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Post by barragan Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:30 pm

Fresh thread - you know the score: share some of your tales of woe, indifference and banditry with us all.

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Post by 4putt Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:33 am

Not today but tales of two recent rounds.
Two weeks ago I played in a 3 day comp at Khon Kaen. On the second day playing in a 4 ball and we catch up with a Thai 6 ball on the 5th. The next 4 holes are very slow, being held up all the time. When the Thais finish the 9th they go and sit down outside the clubhouse having something to eat and drink. As I'm the first to hole out on the 9th I tell my partners I'm going over to the 10th before the Thais get there. Whilst walking to the tee I get lots of verbal from the Thais. I just put my head down and carry on walking. Tee up and drive off. As did the remaining 3 players. The Thais quickly finished their food and came and stood next to the 10th tee, talking loudly as the other 3 players teed off. I said to my caddy I think I peed them off, "yes" she said. Apparently one of them was a VIP in town and is not use to being ignored in that way.
Monday, this week. Playing in two 4 balls on our local 9 hole course. We tee off later than usual due to the 'coffee brigade' wanting a coffee before going out. Play the first 9 indifferently and it's blinking hot. Get to the 10th tee and look at the green. Counted 14 people on it. 7 players and caddies. Two of us immediately say we've had enough and walk in. Two in the following 4 ball did the same. Hung around for over 2 hours for the other group to come in but no sign of them so left. No idea how long it took them.

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Post by EmmDee57 Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:55 pm

3rd place in an Open 2-ball 4 Comp today, £25 voucher won.

Highlights included
Out of my 9 tee shots, 5 fairways hit and both greens found on par 3's. 2 missed fairways were in 1st cut of rough.
A chip in for birdie
4 iron tee shot to 10 feet on a par 3
20ft birdie putt holed
Bunker shot on 18 to 4 feet

Here's hoping it can kick-start my season after a poor start.

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Post by barragan Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:00 am

played our penultimate league match yesterday in our group's round robin. my partner and i both played absolutely appalling, hardly a clean shot the whole day playing against opponents who on paper we ought to have beaten comfortably had we played anywhere near our best...matchplay is a funny old format though and on reflection our poor play made for quite an exciting match.
first hole halved with pars. threw away the second after i 3putted from 40ft and one of our opponents made a great upanddown holing out from 10ft for par. exactly the same thing happened on the next, another 10footer dropped for par by them and another three putts by myself. halved the fourth with a par to their nett par, though my partner missed an 18incher for a nett birdie. then stole the 5th despite a chunked tee shot and a thinned 4iron onto the green. this time our opponents floundered on the green and gifted us the hole. lost six and seven to another two 10footer putts droppingfor par and nett birdie. eight and nine were gifted back thanks to a couple of three putts from our opponents. ten provided me with a great moment. a really well struck 2i hybrid to 4ft, holed out to go all square. our opponents pulled out a 15footer for half on the next, and a 25footer on the 12th to make us tremble over the 6footers we both expected to have 2 for, for a win. fortunately i popped mine in and we went 1up for the first time! shortlived though - a terrible 13th for us gifted them the hole (strokes for them didn't help). onto the closing holes and after 5 holes won each and only 3 halves up to then, the match really tightened up. 14th halved in par, though we all had reasonably good birdie chances. 15 halved in birdie after my partner put his approach stone dead, and one of our opponents rolled in a 10 footer for the half. 16th and 17th both halved in pars, again a good putt from 5 feet from one of our opponents on 17 to take it to the 18th at all square. our opponents both hit super tee shots, drivers up the middle. my partner and i both opted for the 2iron hybrid off the tee and both struck well but held our lines instead of fading them across the top of the dogleg, and were tight up to the LHS. my partner amongst the trees struck out, and i had a 9iron to the green which i pushed right - not ideal with the pin tight to the rhs. one of our opponents overshot the green and fluffed a couple of chips coming back and was out of the hole. the other stuck his second safely to the heart of the green, about 30ft away. i got up to my ball and found i had a bunker to go over with about 3 paces of green before the pin to stop the ball. knew i needed to pull it out of the bag to half the match, so pulled out the 56deg to attempt the flop shot...nailed it... well pushed 6ft right of the flag, but spot on for distance control. our opponent rolled his putt up 5feet short and suddenly we've got a final two putts which could turn the match either way.. our favour, theirs or a draw! i rolled mine in for an unlikely up and down, he dropped his in the back edge - match halved - great climax! in the context of the league, we required at least a win and a draw from our last two matches to make the final, so we're still in with a shout. despite a poor day of ball striking, i somehow hacked it round in 78 for level hcp, (+6 out, level back), and went home pleased with my 10th hole birdie and up and down on 18. always nice to grind out a result when you feel you're waay off your best too.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:58 am

