Gaining a single figure handicap..Done. (well almost)

In June 2011, when the RiG and I were the only hackers around the Shey & Maybury courses, I chanced upon a posting on the Hoebridge notice board. This was for the monthly 9-hole Improvers competition. I snapped a pic and sent it to RiG to check his appetite for participating. Shey is a 9-hole, par 33 course. RiG was not very keen as he thought we would be rubbish at it and would end up embarassing ourselves. While there was merit in the argument, I prevailed over RiG and as they say the rest is history. Continue reading

Early September competition

There are going to be 2 competitions this month and the early competition was held last Sunday. Only RiG, VK and I showed up – Sunil being out of practice and Pradeep possibly heading out to his regular haunt near Slough.

VK had an early tee off . As is the tradition with our senior golfers, he arrived at quite late and had to head straight to the 1st hole. He was playing off a 9 handicap and had a par round to end up on 42. This despite a blowout on the 2nd hole makes it quite commendable.

Ritesh and I teed off together at 9:00 a.m. for a 4- ball. When I say together, I mean I teed off along with other 2 while Leighton sought him out from the driving range. He rocked up, as per tradition, a little late to the 1st tee box.

Ritesh started well with a par on the 1st and had a decent 6 on the 2nd hole. It was the 3rd hole though where he showed his true power with a beautiful drive landing at the edge of the green. Of course, it took him 3 more putts to finish the job – so ended up with a par. The 4th hole was unspectacular for him with some poor chips.

This brings us to the 5th hole and the reason I am inspired to write this post. If RiG can summon the same luck while buying lottery tickets, he’d be a very rich man. Normally, 5th is a safe par for RiG but this started out as a nightmare. The first shot barely reached the fairway. The 2nd was badly sliced, but luckily it hit a tree and ended up back on fairway. The 3rd was again sent in wrong direction resulting in a lost ball. Luckily again for RiG, rather than getting the correct ruling of having to drop 2 shots, he was told he could have only 1 shot penalty if he re-attempted the shot. So he played the 4th shot which ended up in the rough next to the green. And then, he hit a chip shot ( right direction, wrong pace). The chip hit the post and the ball just dropped into the hole. RiG ended up with a 5 on the hole.

Contrast this with my approach. I teed off using a 5 iron rather than a driver to give myself a good angle for the approach shot. The 2nd shot was slightly misdirected and it clipped off the edge of green and fell into the bunker. From there I scooped it out on the green. All well so far and then it took me 3 putts to finish the job. So a 6 compared to Ritesh’s 5 – if you ever need proof of life’s unfairness, this was it.

There wasnt much to the rest of the game – I played within my limits and ended up with a score of 47 (-2) while Ritesh ended up with a 44 (par). Luck deserted him on the 6th and 8th where he again had to get the ball out of the trees.

It was a good outing and its almost a year to the day when I had my first game (30th Sept 2011 on Maybury if you want to know). My handicap has gone down to 16 and I expect to play off 15 in the next round.