First Stableford for 2013..

Played my first qualifying round at Hoebridge as a member. I need to submit 3 cards for getting my official handicap. This was the first, so was under a bit of pressure. Not much sleep.  Tee off was at 7:40 and I was up before 6!

Luckily I was drawn in a group with my ex-colleague Mark Friend.  Mark plays off 16 and the other guy Jon off 11.

This was my first time playing off the White tees.  All the pressure to have a good opening drive disappered when Mark pulled his only to be followed by Jon. So when I pulled mine too it was alright.

1st hole, P5) Pulled my drive into the trees.  Chipped out with a 9i.  Hit a 4h to about 15oy. Pulled an 8i to the left of the green.  Luckily the putter started working and finished the hole with a 7

2nd P3) Good approach followed by a putt to birdie..  Now I was on the 2-for-2 money list!!

3rd P5) Great drive, but topped 2nd and then good approach to par it

4th P4)  Good drive followed by a 4H to finish just short and right of green.  Missed my chip to bogie

5th P4) Rubbish drive into the trees.  Mark found the ball.  Common sense suggested that I should chip out. So I chose to try and hit between the trees. Only managed to hit a tree and went backwards. Chipped back from there.  Bad punch shot and few putts later.. I was on 8.

6th P3) Tee-ed with a 6i only to find the greenside bunker on the left. Poor bunker shot as the sand below the surface was compact due to the overnight rain and saw my SW bounce off and thin the shot across the green. Chipped and putted for a double bogie

7th P4) It is a blind tee shot.  Topped my driver to about 100y. Second shot was also blind but the 4h fired well and got me within 100y of the green.  Misread the putt to get a double bogie on it

8th P4) Teeing off the high box, topped my driver again! Ball rolled down the hill. Again 4h in play to about 50yds. Pitch & Putt to get my third double bogie

9th P5) Pulled the driver into the long grass but a in place for an approach. Hit a 9i to get to within 150y. Pulled the 8i into the greenside bunker. It was a very awkward lie in the bunker with no place to stand. Somehow managed to get it out of the bunker to the green fringe.  Chipped directly into the hole!!! Par.  I was back

10th P4) Beautiful drive followed by an average gap wedge to hit the green in reg.  But poor putting meant I only had a bogie

11th P4) Sliced the drive into a difficult place among the trees. Was about 200y downhill, hit a brilliant punch that came out of the trees and turned right towards the hole and finished about 25y of the green. Duffed my chip and then couple of putts for a double.

12th P3) Pulled my 7i way to the left.  Chipped but got an unlucky bounce the wrong way.  2 putts from there to finish with a bogie

13th P5) Given the wind, Mark & Jon both chose to go left but ended up too far left on the hill.  I tried to go straight, but the ball went high and then curved right for an OOB. Second drive was much better, the ball turned a bit right but stayed on the fairway.  A beautiful 4h to get within 100y.  Thinned the wedge but the ball ran all the way up the slope to finish just outside the green. Decided to putt instead of chipping. Brilliant putt, that hit the flag!!  Finished with a double despite the lost ball. I can take that anyday. MayStableford-250513

14th P4) Jon topped his while Mark had a good drive.  I skied my drive into the trees but i was sure it was in a decent place. A 7i punch shot stayed below the trees, avoided the bunker and hit the flag!!! But it rolled off the back. Duffed my chip for a bogie.

15th P5) Probably one of my longest drive of the day. But pulled my 7i  to end left of the green. Scrambled and saved par

16th P3) I havent had a par on this hole all year neither have i hit it in regulation.  I hit my 4h well but it was never going to go the distance due to the uphill.  It came to rest about 5y off the fringe.  Nearly holed my chip for a birdie again. Happy to walk away with a par on this one.

17th P5) I am not the biggest fan of this hole.  But hit a perfect drive.  Measured it at 239y which was very good for the uphill hole.  Mark was pretty close to me, and he hit a perfect 3w to set the pace. I hit a decent 4h blind shot. Pulled the 3rd and then 3 putted for a bogie.

18th P3) With the flag up at about 150y, I chose to hit a 7i. Almost a perfect line, but the incoming wind just killed the ball to miss the green. Scrambled to finish the match with a Par

Outward score:49  Inward:43 to finish at 92.  Mark shot a 96.

Incidentally, we have a money pot called 2-for-2 i.e. You put 2 quid in the pot and if you shoot a 2, you get a share. Having birdied the 2nd hole, I will get some money back.

I have 2 more games, but since they take ur best score, It is projected that my first official handicap is going to be 18 – which is not a bad result for me and a good Saturday outing.

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