We had a small tournament with around 18 flights, 71 people at Rahman Putra. Not my most beloved course, even if I have been a member there for more than 12 years.
Hole 1: Worse possible start. Not sure if it was just the jitters on the first tee or the morning stiffness, but I sent my first tee way right (slice, which is extremely unusual). Taking a drop, I duffed my 9 iron into the pond again. 5th shot to around 100 meters. 6th shot was just on the fringe, 7th shot on and putted in for a quadruple to start. (+4)
Hole 2: Didn’t get better with this horribly long par 3. Hooked left with my hybrid, which was the first time I was using this club for a long time. I should have stuck to a 5-iron. Flopped to just behind the bunker, and my chip wasn’t very good, as it just passed the bunker to the edge. 4th short putt on, but was so short. 5th missed, and putted for a triple. (+7). I am 2 holes in the tournament and I was dead last.
Hole 3: The Par 5 gave some respite, and the thing about Rahman and my game is that when I do get a lot of streaky play here. Once I lit up this course with 9 pars in a row. With a good drive and a strangely good hybrid (straight at least), my 3rd shot with a sandwedge left me only around 10 feet for a birdie. I missed it right, settled for par. Great. (+7)
Hole 4: A good drive left me around 150m to the hole, which a 9-iron took me on, not as near but reasonably close for a routine 2 putt par. (+7)
Hole 5: Par 3, and I hit my 8-iron way short on this 150m hole. However, managed to put in a very good chip (!) to around 5 feet and sank in the par. 3 in a row, escalation! (+7)
Hole 6: This hole traditionally is a struggle due to trouble left and right. There is a small window to hit a good drive to and as it is, I got into that window with a good one. I had only a pitching wedge into a downhill green, and put it on. My first putt wasn’t great and left me with around 5 – 6 fee to navigate for my 4th par in a row. Which I did. On a streaky roll now. (+7)
Hole 7: This is not an easy one, and my drive pulled left into the rough didn’t do any favours. I had around 150 – 155m in the rough to the green, and with a 6 iron, I whacked an arrow out that just managed to clear the greenside bunker, bounced luckily twice into the fringe that took the speed out and trickled dead onto the green to around 5 feet of a front flag. Awesome and a great look at birdie. I don’t know why I played the break from 5 feet, but I did, and I miss a sitter. Which sucked the wind out of me. Still, a par. (+7). So first two holes=+7. Next five holes = +0.
Hole 8: This is the longest drive hole (and the most difficult on this 9). I hit to about 220m, which was a bad hit, since I popped the ball. But later, I found out all the big hitters cranked up and all missed the fairway, leaving only me at 220m distance and I won the novelty prize – a brandnew stand bag. This must be the shortest winner ever! Anyway, from around 170, I pulled my hybrid again to the left and around a few feet to a difficult green. I was still in a great position, but my putt from off the green was about 5 – 6 inches short of entering the green. The slope is so severe that once you enter the green, it just rolls all the way down. So I was 5-6 inches away from a perfect putt. As it was, my fourth shot putt couldn’t brake and rolled 15 feet past the hole. Two putted for double bogey. (+9)
Hole 9: I hit a perfect shot with my 5-wood. Then as I was hitting my second shot, I don’t know why I didn’t opt for my 6 iron, but maybe because I was feeling it with my 5-wood. I completely whiffed the damn ball and it splashed into the water fronting me. 4th shot was pulled to the rough, fifth shot out of the rough to the side of the green. Six shot was a skulled chip (struggled with my chips yet again) to the other side of the green and two putted for a triple 8th on a relatively easy par 5. Dang! (+12)
So there you have it, 5 great holes sandwiched between a quadruple, a double and two triple bogeys. This was typical streaky play, but at least I’ve played myself back up the board a bit and have a bit of chance going into the back nine.
