The continuing wet weather has been frustrating from a golfing point of view; indeed, it hasn’t been possible to play a full 18 holes since the last Dad v Tristan at Paultons. And a tragically inept performance in last Tuesday’s team event and a couple of indifferent back nines had left me feeling rather disillusioned about the state of my game. But now, three days into the new week, I am in rather better spirits.
On Monday evening I went up the range, as I usually do, and, fuelled by hot black coffee to counter the winter chill, hit the ball reassuringly well throughout the session. I spent the last 20 minutes or so playing an imagined back nine and didn’t miss a fairway or fail to make a green in regulation. Well, that’s the great thing about imaginary golf, isn’t it? I did rather wonder if I could recapture this for real yesterday morning in our weekly seniors competition, and my doubts were seemingly well and truly confirmed when I struggled to do much right over the opening nine holes (actually holes 1 to 3 and 7 to 12,as things were still a bit soggy) and scored a mere 10 points. But on the 13th tee the lights were suddenly switched on, I was blessed with the ability to play golf, and my net scores for the final six holes read: birdie, birdie, birdie, par, eagle, birdie. As a result I went from well off the pace to top of the leaderboard by the time we returned to the clubhouse, and I was left feeling that perhaps I wasn’t entirely incompetent as a golfer after all.
But doubt resurfaced in my mind as I set out this afternoon on a quick back nine in very pleasant early February sunshine. I needn’t have worried. The form of yesterday’s last six holes was still there and I could pretty much rely on the ball doing what I intended – a reassuring if unusual feeling. My finest moment came on the 13th hole, a 403 yard par 4, and stroke index 2, to boot. A decent 3 wood off the tee found the middle of the fairway, leaving some 175 yards to the centre of the green – just the kind of shot I added the 25 degree hybrid to my bag for. When I hit it, I knew it was a good shot, so I was pretty disgruntled when I arrived at the green and saw no ball on its surface. Assuming it had run over the back of the green, I looked around there to no avail, then – on the off-chance – peered into the cup. Lo and behold, there was my shocking pink Callaway Supersoft nestling at the bottom, having netted me my second ever eagle. As they say, I’ll settle for that.