Date: 28th Feb 2011.
Course: Wolfedale Golf Course, Charminster, nr.Dorchester.
Distance: 5467 yds.
Conditions: Windy, cold, occasional heavy showers but sunny in between. The ground was soft and wet.
This is a course of two halves. The front 9 holes are all about crisscrossing a steep valley, starting and returning to the same place at the top. It is hard work when you have a heavy golf bag even on a trolley! By the top of the hill on the 9th green you are always very tired. It does have some small flat holes as a brief respite. The back 9 holes seem to be made up more of fairly flat converted fields, back and forth, back and forth, before one final trip down the valley on the 15th and back up again on the 17th.
It may be 5467 yards but it is a hilly 5467 yards! That’s 3.1 miles. Interestingly, Google says 5467 yards is 4999 metres so this is almost exactly 5km, although the way we played it was more like 5.5km.
This was just our second post-winter round after our four month break (read about our first round of the year here) and our first of the year to this course, which is our regular haunt now Halstock is closed.
Result: We tied!
We play an unofficial 20-shot handicap, his 113 to my 133 made it a draw, and it was a close run thing towards the end. If I hadn’t stuffed up the last chip on to the last green I’d have won. This despite five scores in double-figures, which is really bad! At least it meant we both played a similar amount worse than we usually do. The front nine was acceptable at least for me. The back nine was terrible. Dad’s round was the reverse. At this course he usually scores about 96-100 and I score about 118-122. We’ve a way to go yet to return to our old form.
This round was very scattered and was interrupted by 3 or 4 heavy rain showers. A group of 4 went out before us, since a pair is always much faster than a quartet we gave them a headstart by starting our round on the nearby 13th and 14th holes, played the 1st, then cut over to do the 10th and 11th. We could leapfrog the group later while they played those holes and not waste our day following them.
Despite bright sunshine and a cloudless sky on Sunday morning, by tee-off time at 1.15pm the clouds were rolling in and sure enough, as we were halfway down our first fairway the rain fell. One hole later and it tipped it down, we got a thorough drenching despite the umbrellas! It affected our scores, mine especially as I can’t play in the rain, I just send a load of mud flying with the ball which all lands together six feet away from me. So the score on the 14th was a terrible 10. Then we played the 1st which was a good 5 each, before heading off for a disastrous 10th and 11th in which I scored 19. NINETEEN. In two holes. Ouch.
We then completed the rest of the course properly, always knowing in the back of my mind I’d scored 34 in four holes on the back nine we’d complete later. To then do a ‘normal’ (for me) 60, besting Dad on merit by one let alone on handicap, was pretty good I thought. I normally score 58-60 on each half of the course so I was pleased to get 60, even with an 11 in there. The four 5s really helped.
We finished off by playing the 12th then finishing with the 15th to 18th. Again I hit two scores in double-figures, the first was an 11 on the 15th caused by going into the sand trap. Dad managed to hole a great long putt from a distance (might even have been a chip, I wasn’t looking!) to score a great 4 while the pin was still in the hole. The second bad one for me was a 10 on the 17th, the reason? A hail shower! And it hurt, a lot, we both got the umbrellas up and cowered under them for 10 minutes whilst stood in the middle of the fairway.. At least we both had a bad score there.
So he’d improved a lot on his final few holes, I’d fallen back. To be fair I’ve never gone well on the back nine of this course, the front is always more friendly to me. That’s something I need to fix.
Fun over it was time to head home for a well-earned hot shower and cup of tea, and some dry clothes..
There’s room for improvement.