Laugh Not so good last time out (yesterday)! One positive though is that I'm obviously as good as Peter Hanson.....I hit a shank on a par 3 as well.
Highlight, after a terrible drive down 18 onto the practice ground(!), was an absolutely pure, deliberately faded 3-iron around trees ~195 yards into a stiff wind pitching next to the hole and finishing within 6 feet of the flag. Holed the putt for a stupid birdie as well. At least the post-round beer tasted better after that Ale.
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Post by hend085 Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:39 am

i did similar last week! except out practise area is OB Sad

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Post by Doon the Water Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:13 am

Having played a nice tidy game last week I was looking forward to today's game. A good drive and 3 wood down the first [par5] and I walked off with a seven. Started like a Jumbo Jet 747 in the water on the 5th and a lost ball on the 6th...not good.
Steadied the ship a bit for 30 points to finish 11 points behind Deadly who had one of his best days.
Funny old game.
Turnberry next week.

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Post by McLaren Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:19 pm

Doon

I have always wondered who deadly is?
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Post by dynamark Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:25 am

Probably Deadly Douglas as he is likely to be scot.
I managed 34 points 17 each half on Saturday with a blob on each half.Not bad but missing too many greens.6 up and downs for pars in that.
About 20 of us had a meal after and bizzarely found ourselves in an in depth discussion about cookery.Obviously too many single blokes.

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Post by Doon the Water Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:09 am

Deadly is my regular playing partner who I have been 'helping' for about two years.
He has gone from a very raw talent. Early on he would lose at least 4 balls a game with his form of Bubba golf.

He has steadied down very well and now plays off middle handicap but could be single figure quite easily. Another year perhaps.
He scored an 82 [par70] yesterday with one silly seven at a par 5, just like me at the first. He was 30 yards short in two, two fluffed pitches and three putts.

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Post by mystiroakey Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:55 am

it cant stop raining!!!!!!!!!

how am i supposed to play in this horrid weather!

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Post by Doon the Water Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:13 am

Beautiful day for our game at Turnberry Kintyre.
Course in lovely condition only three two balls in front of us so a sub 3 hour round.
I carried on my form from the last game and played very poorly. The gorse was in full bloom and made the fairways on the earlier holes seem even tighter. Three lost balls on the first six holes, they were quite decent shots, just a few yards off line. Dreadful 11 points to the turn. Came back a bit better in 16 points.
My playing partner, Deadly, continued his good form with a very steady round for 33 points. This was despite two four putts, one of those at the short 16th from the middle of the green. putting for a two and takes five.
Mind you it was a treacherous pin position.

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Post by Fader Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:35 am

Played in our clubs 1st of 3 qualifying comps for the club championship. The top 15 players from todays event go through to the club championship 36hole event in july. There's another 2 qualifying events where the top 10 of not already qualified players get in (if that makes sense). Then there's a wildcard entry for all players who have won something this year in lead up to the CC that haven't qualified get invited to play (don't know how other clubs do it but this seems pretty fair).

Having been out last night and getting home at 5am after a sojourn with a lovely young lady whom I'm meeting again tomorrow I was feeling pretty weary and stood on 1st tee thinking playing after a night out plus in rain was bad idea. Ended up playing some lovely golf as I had the whatever will be attitude. Managed to play the first 6holes in -1 (a PB for me so far) then a blip 4 straight bogies! To put me +3 then managed to Par my way in and shot and equal best round for me of 74 nett 65 and qualified in 2nd place.

