Golf can be cruel and unfair at times (at most times in fact). You frequently give everything you have for three and a half hours and walk off the course with nothing. Every round starts full of hope and potential but, invariably, your dreams are left somewhere on the links – ripped to shreds on a gorse bush or buried in a bunker.
Sorry for all this doom and gloom, but I’m feeling seriously disenchanted with the game this morning after another upsetting Medal round yesterday. I played reasonably well but finished poorly with two bogeys in the last three holes. I ended up with a 72 (nett 70). CSS was 68 so I missed the buffer by one shot…. AGAIN…. That’s now four times in the last five rounds I’ve done that. Had I not holed a miraculous birdie putt on the 18th green last week it would’ve been five out of five.
I hate to be a whinge – That’s actually a lie. I love to be a whinge – but I have a grievance with the handicap system that I must air:
I’ve played four rounds of 72, 71, 72 and 72 and my handicap has gone up by 0.1 for each of them, it’s risen by 0.4 from 1.6 to 2.0. Had I scored 95, 98, 70, 86 it would have gone up by just 0.3. I would have scored 62 shots more over the course of the four rounds but my handicap would have fared better – that doesn’t seem right.
I think there should be some sort of automatic review of handicaps at the end of each month. Such a review would reveal that my worst nett score for July is one over par but that my handicap has gone up by 0.4 in that period. Flashing lights and sirens would be triggered and my handicap automatically reduced accordingly.
I know the committee can decide to reduce a handicap for “general play” but this tends to be applied to the bandit who protects a high handicap and wins all the club knockout competitions. I could probably ask the secretary for a “general play” reduction but I don’t think I’d get very far.
The reason this concerns me so much is this: My principal golfing objective is to lower my handicap. I’m never going to play for Scotland and I’m not interested in picking up prizes. I merely want to see how good I can be at the sport and, for me, it’s my handicap that measures this. This season I’ve gone up from 1.1 to 2.0 and it’s making me depressed. I know what you’re thinking – “Fergus, it’s pretty straightforward. You just have to play a couple of shots better next round.” I’m trying. Believe me, I’m trying.
This Saturday I’ll be giving it everything again for three and a half hours. I’ll have stitched my dreams back together and they’ll be there with me on the first tee at 1.38. I’m going to throw caution to the wind – I’m either going to shoot a 65 or an 85. If I’m to go up by 0.1 again I might as well do it in style.