My first round of golf for 2015 is in the books! Before everyone asks how the conditions are at my home course of Rondel Glen, let me stop you right there. This year my first round of golf was played at the Northwood Golf Course at Middlesex, London, UK.
I am on vacation with my darling wife and we are visiting our awesome friends in the UK. As always, Kirk and I take the opportunity to play a few rounds when we are visiting each other and this time things are no different.
Overall, my round was very satisfying and I am very happy with the overall results. I am using borrowed clubs and shoes, but the intent of my round was more about playing golf, than actually scoring. To my surprise, I was able to do both. My score of 78 with 2 doubles and 1 birdie was pretty solid for the first time out.
Northwood was in excellent shape. The greens were freshly cut and rolled. The fairways were in good shape for this time of the year and the sand traps, many were recently reworked, were in awesome shape. I have talked about this course before and it is worth the 28 pounds it cost to play.
For the first round of the year, with no practice yet, I wanted to manage my expectations and make the round as fun as possible. The little bit of rain during the first 6 holes did not dampen our spirits. So as I approached the first tee, I had two thoughts in mind: keep your head down and widen my stance when driving the ball. As it turned out, these were perfect things to think about.
I had 9 chances for birdie. Four of those were within 10 feet. I only made one. This is not surprising because I have not putted on grass since last year. My chipping was on and off, but my driving was very good. I was able to keep it in play the entire round!
I did have one poor hole. It was a par 5, 480 yard dog leg left, reachable par five, if you are in the fairway off the tee. As it turned out, I hit the ball into the fairway bunker on the left side. Confidently, I walked into the sand, pulled out my 5 iron and hit the front lip of the trap. Classic rookie mistake. To make things worse, the ball came to rest beside the front lip. So, grabbing my shovel…. I mean my sand wedge, I hit the ball again and to my surprise, it landed 6 feet behind me IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAP. I cannot remember the last time, if ever, I was still in the trap after 2 shots! Taking no chances, I hit my third shot about 25 yards up the rough.
Now here is a lesson for us all, on my third shot out of the trap, I lost my mental focus and did not consider my upcoming shot. I just hit the ball and did not care where it went. So now I am lying 4 behind the trees with no shot to the green. Next time (well actually I hope there is never a next time) I will remain focused and remember that course management is always in play!
So, on to my fifth shot. After three poor shots in the bunker, I executed the best shot of the round. I hit a 3 hybrid in Bubba Watson like fashion around the trees with a big hook and landed 10 feet from the green in the fairway. It was spectacular! A quick up and down, I walked off smiling with a smooth 7!
With those exciting times over, I responded with a par on the next hole. My first round of golf was nothing but fun. I started with a bogey, ended with a birdie, and now have been bitten by the golfing bug. I finished the 2014 golf season and started the 2015 golf season in the UK with one of my best friends! How grateful am I!
I hope to play a couple more rounds while on our vacation, but in case that falls through, my 2015 golf season has started on a high note!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!