So am fortunate to have qualified first time out for my first CC, though next time I'll have an early night.

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Post by Doon the Water Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:30 pm

Well done Fader, now come on, what were you concentrating on ,the golf or the lovely young lady.

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Post by McLaren Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:49 pm

Fader for a guy who has only been playing 12 months (cough, cough years) that is a pretty good score. Wink
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Post by Fader Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:28 pm

Doon: most definitely not the golf and most certainly the lovely young lady.

Mac: I love how you persistently continue to insinuate that I've been playing longer than I actually have! Btw its 14months now and my handicap is what it is and my scores are what they are as is the length of time I've been playing! As I've said before I've piled a lot of money and time over that period to play the game and I hope to go lower.

I'm sure there are people out there that have progressed quicker than I have and good luck to all who play I don't pass judgement on them and I'm getting a little tired of you doing just that to me. I find you have some very valid points on a lot of things but please put this to rest as I've nothing to gain by saying how long I've been playing. I've also done Martial Arts for over 16years perhaps you care to question that and claim I must be awful at that to cough cough!

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Post by Doon the Water Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:47 am

One of my juniors came down from 24 to 8 in just over a year. He was about 15 years old and started to struggle off eight. He gave up the following year. Great shame.

Getting to 9 in a year for an adult is pretty good but not impossible. Once you get to that level it is much harder to keep the improvments going so well done Fader.

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Post by McLaren Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:55 am

Fader

chill, it was a joke, hence the smiley.
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Post by Fader Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:38 pm

Mac the joke the first few times was ok, but its beconme tiresome, much like the material of frankie boyle.

Doon I agree, I have noticed it suddenly becomes more work than fun sometimes, so will stick with lessons and trying to get lots of range time without taking the enjoyment out of it.

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Post by dynamark Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:05 am

Fader You have to make a choice- its either golf or girls.

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Post by Plunky Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:53 pm

My husband asks "how about girls who play golf" ?! Hug




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Post by dynamark Wed May 09, 2012 6:08 am

That would be ideal of course.But relatively rare.
Another 34(17/17) points on Saturday but boy was it wet must have cost a few shots with bad lies .Ground seems to have become saturated.
First club match tonight so need to switch to matchplay mode.

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Post by golfermartin Wed May 09, 2012 9:43 am

Disaster - handicap up to 9 for the first time since 1997! I blame the appalling cold, wet weather (well it's an excuse if not particularly valid)

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Wed May 09, 2012 9:49 am

golfermartin wrote:Disaster - handicap up to 9 for the first time since 1997! I blame the appalling cold, wet weather (well it's an excuse if not particularly valid)

Yeah, yeah GM. I like your sandbagging mo2 before the summer eclectic starts. I've got my eye on you.....

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Post by hend085 Wed May 09, 2012 9:59 am

we have a matchplay competition going in my club at the moment for single figure golfers. it really is a great idea.
im summary its similar to the heiniken cup in Rugby.
8 pools of 6/7 single figure players and everyone plays everyone.
there is a winning bonus point if you win on or before 15th hole and there is a loosing bonus point if you manage to reeach the 17th or 18th.
this is the 3rd year it has been played and there has really been a noticeabe improvement in how the club has done in interclub competitions.


and of course im delighted because last night i won my 3rd match in a row in the pools so im looking good to qualify Smile
probably played equivalent to about 33 points or so but did it when i needed to at squeekybum time so mixed feelings about the performance!

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Post by golfermartin Wed May 09, 2012 10:14 am

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:
golfermartin wrote:Disaster - handicap up to 9 for the first time since 1997! I blame the appalling cold, wet weather (well it's an excuse if not particularly valid)

Yeah, yeah GM. I like your sandbagging mo2 before the summer eclectic starts. I've got my eye on you.....

When does it start? Can I get to 10 by then? Whistle

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Wed May 09, 2012 11:28 am

Unlikely GM, it starts next week. But good effort if you do manage to get it up to 10 in that time.

