Less than 85 strokes in a tournament

How could this happen? At the men’s golf on 13.7.2022 I compete in the tournament (sponsored by DVAG). The weather is great and my flight partners Otto and Peter are very pleasant companions. Also, today I decide to play without driver and wood. The days before, I had played an 86 in a private round. If I should play this result today, it would be unbelievable!

So I pulled out my Hybrid 3 on the first tee and off it went to the middle of the fairway. A good start. The next shots are also stable, the third even goes on the green, although it was a bit topped. From there 2 putts and the first par is noted.

On the next par 3, the tee shot place is tucked in the back. I don’t like this position at all because I then have to take my 7 iron instead of the 8. Too short and the ball will end up in the bunker in front of the green. So I go back to my basics: Turn my shoulders! And bang, the ball lands on the green, about 4 meters from the flag. The birdie putt misses, but the par is safe.

The following hole 3 is one of the most difficult holes on the course. A long par 4 with very tight conditions at the green. Since I can’t manage a “green in regulation” here anyway, I choose the relaxed 3-stroke variant again. The tee shot is stable in the middle of the fairway and the second brings the ball about 65 meters to the flag. This distance is ideal for my three-quarter gap wedge, but lately the balls always land too far left. Hopefully not this time!? Too bad, that’s exactly what happens. It also rolls to the edge of the green, close to the higher grass. Now keep your nerve and make a good chip. In fact, the ball rolls about 30 cm to the hole and a bogey (and three net points) is noted.

Course 4 has often been my downfall. The tee shot is in a bend and I like to hit the ball into the hedge on the left. Today I concentrate on the correct shoulder movement and a stable stance, the ball flies straight or slightly left and ends in the optimal position for the second shot. Very good! If there weren’t the power-lines, because that’s where I hit the second one. The ball had the optimal direction and length, but now I have to repeat the shot. Unfortunately, the repeat went too far left and lands slightly under trees, so I could not attack the green. Good approach shots follow, but I need two putts and again note a bogey.

At the next par 3, I lay up as usual. The course is too long for an attack, certainly not without wood or driver. The tee shot succeeds and there remains a pitch of about 45 meters. The ideal conditions for my lob wedge. The shot goes high and straight towards the flag, lands, rolls and briefly goes halfway into the hole, only to end up 15 cm off the mark. Great – but at least it’s a par 🙂

The next two holes I play solid bogeys. The approaches I play conservatively past the bunker. The surface is hard, so you sometimes top the ball over the green.

On the 8th, a long par 4, unfortunately the third shot is a bit too far to the right and lies on the slope to the green. A wrong choice of wedge and the shot goes too far and I note a double bogey. At least I have 2 to go here, so there are still 2 net points.

The 9 has often spoiled my score, because at the end of the par 5 is a small pond. In one tournament I even hit it twice (!). I wanted to avoid that today. With the second I lie as so often in the bend of the dog-leg and could even attack the green with 125 meters. But I lay up – better safe than sorry. My chip then goes about 1 meter to the flag and it actually becomes a par!

Let’s go to the second nine. These holes are rated rather easy, and many players collect their points there. This was not the case for me in the past – so be careful!

After just three or four holes, of course, I realize that I’m playing a perfect score. Fortunately, this time, only positive thoughts or no thoughts at all get in the way. No “don’t screw it up now” or “I have to hole this putt” – that was really pleasant. Rather, I think “great, you have a comfortable buffer, just play your game and watch the shoulder turn”.

The 10 is a long par 3, which I never attack directly. A tee shot and a super pitch 3 meters to the flag are enough to note a par with only one putt again.

A difficult par 4 follows with a slight dog-leg to the right. I play safe again and there is a bogey. The putt went pretty close to it for a par 😉.

On hole 12 and 13 the tee shot is not quite so perfect, but still playable. The second shot, however, I can not fully execute and by the shorter length, it becomes two bogeys – still perfectly fine.

Hole 14 – a par 4 – the second unfortunately gets stuck in the left hollow between bunker and green in the higher grass. But chips are no problem – a par is noted.

This is followed by the easiest par 4s of the course, on which unfortunately the 2 birdie putts are just missed. No matter – I always take a par.

The penultimate hole 17, a difficult par 3, on which I already managed a hole-in-one, comes next. Of course, I lay up again and the ball stops about 25 meters in front of the green, but also in front of the bunker. The flag is relatively short, and normally I would have gone full on the attack here. But the risk is too high for me and I choose the safe option. It remains a longer putt, but this one almost went in. A bogey gives me 3 points – I’m very happy 🙂

On the 18, you have to play over a small valley and shots that land too far right are often punished with a roll into the right out of bounds. So better keep a little left. At the tee I’m completely relaxed, no funny thoughts, just confidence. And indeed, the ball flies as desired and rolls comfortably down the fairway. With the second, I lay up (again, there is a danger that the ball rolls out of bounds if it is only slightly to the right). The par putt just misses, but the bogey is safe.

In fact, I scored my best result in this round: 83 strokes, 47 net and 25 gross points. I will probably never forget this day and it clearly shows how important the short game and solid tee shots are. However, it should not go unmentioned that the pleasant atmosphere in the flight also made a big contribution to my success. I’m relatively sensitive to players who are not relaxed and I like to get infected by their hectic pace. I can deal with that, but it costs me more energy to play.

By the way, my new handicap is 17.1.

Would you have thought that such a score would be possible without driver and wood? Would you also try this tactic in a tournament? I am curious about your experiences and opinions

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