On September 3rd and 4th the time had come: The Club Championships started at Hohenhardter Hof in Wiesloch. The week before I had practiced: irons 6 and 7 and my wedges, which lately always went too far to the left. Also 2 practice rounds.
My strategy: Again without driver and wood – club championships are played in stroke play!
At 10:30 I started with 2 competitors. One of them was well known to me; I had to count him in the first of my tournaments. Since he had rented a cart as well, we “laid together” on short notice and shared a cart.
Unfortunately, of all days, the weather did not play along and the first 7 lanes we were exposed to the pouring rain. Well – we made the best of it.
On hole 1 everything went according to plan – no GIR, but at least a solid bogey was recorded.
We went on to the tee shot of two. Damn, this one was set far back again. So I had to use my 6 iron to play it safe. Unfortunately, in the last rounds, my balls had always flown too short and landed in the green bunker in front. This time, I thought, I was going full speed and the ball flew violently left into the slope towards the bushes and the penalty area behind. Oh, great. So we drove the cart (with me at the wheel) in the direction of the presumed ball location. To the left of the green there is a slope and there he should be. But suddenly I saw him much earlier out of the corner of my eye and pressed the brake. Oops – all of a sudden, a slide began. I steered, braked, but the car spun, and we hurtled backwards towards a tree! At the last moment, the car came to a stop, and we could breathe a sigh of relief. What a scare.
Somewhat dazed, I went to my ball and sounded out the situation. A full swing is not in it, it is too much in the bushes for that. But a chip should work. The main thing is to get it over the bunker! In fact, I hit the ball and get away with a bogey. That was quite a start!
The rest of the courses went from spectacular to terrible: In fact, I missed putts from about 1-2 feet on 3 courses! On 14, I hit a ball out of bounds – probably because we had to wait forever, and I was somehow not in the game. On 16, my approach landed in the right green bunker – this is very feared because it is particularly steep. The shot was only about 1 foot too short – it hit the top edge, stuck for a moment, and then fell down. I hit it bravely with a sand wedge and lo and behold, the ball landed on the green at flag level. Then my putt rolled into the hole after about 12 foot – PAR saved!
After the round, I had 95 strokes and 33 net points. Except for a triple bogey actually quite good. After all, under 100 and no 10 noted 🙂
On Saturday evening came the SMS with the message: 11:30 it goes on with 2 gentlemen who I know from the Mens Day, at least by sight. The weather was perfect, and again I started the round with a cart (since I had trained a lot the week before, my knee hurt, and I did not want to risk anything).
The first two lanes were very tough. I had good shots on the 1st hole, but on the green I missed a chip and started with a double-bogey. On the 2nd hole, of course, I hit left again and hacked my way through the bushes, only to record the first triple bogey. Well bravo, I hadn’t started that bad in a long time.
Now it was a matter of keeping my nerves and keeping the game together. I continued to play with concentration and after I had played the first solid bogeys, my self-confidence came back. The balls were dropping well into the hole today – the putter was going well!
Even three pars followed, which were due to my good putts.
On the second nine, I still managed very good approaches: On the 10 – a par 3 – I hacked the tee shot and then brought a 110 yards approach 6 feet to the flag: PAR played.
Only the 17 brought me a triple bogey. Here I missed the tee shot again – we had to wait forever, and somehow I could not clear my head. I should have waited or let someone else go first. But one is just amateur 😉
The 18 was still special – here the participants who had already finished waited at the green, next to a few interested people. That meant approaching and putting under observation! The 18 is a PAR 4 with a slight dogleg to the right and two bunkers in front of the green. Also, the fairway slopes to the right and balls like to disappear out there. My tee shot landed in the middle of the fairway, but to reach the green I would have to play over the corner/trees to a length I was not comfortable with. So I played safe and the ball landed about 45 meters from the flag. With my back to the audience, I took my lob wedge and thought to myself: Okay, this is my favorite length and my favorite club, show the people what you can do. And indeed, I hit the ball perfectly, and it landed about 3 feet from the flag. Cheers broke out and my name was called – that felt really strong!
I also made the putt and was able to score 8 PARS and 39 net points. Both games together, I had played exactly my handicap. I would never have thought that I would become the first net winner in my class, but I rounded off the event super 😉 .
How did your championships go?