Breaking 40

I had had a feeling that a half decent round was in the offing over the past couple of weeks following a lesson with my pro, Gary, at the club which made yet another adjustment to my left hand grip, but one that was a bit of an eye opener as far as stability and maintaining the correct face angle at impact are concerned. Finally the famed, but often deemed illusory, simple repeatable swing appeared to be within reach, albeit at a bit of a stretch.

So when, last Tuesday on a sunny if breezy morning, I found myself on 19 points after 7 of Chilworth’s most testing holes, I was pleased but not entirely surprised, with the only disappointment to that point being a totally unnecessary double bogey on the par 3 2nd. The scoring got a bit patchier after that, with a mysteriously lost ball on the 8th denying me any points on that hole, followed by a similar misfortune on the 12th – well, in that instance I fired two balls out of bounds off the tee, so not so much misfortune as a missed fairway (twice).

The 18th, scene of a salvaged par

The 18th, scene of a salvaged par

I did my usual job of playing the easier back nine less well than the more demanding front of the course, but in the end five pars, a birdie (at the 17th, where I also took the prize for nearest the pin) and a lot of steady bogey golf left me with 41 points. Enough for division two and the outright win on the day. Interestingly, I was not as consistent off the tee as in the previous two weeks, but I made up for that in other departments. A good case in point was the 18th, where my topped 3 wood off the tee struggled to make much impact on the space between tee and green . However, a well struck 5 wood from a rather fluffy lie landed just short of the putting surface, so a par was not a problem after all.

My ball of choice was again the Titleist NXT Tour S, which I am growing to like more with each passing round. It’s got good distance, is easy to launch, stops well on the green and has plenty of feel off the face of the Scotty Cameron. Plus it has that nice soft buttery feel that I prefer. What’s not to like?

Back in the clubhouse there were the expected mutterings about banditry and it was no surprise to see my handicap cut by 2.1 to 23.5, with my score triggering an ESR (exceptional scoring reduction). Nice. But my job tomorrow will be a coupe of strokes harder. The weather forecast is good, so let’s see if the holy grail of the simple repeatable swing has inched any closer.



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