Tiger in the Woods!
We decided to start this blog in homage of the typical amateur golfer – the trials and tribulations of the world’s most fantastic sport…but also the worlds most frustrating angry walk, on occasion! The title comes from the genuine and real belief that, right from the moment you pull on that Sports Direct signature golf shirt (don’t pretend like you don’t own one!), you are going to rock up, nail a worldie down the first and continue to rip up the course like an absolute pro – you even throw in some Rocky type motivational tunes for the journey to the course, just to ensure that there is zero chance of this not happening! Afterall, you’ve spent all day ignoring your family in preparation for the holy event, handwashing your clubs, packing and repacking you tees etc and standing in the house/garden practicing your air swing! Funny story…last time I did that last one, my toddler didn’t quite anticipate the required follow through of a great swing…she does now…although air swings have now been banned around the kids!
Whilst all this preparation is a reality for many an amateur golfer…the dream doesn’t always come true…the harsh reality upon arrival to the course, when Eye of the Tiger abruptly ends and you step out of the car, is that you have, up to, 14 clubs, to knock a small white round thing around some fields in the hope you retain enough dignity and enthusiasm to put yourself through it all again…another day! More often than not, having carried the excitement of 4/5 hours out of the house, all the way to the first tee, you will usually make the same mistake many of us amateur golfers make on a tight par 4 dog-leg left…GET THE DRIVER OUT!!! You reach in to the bag, grab a random brand of ball in a questionable state, tee it up, and smash it as hard as you can – and there it goes, in that millisecond that follows, it’s like a giant pin bursts that hugely inflated balloon you’ve been blowing up in your head alllllllllll day…the dream is over. Now, each of our second shots will be dependent on the course, but mine usually look like this…after 10 minutes of searching, really winding up the better gofers now stood on the first tee ready to tee off, from the woods…or even worse, the 18th fairway on the other side of the woods!
You dutifully take the club you have most control with, normally a wedge of some kind, play back out and now you are off…buckle up…game on!
This blog is going to cover some interesting first hand experiences of our golf rounds – now, to give a little perspective, we are the type of golfers that answer the question ‘What’s your handicap?’ with ‘Depends what day it is…!’ and the only reason we play off of 18 is for simple maths and not because we regularly break 100! We’ve all been there when the 28 handicapper goes round in 48 points and proclaims ‘I don’t know what’s happened guys, I’ve never had a round like this!’…Yeah…RIGHT!!
We very rarely play with single figure handicapped golfers so the experiences we have with our playing partners often provide enough entertainment to make most rounds bearable…take a round I played earlier in the week for example – we all teed off with such expectation, all managed to put together a semi respectable first hole score, 6’s all round on a par 4, then…the 2nd…a narrow and long par 4. We all have our drivers in our hand – you know, the club we can always count on to hit dead straight, naturally - the first steps up, swings a swing at a speed DeChambeau would have been proud of and makes a great contact with the ball – it was just a shame that the contact was off of a severely closed clubhead and the result was a ball that did the job of a hungry rabbit and destroyed a row of previously ‘safe’ dandelions and came to rest 25 yards forward, on the left and just in front of a small collection of ‘young’ trees. Of course, like all amateur golfers we were all straight in with the advice and listing all the mistakes he made with that shot…you know, all the things we NEVER do! The remaining three of us end up with shots that don’t trouble the fairway, but are in marginally better positions. Now, what happened next happened incredibly fast, so don’t judge, but we all lined up, no further forward then the guy in the long grass behind the trees…after all we’d seen his first shot, we weren’t taking our chances…he steps up with a long iron, adamant he was going to make up for lost ground, produces another world class speed swing, straight in to the middle of the tree about 15 yards in front of him, which produced an almighty bounce back, travelling at a rate of knots right back down the fairway of the first and heading straight for some unexpecting golfers…now, after we had all recovered from that standard cowering and ducking when you hear a nearby ball strike a tree, none of us could fathom if we ought to shout FORE or not…you could see us all stood there thinking, we’ve only ever shouted FORE when the ball is going forward…what do we do here?! No one was injured, although had the tree been any closer this guys iron might have been wrapped around it in pure frustration! After the inevitable round of banter and ‘smart’ comments that followed, we watched as a man’s dignity and self confidence drained from him with every step backwards from the 2nd tee he had to make, having finally added around 120 yards to the hole he had teed off from, two shots ago, with such hope and excitement!
Now, here is the real definition of amateur golf…the karma of it all…but one that we can all relate too…
This guy went on to win!!!
For this round I decided to take the Titleist Pro V1’s for a spin – I wasn’t disappointed! It was easy to see why this ball is held in such prestige; it was forgiving when struck with a driver and, on the rare occasion my drive went straight ish, it went longer than other balls I’d played with. The connection with the club sounded natural, like they were made to play together – it didn’t feel like you were hitting an uncontrollable rock every time, put it that way! Playing with the same make and model of ball all the way round definitely helped try and put together some consistency and allowed me to predict, with a greater degree of accuracy, how certain shorts were going to go, which made for a, slightly, lower score – let down more by the golfer than the ball!
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Until next time, play well and avoid those stray balls!
Luke, Ben & Jack