Well that was a strange round of golf.
I was so disappointed with the way I played that I didn’t add up my score until I got home.
I shot 106.
106 is a pretty good score for me. It’s (from memory) the joint second best score I’ve shot all year. Now I’m sure that Stoneleigh is a fairly friendly course, but 106 did not match the way I felt I played, which I think is a good thing.
I expected to have shot more like 115, so something wasn’t quite right. I double and triple checked the score and there didn’t seem to be a miscalculation, so I started looking at the numbers more closely.
It turns out that I putted well for me, at 1.94 putts per hole. I don’t think I’ve managed under two putts per hole many times before (if ever), so that made a difference. I actually missed a couple of putts between 2-3 feet, but I also remember sinking a healthy handful of longer putts, at 5-6 feet and longer.
The other thing to consider was that my perception of my performance was poor because I didn’t really have many good holes (barring the last two holes, which I managed to par as if it’s a habit). However, I didn’t have any massive shockers either. I shot just one quadruple bogie, six triples, four doubles and five bogies. In previous rounds I’ve shot five and even six over on holes.
I would have had an even better round if my head hadn’t dropped after about 13 holes. I was pretty tired, and a culmination of poor shots got the better of me in terms of morale. I reckon a poor attitude for the next three holes probably cost me three or four shots.
In a sense, not adding my score up as I went along worked against me. Had I known that I was pretty close to breaking 100, I probably wouldn’t have let my head drop and given it more of a go.
The last two holes were really pleasing. Since I felt the round had got so bad, I decided just to play with a gentle half swing. That led to some dead straight shots an a birdie chance on the 18th that I only missed by an inch or so (I don’t think I’ve had a birdie in about two years).
The fact that I was able to shoot two pars with ‘gentle’ golf really should give me food for thought. Although I have tried gentle swings this year, they have been gentle full swings. Using a gentle half swing on the final two holes seems to really help my consistency and accuracy (if not my distance). Something to consider for the next round!