After yesterday's discombobulating performance I played thirteen holes at KH today.
Two scungy shots up the first left a 60m pitch over the bunkers. My nice pitch was not nice enough and my 12ft putt just missed.
Again into the bunker on 19, this time the right bunker. At least it was pin high. A chunked bunker shot to 15ft and another near miss.
Nice drive on 2 followed by a 8I to 18 ft and an easy two putt par.
Nice drive faded away from the left bunkers on 3 followed by a pitch to 20ft and an easy two putt par.
Pulled drive into the left bunker on 4. Didn't quite catch my 8I out. Nice pitch from 30m but not nice enough to save par.
Unbelievably awful 5I tee shot on 5 left a 9I second from a clear spot in among the bracken. Hacked into the left bunker. Good bunker shot to 15ft and almost holed bogey putt. Note to self: stay away from that left bunker.
Strong tee shot (for me) on 6. Blocked 7I into right trap. Very good bunker shot to 6ft and holed putt to save par.
Strong tee shot (for me) on 7. Scungy second close to ti tree on left. Happy to find ti tree cut well back. Worried about interference on backswing and dropped 60m pitch into left bunker. Very good bunker shot to 6ft and holed putt to save par.
Strong tee shot (for me) on 8. Hybrid from 170m to about 50ft. Easy two putt for par.
Before teeing off on 9 I did a laser check how far it was to the ti tree at the end of the dog leg. The measurement of 245m confirmed that there was no reason to hit less than driver. Nice drive and pitch to 45ft left a treacherous downhill putt. My guess to play it like a 30ft putt paid off and left a tap in for par.
Ten was out of play. After confirming with the laser that I wasn't going to carry the fairway bunker on 11 I carefully focused on a target to the left and then neatly drove straight into the bunker. A fat 8I out followed by a nice 8I to 30ft and two putts for a bogey.
It was my first look at the new back, back, back tee on 12. When I first played KH the twelfth was about 430m. From the new back, back, back tee it will be 559m. The good news for me is that I doubt very much that I could even reach the central fairway bunker from there let alone fly over it as I used to do. That bunker was moved toward tee when the hole was first lengthened. I look forward to seeing how it plays in the Australian Open in 2020 but it is no longer an easily reachable par 5.
But I digress. My tee shot was weak and found the central fairway bunker. Much to my surprise it was in a shallow part of the bunker on a firm lie with no lip to speak of. Inspired by hitting some fat fairway bunker shots recently I came up with a cunning plan which could not fail.
My ingenious plan was to use my hybrid and open the face so that if I hit it fat the club would still bounce off the sand and produce a reasonable shot. So convinced was I about my plan my first, second, third and fourth failures didn't phase me but had me contemplating a sort of Happy Gilmore like fifth attempt which almost cleared the almost non-existent lip and finished in the next, deeper part of the bunker. From there I invoked the mercy clause and my lift and throw found a good lie in the fairway. Two nice shots and two putts gave me an estimated 23 + penalties. Note to self: look up the Guiness Book of Records for the stupidest attempt ever to escape an innocuous bunker.
Fittingly my drive on 13 bounced left into the last of the fairway bunkers giving me an opportunity to reprise my stupidity. This time however I hit a slightly fat wedge to about 30m from the pin, played yet another nice but not quite nice enough putt to about 12ft and two putted for an easy bogey.
So for thirteen holes, 4 greens in regulation, 6 pars, 5 bogeys, 1 doubles and 1 other.
Apart from playing like a recovering bunkerholic my upper back was quite sore by the end so I'll give the monthly medal a miss tomorrow. It's an awfully long walk back to the club house if I break down on 14 or 15.
Much hard work awaits but somehow I remain optimistic that once I master getting out of the bunkers (I mean me not the ball) improvement just might follow.