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Post by dynamark Thu May 10, 2012 4:05 am

Played the club match(3-2 win) and got awful wet feel like cak this morning.Odd thing was my partner and I ended up playing for the opposition as they were 4 men short and took our game to the last putt where we missed a 12 ft birdie attempt and our captain holed his from about 10ft.Decent game played with my usual 3 partners -very strange.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Thu May 10, 2012 6:28 am

Thought I'd get this off my chest....

I played in a Stroke Competition at my club on Saturday, and then the Monthly Medal on Sunday. I shot net 70 in both of them...which was not bad at all ...but.. and here's the thing that frustrates be about my game...my back nine on Saturday, combined with my front nine on Sunday..was a net 63.
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Post by golfermartin Thu May 10, 2012 7:04 am

Bob_the_Job wrote:Thought I'd get this off my chest....

I played in a Stroke Competition at my club on Saturday, and then the Monthly Medal on Sunday. I shot net 70 in both of them...which was not bad at all ...but.. and here's the thing that frustrates be about my game...my back nine on Saturday, combined with my front nine on Sunday..was a net 63.

Bob

That's golf! In my early years, when I was off 18, I'd quite regularly go level par on one nine and drop the 18 on the other. Once when I'd had the good nine going out, one of my playing partners was calling me all the names under the sun. On that occasion I managed to hold it together enough to play to 12 - mainly due to one of the other guys coaxing me round and telling me not to lsten to the prat!!

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Post by number1hacker Thu May 10, 2012 7:41 am

4putt wrote:Not today but tales of two recent rounds.
Two weeks ago I played in a 3 day comp at Khon Kaen. On the second day playing in a 4 ball and we catch up with a Thai 6 ball on the 5th. The next 4 holes are very slow, being held up all the time. When the Thais finish the 9th they go and sit down outside the clubhouse having something to eat and drink. As I'm the first to hole out on the 9th I tell my partners I'm going over to the 10th before the Thais get there. Whilst walking to the tee I get lots of verbal from the Thais. I just put my head down and carry on walking. Tee up and drive off. As did the remaining 3 players. The Thais quickly finished their food and came and stood next to the 10th tee, talking loudly as the other 3 players teed off. I said to my caddy I think I peed them off, "yes" she said. Apparently one of them was a VIP in town and is not use to being ignored in that way.
Monday, this week. Playing in two 4 balls on our local 9 hole course. We tee off later than usual due to the 'coffee brigade' wanting a coffee before going out. Play the first 9 indifferently and it's blinking hot. Get to the 10th tee and look at the green. Counted 14 people on it. 7 players and caddies. Two of us immediately say we've had enough and walk in. Two in the following 4 ball did the same. Hung around for over 2 hours for the other group to come in but no sign of them so left. No idea how long it took them.

Got to love playing golf in Thailand!! I can only play golf on the weekend, so have got used to waiting at tees and on fairways, doesn't make it any easier though! Got to love it when the big cheeses of the army play (my local course is an army course) and you have to actually stop and let the arrogant bar stewards through then wait for them on tees and fairways! Happy days!!

I hear there's a nice course in Khon Kaen? Not had a chance to get up that way yet.

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Post by Fader Sun May 13, 2012 2:12 pm

One word: PAINFUL

To elaborate, played at Cray Valley today with my usual Sunday lot, the were 10 of us and we thought we'd go somewhere different from our home course and Cray Valley was our choice. The layout was really nice, it offered a good challenge, was only 5400yards but the greens were huge and undualting so focus was on hitting to right areas. I actually played well for the 1st nine was +2, however I've no idea what I finished overall as I got fed up after the 10th.

We booked to tee off our first group at 840 then had the following 2 tee times as well. We actually tee'd off at 930 due to ridiculous queue on tee when we asked the starter why so far behind he said simply "cos no need to book as we mainly operate a get here and wait policy" yet the pro takes bookings and let's people out in front of you! It took us 3.5 hours to get through 9 holes!

After then waiting for 40minutes for the 11th green to clear I switched off and just walked upto ball and hit it stopped counting my score and endured the pain. The tound in total took 5hours and 40minutes!!!!

