Winter isn't coming.... it's here.
The course is playing long and the daylight hours short (and cold). I've managed to play this week - a hotchpotch of holes sliding into gaps around the course that was bowing at the seams with four-balls attempting to use the precious light to reach the 19th.
The weather, like my game continues to be sunshine and showers. As Alexa would put it - "It might rain today, there's a 51% chance at 7:30AM". There's also a 51% chance it'll take me 3 holes to find the grove and achieve the unconsciously competent bliss of just swinging the club.
The 10 hole debrief: Some really positive golf in hard conditions but also not my best. Solid shots and course management blended with the winter grind of playing long irons to soft greens - the 7 irons of August now a full 5+interest. All good practice and a timely lesson in the need to prepare for each and every shot - don't get lazy just because it's cold and damp. There's not much point in having yardages dialed in if you don't range the distance to the pin. Example: "It looks around 145" (I said pulling the 9) led to a missed green long. Hindsight, armed with said laser-ranger, neatly displaying135 yards....and an easy wedge. Basics Ben, there's a stroke gone - for nothing more than being complacent.
It turns out the range rat is a resilient wee beastie (see below). My time tee-to-green blended with several baskets of balls, alignment sticks, Radio 4 and hot chocolates. It's fair to say the 50 ball morning swing clinic will always be there and if I'm honest it's needed. It's all about balance - pun intended.
Next week promises more of the same as we run up to Christmas. My personal pledge to play more and 'practice' less remains true. A focused winter routine should hopefully bear fruit in the Spring.
The Range Rat.
Footage taken by Elsie, age 6.