I Need To Make Better Decisions

05/09/2013 at 10:33 Leave a comment

DATE: Monday 2nd September
VENUE: Beckenham Place Park
ACTIVITY: Nine holes of after-work golf
SCORE: 51 (net 38)

The weather here is so good at the moment and yet not likely to last for much longer that I’m taking every opportunity I can get to play. Monday was just such an opportunity and as I was on the early shift – so home by 5pm – I just had to get out there.

I’m glad I did. Five good tee shots (one of 200 yards), some good fairway shots and good chip/pitch shots resulting in two Greens In Regulation, two pars, two bogies and two double-bogies.

So, why was my score not more like a 44?

Much of it comes down to my decision making, I’m afraid:

  • First hole (par 5): I mishit my second shot on to the next fairway but I found I had a clear view of the green. However, just because one can see the green doesn’t mean one should go for the green! Especially when, as in this case, there’s a greenside bunker in the way which would require the shot to be perfect in line and distance. I got the distance right, but I missed the green to the left and had to take a penalty drop. Then I chipped on and two putted. The better tactic would have been to choose a shorter club and aim to hit the fairway short of the green then chip on and two (or maybe one) putt. That would have cut out the penalty drop and turn the 7 in to a 6.
  • Second hole (par 4): One day I WILL score well on this hole. I hit a poor tee shot, low and left under an oak tree. I chose to rescue the situation by hitting a low punch shot under the branches. This is a reasonable tactic but what I got wrong was my club choice for this shot: My 4 iron. I picked this club for the low loft, again, not unreasonable, but it sent the ball too far, and into the trees on the other side of the fairway, the ball nestling right at the base of another tree. I hacked it out, played another punch shot (this time with a clear run to the green), chipped on, then THREE putted. The better choice would have been a punch shot with a shorter club or maybe a sideways chip out, either way getting back onto the fairway was paramount. Had I managed that, my third shot would have been a long club up to the green, chip on and putt. Instead my chip on was my fifth shot instead of my fourth. Assuming I still three putted that would have been a 7 not an 8.
  • Eighth hole (par 4). For my third shot (having found the fairway bunker off the tee) I was about 118 yards off the green. Historically, for 120 yard shots I’ve been using my 4 hybrid but, aside from the fact this it’s kind of ridiculous to use such a long club like that for that kind of distance, I’ve recently I’ve found I’m hitting the ball better and so further. Also, standing there, looking at the green, it just didn’t feel right. So, I pulled out my 7 iron. Now, even that I should be able to hit further than 120 yards…and so it proved. I hit the ball really well, straight and high and it even landed just short of the green (this particular green is a big one) but then just kept going and going…off the green leaving a tricky downhill chip back. Had it gone another couple feet the ball would have rolled off and down a steep slope in to golf hell. The better decision would have been either an eight iron or a low chip and run. With no hazards in the way even I should be getting on this green form that distance every time. So another shot dropped because of a poor decision, ending up with a 7 instead of a 6.
  • And I’d probably help myself a lot more if I don’t allow myself to feel rushed by the impatient dork playing behind me (I let him play through on the 6th)…

So that’s three shots dropped for bad decisions which would have made my 51 a 48. I also three putted three times. Had they all been two putts that would be another three shots ‘gained’ so I would have score 45.

There was a shot effectively dropped on the 6th when my Sand Wedge approach shot landed on the green but then took a bizarre – and unexplained – leftward bounce off the green. Most unfair, especially when I got up there and found no stick, twig nor pebble to blame. So, I had to chip on then two putt when really I feel that chip-on should never have been needed at all.

But you know, there’s a lot of good stuff going on, as I mentioned in my second paragraph. I’m feeling much more in control of my tee shots and now even my fairway shots and my short game is showing good control.

I have to mention my best shot of the day. It’s not my 200 yard drive off the 3rd tee, and I can’t count my 213 yard practice second shot off the 7th tee which finished just three foot off the green (I’d already hit my real tee shot, which itself was pretty good, but I just wanted to see if I could hit one tee shot really hard and WITH control).

No, my best shot of the day was my second shot on the 9th. My tee shot went 175 yards so I pulled out my 3 wood…and flushed it. It wasn’t quite on line (but only slightly right) and I grant you it benefitted from a friendly deflection from the side of a bunker, but I measured it at 186 yards and finished on the green and about 8 foot from the flag.

I even nearly made the birdie putt.


Entry filed under: Beckenham Place Park, Fairway shots, Good round. Tags: , , .

A Nice Round Number And Five Makes Three

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