Cray Valley lovely course but I'll never play again simply due to them letting way to many people out causing everyone to suffer, the barman after said average round time is 5.5hours!

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Post by Nay Mon May 14, 2012 2:33 pm

Played Royal Musselburgh in a charity comp today

Played not to bad, scored a total of 32, 20 on front nine although only 12 on back 9, so need to figure out how to keep concentration or full 18 holes.

Team score of 87 including a hole a one from one of playing partners

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Post by barragan Sat May 19, 2012 2:07 pm

1st round of the club 4bbb knockout for us today. didn't make any headlines but scraped a 2&1 victory against a scratch golfer and his 15 hcp partner. happy enough with my game in the end. not a sterling performance by any means but played fairly steady and shot level handicap from the back tees in fairly testing conditions. particularly pleased to hit the final 4 gir to close out what was a very tight encounter from start to finish. indeed until we went dormie 2, neither side had been more than one ahead thru the match where the lead had swung either way no less than 5 times. highlight was a cracking 5 iron from the rough on 7 which finished 5ft from the pin - birdie putt holed.

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Post by Hibbz Mon May 21, 2012 9:27 am

First really good round of the year for myself has got me back down to category one status (5.2) so I'm well chuffed.

13 of 13 fairways hit and also 3 of the 5 par 3's GIR (managed to par the other 2 from off the green anyway).

Only slight and I mean very slight disappointment was the number of birdie chances I was very tentative with so if I'm going to go really low need to somehow convince myself to attack these more without fear of the three putt.

Both the two previous times I've managed to get down to 5 (5.3 both times) I've gone .1,.1 straight back up so at least I'll have an extra chance to remain on the hallowed turf this time!

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Post by dynamark Tue May 22, 2012 5:37 am

This is not an ad but St Pierre at Chepstow was fantastic last weekend.The Old Course is just superb with pretty much every hole a different test.
£99 for 2 rounds and one night in a top quality hotel.I played OK but only managed 2 pars seemed to have 3 wood in my hands all day for 2nd shots but nice and dry and in lovely condition.Would recommend it

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Post by McLaren Fri May 25, 2012 4:21 pm

A bit sad to heat we are not out enjoying golf in what may prove to be the best weather of the summer. Come on folks get out there.
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Post by Fader Sat May 26, 2012 5:13 pm

Well a glorious day. Shame about the golf!

Played 4bbb Penfold League match for the club today, we played against lullingstone stone park at their place. The team won overall 2-1. However I was the one who lost and I do mean "one".

I had to play on my own as the guy I was supposed to partner never showed up! The pair I played between them 1 putted the first 11 greens! Worked it out just a minute ago and I was only +4 gross which is 5 under my handicap on a course I've never played and I got royally stuffed 8&6! Shocked

I know its matchplay so strokeplay score is irrelevant but still! Oh well at least got to play in shorts.

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Post by dynamark Tue May 29, 2012 6:46 am

Dont know about anyone elses club but its our captains week next week which means a serious amount of golf is possible and the course is always in lovely nick.Nice thing is most of the comps are drawn so you get to tee up with different palyers.

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Post by Plunky Tue May 29, 2012 4:51 pm

Just got back from golf school --4 days of nothing but golf ! Hope to use what I learned there to go from being a high handicapper to a not quite so high handicapper this year. Course was devastated by hurricane Irene last year and completely lost 4 holes -- the destruction had to be seen to be believed. They plan to rebuild those 4, but in the meantime they made 3new par 3s, and turned a long par 5 into a 3 and 4. Shorter course, but no easier than it was before. Great weather all 4 days yet the course was never crowded -- such a nice change of pace from long island !

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Post by Fader Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:46 am

So yet again to a topic that causes such frustration and in some cases violence!

Today was the 2nd of 3 qualifiers for our Club Championship. I wasn't feeling to great and wasn't exactly looking forward to a tee time of 7:58 (2nd group out) after spending 12hours on the road going to Chester and back yesterday all thanks to issues with the M6!

But as things turned out our 4ball became a 3 as one member had pulled out through injury. The group in front had free run of the course but from the first hole seemed to be suffering from Jason Day Syndrome!

