So after what I guess I could call a winter break from the sport of golf, I hit the 9 hole course at Broome Manor today to dust off my clubs and see how much my game has deteriorated over the Christmas period.
My tee shot on the first, while cleanly hit and with a nice length, gained a fairly serious fade and landed up in a thicket at the edge of the course. This initial failure being somewhat expected didn’t deter me and I took a second shot of similar length, landing in the middle of the fairway.
As I approached the green a pair of golfers, one of them clearly a newbie while the other somewhat more competent, were just finishing up on the green. I finished the hole in 5 and moved onto the second tee. The pair ahead of me had already started but moved to the side and waved at me to play through.
Normally this wouldn’t have phased me in the slightest but as I waved my acceptance and addressed the ball I gained a distinct sense of foreboding – what if a newbie were to witness the kind of tee shot I’d just pulled off on the first right before his eyes?
Thinking this was of course rather foolish as it merely served to put me off. As I hit the ball with a solid “Thwack” I realised that I’d tensed up and opened the face of the club far too much. While straight and true my ball did an almost entirely vertical dance into the air, disappearing against the pale blue winter sky briefly before landing no more than 25 yards in front of me.
A faint but distinctly audible chuckle drifted through the air toward me. Feeling a total fool I retrieved the errant ball, replaced it upon the tee and said a silent prayer to the God of golf to guide my next shot straight and true with a good length on it such that I could quickly rid myself of the somewhat embarrassing situation. Thankfully my prayers were answered and my ball landed a good 150 yards beyond where they were standing in the centre of the fairway. Smiling and waving my thanks I continued on my way, completing the hole in 6, which given my initial performance was none too bad.
The rest of my round was somewhat uneventful as being late in the day I met no further golfers and thus saved myself from a number of potentially embarrassing situations where my golfing skills clearly left a lot to be desired.
The round was far from a total loss however. I used the emptiness of the course to take several tee shots in places to help me get back in the groove and by the end of the round felt I was already approaching some semblance of my previous standard. My putting still leaves a lot to be desired but then there is a whole golfing season ahead in which to practice and I feel confident that better golf is surely just around the corner.