Sorry. We’re in eye patch and cutlass mode having visited the rather wonderful Hoebridge Golf Centre in Woking, Surrey. As well as three golf courses it also has ‘Pirate Island’ an adventure golf area for kids (and slightly older kids, ahem) WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. Just try getting round in level twos and you’ll soon be booking a putting lesson. That crocodile has a lot to answer for. Take a look here.
Sergiooooooops! Martin Vousden on the TPC.
Thought for the Day
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump
Crash and burn
We amateurs are well acquainted with the abject feeling of despair that comes from playing the last two holes in six over par – well, I certainly am. In fact, for many handicap golfers, finding increasingly imaginative ways of screwing up a good round is part of our DNA. It took me many years of gut-wrenching experience to learn how to stay, as the pros say, ‘in the moment’ and not let my brain race away with what might be achieved, and in the process make a complete pig’s ear of the last few holes.
You will, I am sure, be familiar with those intrusive thoughts along the lines of: ‘If I could manage no worse than a couple of bogies and a par over the last three, I’ll have a really good score.’ You will be equally familiar with the reality that as soon as these ideas pop into your head your swing goes to hell in a handcart and big numbers become the norm, even on holes you usually regard as among the easiest on the course. There is little consolation in the thought: ‘I was one-over par for the front nine,’ when it is immediately followed by: ‘But I made two double bogies and a triple in the last three.’
In my case salvation came many years ago after a particularly miserable conclusion to a round during which, for 15 holes I had played almost as well as I am capable, before imploding in a style that would make even John Daly envious. I will spare you the car-crash details but once I had the chance to calm down (it only took a few months) I was able, finally, to put a round of golf into some sort of perspective. I concluded that this is something I do for enjoyment but it does not define me or my career. In short, while I want to play well, I am now able to accept those (many) occasions when I don’t.
It is the same mentality that has helped me on the putting green, as a result of advice I received from a man far wiser than me. He pointed out that there are only two possibilities when you stand over a putt – you will hole it or miss it – and once you accept that the latter is possible but not disastrous, you hole considerably more.
I still hit far more bad shots than I should, and playing to my handicap is, more often than not, an unrealised ambition but I can usually take some comfort from a round, even if it’s only one good drive or a particularly tricky putt holed.
Sergio Garcia can have few such consolations because playing the last two holes in level par is an almost derisorily easy task for someone of his gifts. So to complete 17 and 18 in the Players’ Championship in six over, with three balls in the water, must be a mightily bitter pill to swallow. This will be especially true as the man who played those same holes in level par and lifted the trophy is Tiger Woods, with whom Sergio is unlikely to share a consolation glass of wine in the clubhouse. That these two men do not send each other Christmas cards is well-known, and they exchanged uncomplimentary views of each other again during the week. So for Sergio, the desire to win would have burned with even greater ferocity as it also represented a chance to stick it to The Man.
However bad your working days might be this week the chances are they will be better than Sergio’s on Sunday.
What do you think defines a real golfer? It is something I have been mulling over (again) while watching The Players’ but I’m sure you will have many suggestions of your own
1. Real Golfers do not tuck their golf glove into a rear trouser pocket while striding up the fairway
2. Real Golfers do not play pink, yellow or orange golf balls
3. Real golfers do not cry over their fourth putt
4. Real Golfers recognise that the game is about frustrated ambition, not consistent success
5. Real Golfers do not fling their golf clubs
6. Real Golfers judge their fellow players by the quality of their personality, and not their handicap
7. Real Golfers walk
8. Real Golfers use wooden (bio-degradable) tees, and not ones made from plastic
9. Real Golfers never resort to gamesmanship
10. Real Golfers don’t take a Mulligan
11. Real golfers do not scream: ‘Get in the hole’ or other inanities
Quote of the Week
Golf may be played on Sunday, not being a game within view of the law, but being a form of moral effort
Singalong with nannie…GoatKaraoke for a Friday
which might have prompted an impromptu karaoke at GoKart HQ this afternoon. Turns out we can all do very good goat impressions…with apologies to anyone we might have screamed down the phone to by mistake…
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Martin Vousden on the dramas at Augusta
Thought for the Day: Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and when he grows up, he’ll never be able to merge his car onto a motorway
There is nothing more pleasing in sport, or life, as a tale of redemption – the hero who trampolines back from desperate disappointment or failure to eventually triumph (you can add the phrase ‘against all odds’ if you wish because most newspapers and magazines probably will). And so, despite huge sympathy for Angel Cabrera, who epitomised how to lose with grace, let us roll out the bunting and raise a glass or three to Adam Scott. Ever since he emerged as a pro golfer there have been predictions of a glowing future, replete with major championships. The most notable of these came from his coach, Butch Harmon, who famously said that Adam’s basic swing fundamentals were better even than those of Tiger, and he was right. Scott has always had a classically orthodox swing of perfect tempo. And the predictions appeared prescient as the young Australian made good progress, with a steady, if not spectacular accumulation of titles – nine wins in America, eight in Europe – with the most notable of these being the Player’s Championship. But that was in 2004 and the huge hole in his CV was his comparatively dreadful form in the majors. For a full decade he simply disappeared when any of the (more…)
Tom on Tour 2013
We’ve been following Tom Sherreard, from Chart Hills, on his pro quest since 2012. This year the the season has already taken him to Egypt and Spain on the Alps tour (are there Alps in Egypt? We’re confused…)
“A new golfing year has started and with this in mind I am writing my first blog of the 2013 season. Last year didn’t end quite as planned, falling short at the second week of European Tour School leaving me to play Alps Tour golf for a further year. Having finished 11th on the Alps tour last year I managed to keep my playing rights without having to go back to the Alps Qualifying School.
So far this year I have played three events on the Alps, the first two as part of a winter series in Egypt, finishing T17th and T14th respectively. The third event was played at Golf de Layos near the beautiful town of Toledo near Madrid. I played solidly all week apart from a couple of mistakes leading to two double bogeys. Despite this and the tough conditions I managed to finish on a total of 217 (+1) for three rounds, finishing in a tie for 12th. With three top 20’s in my first three events I feel happy with a solid start, however I know there is much more to give and the prospect of the 2013 season excites me; it’s just a case of getting in the grove and finding the swing again.