My first round of the season.
Whilst the temperature was below zero spirits were high heading to the practice area to warm up, in every sense of the word. A beautiful Buckinghamshire morning with no wind to speak of and a relatively quiet starting sheet. The membership clearly electing for a later start and hopefully a thaw. The greens were billard tables, the overnight frost creating a solid layer which no ball was going to cling to regardless of shot shape. A challenge for sure but where’s the fun in easy?
Pete, the Harleyford Operations Coordinator, put his usual positive spin on what was in store; “Just remember what it’s like playing them (the greens) in late Summer after weeks of little rain. They are just the same, only you’re in a T-shirt in August”. Wise words indeed. Stood there dressed in full Arctic links-wear this also prompted me to buy a packet of hand warmers.
Heading up the first Ignatius and I agreed that it wasn’t really a day for scoring given the conditions but more so an opportunity to simply enjoy the game and to catch-up. First holes in golf are always tough. The first of anything is always a little ‘do-review-apply’ and yesterday was no different; the trees up the left once again creating their own gravitational pull leading to an opening bogey. But it didn’t really matter, after all Golf is not a game of perfect. Dust off and move on.
Let’s go Bad and Ugly first. No birdies, a three putt from the fringe and a horror show on the Par 3 6th leading to a double-bogey.
The Good. Shooting a 74. Six over par in the most challenging conditions underfoot I’ve experienced. To say I’m pleased is an understatement and the post-handshake decision to grab a score card from Pete an easy one. Now submitted and on the system, the road to a handicap has started.
Golf is a funny old game. The elation of a super-solid performance is often injected with moments of “if only I’d…”. We are our harshest critics. The 6th was the poor hole of the day and the 14th 3 putt still makes me wince but it shows shots were left out there. Shots I can get back with some practice and a better game plan. Sincere thanks go to Iggy for his tips, tricks and guidance - the half a Twix doesn’t come close to what I owe for the shots saved.
Today is Saturday, practice area day with the kiddos and a rest day for me. I can’t wait.