After somehow scraping a par at the 1st I proceeded to drop 6 shots in the next 5 holes! Not good but wholly compounded by waiting nearly 15mins on every shot

At our short 7th I decided to start leaving the driver in the bag and went with the 3wood, suddenly from nowhere everything just clicked into place and using the 3 wood off every par 4 and 5 tee led to playing the remainder of the round in just +1. So managed to finish +8 for my round in total -1 to handicap.

However our round was tainted on the 10th green when one of my group happened to say to the group in front "how about we play through lads save us being up your backsides". Queue moron who I've never seen before storm over driver aloft "see you, you **** if you even breathe near me again I'll batter you, and you'll never walk again"

Needless to say I had to step in between the Neanderthal man and the poor old fella in my group that he was threatening. Needless to say the old fella's game crumbled and now we have a situation that's going to need the committee to sort out. I ask is it really necessary for people to resort to such actions simply because they were asked to speed up a little

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Post by hend085 Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:20 am

playing in an open over the weekend. played nicely for 16 holes. 2 birdies an eagle, a double bogey and 3 bogeys to stand on the 16th Fairway after my best drive of the day,+1 to par and 60 yards from the hole. make a mess of my pitch and have a terrible bogey.
All not lost though, the last is a reachable par 5.
push my drive off the tee by a couple of yards but its miles down.... unfortunatly im blocked out by a tree. i deliberate over hooking one around the tree(im only about a 5 iron out) but i try to be "sensible" and take my sandwedge out to go over it.
the SW comes out a little lower than expected and it hits the very top branch and drops straight down, in a hole, right behind the tree.
have to hack out backwards and then take 4 to get down from about 230 yards for a 7.............. typical. last time i ever try and play safe!

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Post by McLaren Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:28 am

If you were only a five iron out then why were you trying to go over a tree? The safe play would be to go out sideways and hit your 5 iron (maybe 6 if you sneak an angle) into the green?
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Post by oldshanker Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:55 am

Know how you feel Hen - played (and lost) in first round of the singles last Friday.

Guy I was playing started like a steam train and standing on the 9th tee, I was 4 down! Dragged that back to 1 down by 13th where I was due my last shot. Both beside the green for 2, he had a straight pitch and run in, I had a bunker to negotiate. I thought, I have a shot, play safe for the middle of the green, no need to go for the pin. My chip hits the down slope of the bunker and scootles straight across the green into a bunker on the other side. he gets a 5, I get a 6 nett 5. Unlikely to have been any worse if I'd gone for the pin! mad
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Post by hend085 Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:45 am

McLaren wrote:If you were only a five iron out then why were you trying to go over a tree? The safe play would be to go out sideways and hit your 5 iron (maybe 6 if you sneak an angle) into the green?

it was a single tree on its own. I think 90% of the time i go over the tree fine, and on the rare occasion i dont get over the tree i dont expect it to drop straight down off a solitary branch into a hole from which i did well to move it 10 yards. I think, if anything i played too defensively. i dont think the sideways chop out was the shot.
I know it sounds silly having scratched the hole, but i think, faced with the same situation again, i would either hit the SW or the 5 iron looper around the tree!

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Post by dynamark Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:15 am

lady captains day.Dont know what other folks opinion is on this sort ofthing but definitely felt I lost a chance due to slow play.Got to the 12th tee going along nicely and had to wait with the game in front on the tee for a few minutes for group in front of them to go.They teed of and spent time looking for lost ball.Waved us through and I put one down the middle leaving about 165 in.Guy in front finds 'his'ball and plays it.Then one of my partners couldnt find his ball but they thought the fella in the previous group had played it.So he goes back to the tee whilst someone else runs up the fairway to check.Ball played was correct so now my partner walks back and plays another off the tee while the group in front proceed.Eventually we get to continue and I put two ball into the water for quadruple 8.Its one of those holes where a bogey 5 is Ok but I was probably in contention up to that point so made a decision to go for the green.At least 30 minutes on that hole and 20 minutes between tee shot and second shot.Need to find a way to deal with those situations.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:33 am

Had a similar thing happen to me on Saturday Dyna. Nearly drove the green on a short par 4. Must have taken at least 15 minutes before I got to hit the chip shot onto the green. Stuffed it up, ran the next one miles past and holed a monster for a difficult par when I was hoping for easy birdie. Infuriating game at times.

