I’m not stupid. I’ve been playing long enough to know that waking up feeling good about golf is no guarantee of a decent round and can just as easily result in the opposite. But no matter how hard I tried to ignore it, there it was again last Thursday, the nagging insistence that my swing was going to be good and my putting true. I even mentioned to Mr B. that I might enter a card for the winter comp.
By the time we got to the club the omens were not good. A chilly wind had sprung up and a dispiriting dampness. I’d made the mistake of forgetting that, although we have lost the frost and snow, it can be pretty damn cold out there in February. My hands were freezing and I wasn’t feeling half so good about golf. And so the comp idea was ditched, but I played the first in pretty good style (net par) and parred the second (net birdie).
And so it went on. My swing was going absurdly well and my putting was a close second. I parred the 4th. On the 5th, my 3-wood off the tee was a cracker. (Okay, on another day it might just have turned right into water but today it skipped nicely around the edge to end up 60 yards from the green – better than I can manage in summer with a driver!) Another par. And another on the next. Followed by a five on the 7th (SI 1) so a net birdie for me.
Let’s cut to the chase. I went out in 40 (personal best) with five actual pars. I have a 22 handicap and was equal on strokes with our playing partner who was off 10! Clearly this was too good to last – and I was still cold. Still (I allowed myself a modicum of self-talk) .I only had to play steady to come in with a pretty good score. I avoided well-known hazards on the 10th and 11th holes and decided to aim for an average of five shots per hole – this would more than save my cracking front nine and might even add to its glory. Surely I could get close to my best of 85?