To sum up January so far in one word: wet. And wet and golf don’t go very well together, so there is not much to report. Indeed, I shall let my draft content for the Chilworth GC newsletter on behalf of the ambassadors’ section do the talking:
The month of January was for the Ambassadors very much a case of survival of the fittest (or most obstinate), as the after effects of the festive season, dark winter mornings and cold damp weather combined to test the seniors’ resolve and depth of commitment to the game. The Tuesday immediately following new year was a case in point: a mere eleven hardy souls ventured out to splash their way round the back 9. Money was nonetheless laid on the table and it was hotly contested, with three people scoring 18 points or more, and Barry Charnock pocketing the lion’s share with a score of 22. A few misguided optimists hung around afterwards, nursing coffees and checking the weather radar on their phones in hope of a second 9, but unrelenting drizzle put paid to even their hopes.
The following week the weather was slightly less awful, though cold (it is January, after all) and 23 summoned up the will to tee off in near darkness, with 18 holes on the menu this time. There was some unseasonally good scoring, with Pete Masterman (37) taking division one and Bob Porter (36) division two, but the news of the day was Jim Evans taking not just third place in division one, but in addition both nearest the pin prizes. After some discussion it was agreed that post-round testing for performance enhancing substances should be introduced as soon as practicable. The boundary between the two divisions had to be redrawn upwards because of an imbalance in numbers: extraordinarily, we must be getting better.
Much rain overnight and the previous day put off all but the most pig headed on the 16th, with once again a roll call of eleven in the clubhouse. Their persistence was rewarded with any rain clearing and a back 9 played under clear blue skies. This time money stayed firmly in pocket, and it was Ray Morley who had most to regret from that decision, as he not only garnered 19 points in the competitive round, but went on to a further 22 points when he went out again for a second time. No one ever said golf was a fair game.
In other news, I have been trying out the Bridgestone e6 Soft golf ball (ambitiously billed as the straightest ball in golf) as a winter substitute for my beloved Callaway Chrome Soft: initial thoughts are that it’s certainly soft, if in a rather dead feeling sort of a way, and worth giving a few more punts round the course before passing judgement. And very recently I have been experimenting with a modified set up, so far tested only in the back garden, around the back 9, and today on the range. Results are encouraging: 6 over on the back 9 and not a single duffed shot on the range (the back garden doesn’t count). But I’m not getting too excited: my enthusiasm is tempered by experience.