Rakash and I played Hampton Court GC with Laks and Rod. Laks turned Pro last year and plays on the developmental tours like EuroPro, so we jumped at a chance to play with him. My friend Rod from HoeBridge plays off 14. Hampton GC is Laks’s new home course, but the rest of us had not played there.
Tee-ing off at 1:40 it was baking hot. The weather in the last few days has not helped and all the fairways were burnt off grass. The rough was knee high in places and the same colour as the fairways. I struggled to figure out the line to take as the fairway was not visible at places. On the flip side, the hard ground meant that the drives were going miles.
Playing with a Pro meant that we were in for a walloping, However, pleased to say that after 7 holes, I was leading Laks by a stroke. After that I had a disaster and Laks showed what separates the hacker from a Pro. He was consistent and whenever he got into trouble, he just got back right into the game. I had 1 birdie and a few pars, rest were mostly bogies or double (plus 3 absolute blowouts of 9 or so). Got back into the club in 102.
Given the weather and the new course, Rakash also struggled. He was driving well, and on 1 hole out-drove all of us! He had a lovely par, and returned to the club with a 114.
While we lost in strokeplay, I think stood a better chance in matchplay/stableford. I cud have claimed the first 7 holes and a few more. It was a joy to watch Laks play, and he has a great swing.
On a different note, not sure if I will return to Hampton Court in a hurry, even though it seemed to be packed with more Deers than golfers. It is packed with a lot of same-same Par 4s, and the fairways made it difficult to pick a line. However, the course does favor accuracy rather than being boom-boom.