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Post by raycastleunited Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:10 pm

I was in Cardiff over the weekend, and headed along the coast to the Gower peninsula to play Pennard golf club. This is a delightful old school links course, and is ranked 4th in Wales and 70th in GB&I according to the top100golfcourses website.

The course is known as "the links in the sky", because instead of being next to the beach at sea level, the course is actually perched on top of cliffs overlooking the sea, and offers spectacular views including a ruined castle. Despite this, the holes play over genuine links like land: crumpled undulating fairways bobbing up and down between towering dunes. Sadly, the dismal weekend weather meant no stunning views, however it did provide typically challenging links conditions of wind and driving rain.

The course opens up with a 420 yard par 4, with OOB all down the right hand side and the wind blowing from left to right but slightly downwind. One of my playing partners with a fade watched his tee shot sail into the gorse and OOB, and then his next shot do exactly the same. Fortunately I cracked one down the middle of the fairway. When I got to my ball I discovered I only had 130 yards left... a 290 yard drive to start the day - ah the joys of links golf! Simple wedge on to the green and 2 putts for a solid start. Of course, not all the holes were downwind and I let things slip a little over the next few holes, but I fought hard to keep things in check even though my driver was misbehaving. I got things together on the back 9 and finished with 4 pars in a row, including finishing in style with another satisfying 320 yard drive downwind followed up with a 110 yard wedge to the 18th green.

Although the weather made this a day for grinding out a score, I found the course tremendous fun. Typically, I only play links golf once a year, so it is always a challenge to tailor my game to the conditions. Pennard takes more getting used to than most courses. It is by no means long (about 6,300 yards off the white tees) but is certainly tricky. Without the marker poles on every hole, we would have stood on the tee on several holes with no idea where the fairway was. Even then, we struggled sometimes to identify where we were going and what the best line should be, such is the undulating nature of the terrain. Many of the greens were tucked away behind dunes or elevated so shot selection for your approach was sometimes a bit of a lottery. Luck also comes into play, with good drives sometimes punished with bad bounces, but this is all part of the fun: on the 14th my driver down the middle of the fairway went little more than 200 yards while one of my playing partners hit a hybrid that we had all but given up for lost when we found it 100 yards past mine up the fairway. Unfortunately the greens were not up the scratch – they were slow and bobbly, and not in keeping with such a quality course. A member said to us that it was a shame we were visiting when the greens were as poor as he had known them.

This is the complete anti-thesis to a Jack Nicklaus course, where everything is set out before you. At Pennard, there are many blind shots and quirky features such as huge run off areas, where missing the green by a yard can lead to the ball rolling 50 yards away down a slope. It is a place you need to play more than once to fully appreciate, and I would love to go back. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who regularly breaks 100.

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Post by dynamark Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:46 am

My game recently dogged by painful feet.Docs yesterday confirmed 'plantar fasciitis'.Really cheered mt up with the words' should clear itself up with 2 years'.I said weeks? He said no YEARS!

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Post by Conehead Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:21 am

Probably my best year of golf so far. Started well, had a horrible few weeks of non stop shanking and then since then been playing pretty solid, the highlight being a 75 at North Shore in Blackpool which can be a tricky course when the wind blows.

Not a member of a club so enter my scores in the Today's Golfer handicap calculator. Started the year on 19 and have now consistently got to a mid 80 level and with my 75 am now off 12.

I personally think that is a bit too low for my general play as before my 75 , my best score was an 84 (although i've shot that quite a few times). Think 14 would be more accurate but i'm hoping to try and stay below 13 by the end of the year.

Started having lessons as well which has definitely improved my posture. I'm 6'4 and hunched over the ball a lot but my instructor has me looking a lot more natural without compromising my ball striking. He's not actually changed much with my actual swing which is comforting-more just the general stance, grip and posture which all needed tweaking a bit.





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