Hole 10: And that bit of chance bit the dust. I pulled my drive into the hazard on the left. Dropped for 3, hit an absolute cracker with my 5-wood to about 60 meters of the green. I was supposed to hit a great pitch to get at least 4 on, but no, I chunked my 60 degree to around 20m of the green. A poor chip resulted in a 5 on and too far to do much, so two putted for double. On another easy, scorable par 5. (+14)
Hole 11: My 5 wood was crushing today for some reason. Good tee, but my hybrid yet again pulled like a bloody boomerang. 4 times used, 3 times boomeranged left. With about 10 m from the green, I chunked my chip again short. Horrible day chipping, after all the good vibes over the past few games. I putted on and managed to at least sink my bogey. My first bogey of the day. (+15)
Hole 12: This is a good par 3 with trouble on left. I hit a good six iron but it didn’t draw enough and was just caught in the right rough near the green. Routine chip would have set up a good chance for par, but instead I yipped it across the green to the other side rough. Stupid chips! I managed to at least hit a good return chip with my 60 degree to around 8 feet, and save bogey. (+16)
Hole 13: This is a scorable hole. But I ballooned my drive and it hit the edge of the bunker on the right and trickled back in. So unlucky – but this was my first time I think hitting this bunker because I usually take it out of play with driver. Bunker out to about 60m from the hole, three on with a lob wedge and didn’t hit a particularly good par putt, but was good for the 6 footer comeback bogey. (+17)
Hole 14: This dual green hole today had upper green for the pin. I hit a drive but couldn’t clear the grass bunker in the middle. The rough was too thick in there, and I just barely chopped out, with 50m left. My ball was literally next to a decomposing dead rat on the fairway (or squirrel, I don’t know which), that had flies and maggots all over it. I asked for relief, which my partners kindly gave (though I am not sure if in actual tournament it is allowed). I think it should have been a penalty drop, but because our tournament was somewhat friendly (we give putts within putter length, we allow OB drops, and one guy even had a Bushnell Range Finder out every hole), my partners were fine with me just moving the ball slightly back so I wouldn’t be standing in a heap of dead maggots. It didn’t really help anyway, since I skulled my lob wedge to the back of the green. Seeing how shitty my chipping was, I opted to putt off the green. It wasn’t a good putt at all and I two putted for a double. What a carnage hole. (+19)
Hole 15: The easiest par 3. An easy 9-iron got me within a good range for a routine two putt par. (+19)
Hole 16: The last 3 holes are horrendously difficult, especially if your legs are wilting. This one, I sliced my drive like the first hole and left me with a difficult 160-170m to to the green. I pulled my 5 iron slightly and landed to the edge of the greenside bunker. A bad out with my lob wedge. I was still 3 on, but I navigated the downhill putt poorly, and ended up too much to do for my 10 foot comeback. I think, my first 3 putt of the day. Double (+21)
Hole 17: A very good drive left me with no choice but to cross the water around 170m. My hybrid for once was hit very well and straight. Problem was I was aiming way right thinking it would boomerang again. So, for my third shot, I had to stand against the pine tree and just hit a prayer. And God answered, because it was probably the best I could have hit it. It landed softly and trickled to around 10 feet of the hole. I missed my par, settled for bogey. (+22)
Hole 18: This needed a good drive to have a prayer to cross the water with my 2nd. We were playing off nearly the maximum back tees, so even with a good drive, I was looking at maybe 170m to cross. My 5 wood was hit the best I could have hit it. I was around 100m away from a uphill green with my 3rd, and my gap wedge found the green. A not so great first putt still left me around 4 feet to put in a very good par on the final hole. Which I did. (+22)
With a gross score of 94, it was one better than my previous game, but because I blew up 3 holes, on the handicap of the day of 18, I scored a miserly 33 points on Stableford, miles away from the top dog who scored 40 points. In fact, from 71 players, I was placed a mediocre 27. Those 5 pars in a row make for good reading though. Honestly the 5-wood was jamming today (except for that hole 9 nonsense), and my putter (which I have changed to a mallet now) was very good. My chipping was nightmarish and my drives were probably mediocre as well. Ah well, at least I won the stand bag for the longest drive!