I lie here, in my bed, reflecting on how the weekend went at the biggest club event of the year. There’s just something about the Club Championship that makes it special. It’s different from the rest. There’s a buzz around the place that inspires you. You get more excited about it. I feel positive about the performance I put in. I won’t proclaim I played great. I didn’t. Golf isn’t a game of perfect. I played OK.
The weekend started off strangely. I had a practise round at Bowood on Friday just trying to get in the mindset for competition golf after a short while. However, in the first 3 holes, I had 4 shanks and I was worried. I can’t tell you why I hit 4 shanks, but I did. The rest of the round was OK, but that element of fear played on my brain.
Standing on the range Saturday morning was nerve wracking. Was I going to shank every practise shot? In the end, I didn’t shank a single one. Let’s stop saying the word shank. That’s what I told myself on the tee box. I shut that door. I ripped my drive and got off to a steady start with a par.
The front 9 went steadily down hill from the first hole, unfortunately. I managed to string together a double and 3 bogeys to be +5 at the turn. I have been working on breaking the round down into 3-hole milestones. For me this makes it easier to give myself more achievable targets. It really helped. I told myself: ‘Get to hole 12 in level par’. I didn’t, but I was only +1 for those 3 holes. I repeated for the next 3, to try and be level par. I did. For the last 3, I decided to attack. Hole 16 and 18 are good birdie opportunities. I didn’t birdie 16, but made a 2 on 17 and a birdie 4 down the last to finish at +4 (76).
That was what I wanted. To keep myself in the mix. The leader shot 72. I was 4 back going into Sunday. I also knew I had much more to give. It was my poor front 9 that cost me.
Sunday was a different day. Having since had the opportunity to go over my stats, I played really bad tee to green. However, it was my resilience that kept me going. I only hit 6 greens in regulation (33%) but my chipping and putting was superb. I chipped in from 30 yards, holed every putt within 6 feet, and drained a 40-foot birdie putt on the 5th. It kept me going. After losing my first shot of the day on the first to double bogey, I stuck in there. After 9, I was still just +2. The wind on the back 9 played tricks and a couple of silly errors cost me. Towards the end I began to play aggressive. I over zealously tried to chip in on both 15 and 16, racing both past and costing me 2 bogeys.
I teed off on 18, hoping to make a crowd-pleasing birdie down the last. I got a good drive away. The 7-iron approach shot got an unfortunate bounce into the green side bunker. With a good splash out, I left myself 6 feet. It went in to seal a round of +5 (77).
To conclude, I finished 5th, 5 shots back from the winner, which I thinks was respectable. The best Sunday score was 75, with the wind and firm conditions making life difficult for the final players. It was a fun weekend, and I look forward to many more Club Championships’ at MGC.
Credit to Dad for the photos.