddie told me to hit driver but I sliced it well right. We got lucky though and found it in some light rough over towards the 10thgreen. Had a fairly straight forward PW which found the green but I couldn’t make the putt. (Par, +3)

 

8th, Par 3, 166m

The pin was easily accessible but I got my 7-iron a bit thin and it ran a good 40ft past the flag but still on the green. Unfortunately I was still struggling to get a feel for the speed of the greens and left my first putt well short…….my second putt wasn’t much better!(Bogey, +4)

 

9th, Par 4, 347m

Went with driver to see if I could bounce it up pretty close but again I leaked it out to the right. I split the two fairway traps and rolled through into the right rough. I hit a little bump and run but it was just a little too bold. So it’s a pretty straight forward hole but I still really didn’t give myself a realistic chance at birdie. (Par, +4)

 

Front 9, +4, 40

6/8 Fairways

7 GIRs

19 putts!!!

 

10th, Par 4, 340m

I hit a solid drive but it didn’t fade at all like my normal ball flight and in fact, actually drew just a little bit. We found it but it was in amongst a few gorse bushes so I took an unplayable drop and started again. Pitched on and had two putts. (Bogey, +5)

 

11th, Par 3, 174m

The pin was tucked tight right behind the Strath bunker and I needed to get this round back on track so when my caddie told me to aim 30ft left of the pin, I listened. Did exactly as he wanted me to with a pure 6-iron. Left my first putt well short (a common theme!!!) but did well to make the curling 5 footer for par. (Par, +5)

 

12th, Par 4, 316m

What little wind was blowing was helping on 12 so because I had been driving pretty well my caddie told me to go for it because he thought I could fly all of the traps. He was right and my strong drive rolled through just into the left rough. I was then faced with a shot that sums up everything I love about links golf. The pin was on the small plateau in the middle of the green with a collection bowl short and a steep run off long. Because I was in the rough and on a slight downhill lie I couldn’t go high even if I wanted to (not that it is usually the best plan on firm links course anyway). I literally had maybe a 5m area to stop this ball in. I took a 5-iron and played the old Scottish bump and run. I played it perfectly and reacted just like I thought it would and ran up the massive slope and trickled down towards the hold. It actually lipped out and I tapped in from a foot for a birdie that summed up links golf and the smile (that had never left my face anyway) was even bigger than it had been. (Birdie, +4)

 

13th, Par 4, 418m

Another great drive was long and split the fairway to the right of the Coffin bunkers. My iron approach though was weakly flared out to the right but I managed to miss the green side bunker. My chip was weak though and I took another two putts to get down. (Bogey, +5)

 

14th, Par 5, 530m

Perfect drive left me in the go zone and in no real danger of messing with Hell bunker. I then hit a perfect 3-wood that I thought would find the surface but St Andrews had other ideas and it smacked into the tier at the front of the green and rolled back just short and right. From there it was another example of the genius of this course and links golf in general. I was never in any really danger of making bogey but I also had no real chance to get my next shot close and get the birdie that I thought would be a formality when the ball left the face of my 3-wood back in the fairway. Two putts from about 15ft.(Par, +5)

 

15th, Par 4, 414m

Narrow off the tee if you take driver but I was driving so well that my caddie had the head cover off before I even arrived on the tee. Another great drive straight down the middle. Again though my iron play didn’t do my driving justice and I came up a bit short after getting it a bit chunky. A nice chip though and a one-putt ensured no damage was done. (Par, +5)

 

16th, Par 4, 381m

This hole is a little daunting off the tee, the OOB looks very close but again I hit a solid drive to the right fairway between the traps and the stone wall. This time I hit a great PW to about 15ft but again I left the birdie putt short. (Par, +5)

 

17th, Par 4, 455m

We all know the Road Hole but you still can’t believe how close you have to hit to the hotel in order to find the fairway. However, I trusted the advice of my caddie and hit another great drive which found the fairway. I had a 4-iron in and I thought I hit it perfectly to find the front portion of the green however it smacked into the bank and was repelled away to short left albeit was still technically on the green. From there I was dead because the pin was back right behind the Road Hole bunker so I couldn’t even hit it towards the hole, I had to tack my way across the green. I actually nearly made my 15ft for par but it just lipped out. (Bogey, +6)

 

18th, Par 4, 357m

Perfect drive again at the clock tower found the fairway (which isn’t that hard on 18 I guess). I then hit a great 8-iron that flew straight over the flag to about 20ft. The putt looked good for a very long time but just turned away to the low side right at the end. (Par, +6)

 

Back 9, +2, 38

6/8 Fairways

6 GIRs

17 Putts

 

TOTAL = +6, 78

12/16 Fairways

13 Greens in Regulation

36 Putts

 

 

It was a special day and I literally smiled all the way around the course even when I hit poor shots. I drive it really well, especially on the back nine and my ball striking stats were good but that’s actually pretty easy to do on the Old Course in light winds. Again though my putting was terrible but I’ll certainly take a sub-80 on my first time around St Andrews.     


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#870 BuggeraCup

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 05:23 AM

So like all good stories I read a couple of pages then skipped to the end to see what happened - did you get to 5 in 2009 (of since?) what are you off now & if better what has been your key - lessons, new kit, practice ???

 

Mate, I'm currently playing off 3.5 (I think?) so yes I guess I did achieve my goal. Yes I got some new kit which certainly helped and my work-life balance got a little better which enabled me to play more. To be honest though I think two things have contributed to my improved handicap (not including the new handicap system which I also think makes it much easier!);

 

I got better and my short game and putting. That's really all I practice these days, and,

 

I don't take my golf anywhere near as seriously as I used to! I have two young kids now and I have more important things in my life than golf so when I do play golf, I want it to be fun - like its meant to be. By lowering my expectations when I play I think I've turned myself into a better player.

 

Thanks for reading (some of) my blog mate.


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