Thursday
Jul232015

9/7/15 - Hillside Pro -am 79 (+7) T11th

2 days after Ashton in Makerfield I headed to Hillside feeling pretty confident with my game. I always enjoy going to Hillside as it's one of my favourite courses. I got off to a bad start by 3- putting the 1st and 2nd greens. I was struggling with the pace of the greens as I expected them to be alot faster. However I grinded out some pars and got the round back on track to make the turn in +3. I knew this would be a few shots behind but gave me something to play with on the back 9.

The back 9 at Hillside is probably the best 9 holes going! Every hole has some real character. I always think if you were to paint a golf hole than the 11th would be it (see pic). Unfortunately for me my ball decided it wanted to visit that course bush on the left of the fairway (see pic!). This ended my chances adding this hole upto an 8! I carried on still struggling to read the greens due to the slower pace to an uneventful 79.

I have a 2 week break now until Preston Pro-am so hopefully I will be back firing in some birdies again!

 

 

Sunday
Jul122015

7/7/15 - Lancs PGA Pro -am, Ashton in Makerfield 71 +1 - T5th

Arriving at another course I had never played around wigan I got there early to do the 1st tee announcement's for the PGA. I was last out and got off to another great start with a drive,pitch,putt birdie on the first. A second birdie followed on the par 5 3rd hole to be -2 after 3 holes. I made a "good double" if there is such a thing on the 5th as I got a shocking plugged lie in the green side bunker. I was playing some very solid golf, hitting a lot of shots how I wanted and then....... a dreaded 4 putt on the 9th green to take me to +2! I had to really get a grip of the emotions and made a great par on 11 to keep some momentum in the round. I pulled -1 back on the back 9 to finish T5 and another top 10 finish. I knew that round should of been a win after a fast start but I was very happy with my mind set to get settled after the 9th to grind out a result and keep me in the top 3 order of merit!

Sunday
Jul122015

Lancs PGA Pro Am - Ashton Under Lyne 29/6/15 - 70 E - T5th

The following day after Darwin we visited Ashton Under Lyne in Oldham for their club pro am. I had never played the course before and we had a shot gun start. My team started on the 12th tee. I got off to a beautiful start make some really easy pars and should of been 4 under instead of 2 under to the 18th. I dropped a daft shot on the 1st hole (my 8th) dumping it in a front bunker for 75 yards. I then managed to get a couple birdies back to be -4with 3 holes to play! I was lucky to be playing with a team of members of the club who were giving me some great advice. I had over heard that fellow pro David Shacklady "Shakkers" was -5 so the confident mood I was in I wanted to "open my shoulders" and chased another birdie! Unfortunalty this was my downfall and I finished double bogey,bogey,bogey (9/10/11) finish level par 70 and tied 5th. My big lesson learnt hear was to never chase a score! Shakkers finished -3 for the win. A BIG lesson learnt today!

Sunday
Jul052015

PGA Lancs - Darwin Pro am - 76 T9th

The Darwin Pro am in Blackburn is always one of the best supported pro am's in the county with around 40 teams entering. I have had a pretty good record around this course, so I was looking forward to the challenge again. The weather was very windy and with the course sat so high up on a mountain - I knew it would be a day for some grinding par golf. I played some steady golf - nothing fantastic but got it round in +5 for a 9th place. I had a couple of bad holes making bogey on 4 and 5 and also a double on 12. Apart from that I was happy with the over all game and probably should of had +3. Nevertheless another top 10 for this year.

 

Thursday
Jul022015

British Open Qualifying - 22/6/15 - West Lancs G.C

The day finally came! I had managed to go down for a practice round the day before and it was a good job I did! What a golf course West Lancs is - the hardest test of golf I have ever played. The day was a cold and windy one with the course playing very firm and fast. I got off to an awesome birdie start holing a 40ft putt on the very slick greens. I knew it would be a day for grinding out very difficult pars.

I had a good day out on the course with some very good golf played but it was one of those days where if the ball landed a few inches slightly differently I could have been 6 shots better easily! I finished with +7 (79) which missed out on a qualifying spot by 2 shots. I was happy with my performance and looking forward to the pro am season really kicking off in the coming weeks.

 

 

Sunday
Jun142015

12/6/15 - Hart Common Pro Am, 71 (-1) T5. Lancashire PGA

Well what a difference a week makes. After my last event I asked for some help from fellow pro Martin Lake (owner of Ashton Golf Centre). He gave me some advice on my swing and a particular issue with my set up that was making it hard to efficiently turn behind the ball. After his help I started to find my game again. I also had a further appointment with physio Brett Fletcher. We worked on my shoulder again and it now appears that due to a poor posture - this has crept into my set up. He has given me some exercises to do to build up some strength in my shoulder to help line me up again. I was feeling confident again in my ball striking but still a little nervous to see how it would react under a scoring round again.

I needed to get back to building up a score, I mentally broke the card into 3 hole sections. I find this really useful to help keep my mind in the present and not creep 4 hours forward to what score I want to shoot. I played really steady golf for a tidy 1 under par 71. Enough for 5th place and a bump up the order of merit to 2nd place.

I am in much better place with my confidence and I must extend my thanks to Martin for his help with my swing and Brett for his work on my shoulder - it just goes to show folks that a lesson can work wonders for your game no matter what level you are playing at!

 

One more Lancashire PGA event next Thursday at Denton before the big one - BRITISH OPEN QUALIFYING on June 22nd at West Lancs Golf clubs.

 

Sunday
Jun142015

30/5/15 - Carus Green, North region Championships. 80 (+10) 

This was not a good day in the office! They day itself was a decent day - no rain, no wind so scoring should havebeen really low. Unfortunately I lost my game altogether. My swing felt all out of time and had misses both left and right. My shoulder has been holding up ok so I can't blame that. I just need to get some practice in and put some range time in. My usual green in regulation number is 14/15 and in this round a only hit 3 greens. It's not looking good with only 2 more tournament's until the big one BRITISH OPEN QUALIFYING!

Monday
May252015

Breightmet - Lancashire Players Tour 4, 80 - 21/5/15

Not too many positives from this round, it was pretty much bust after 3 holes. Two days after the PGA Qualifier at Dalemere my shoulder was still feeling a little tight as its an injury that needs some rest. I had never played the course before so didn't know what to expect. I found the greens a little slow but there's no excuse for my game today! I have some serious practice to do on my game as I didn't hit many good shots out there but the good thing is I know what's up with the game. I just hope my shoulder allows me to do some practice before the next big event May 30th at Carus Green. Another Physio session with Brett is in need before then. 

Monday
May252015

PGA Championship Qualifier - Dalemere Forrest, 19/5/15 - 76

Although my score wasn't good enough to qualify today I was overall happy with my day. Since Formby Hall I have been struggling with a shoulder injury. I visited the doctors the following day and had an x-ray done and went to visit a physio. Before I carry on with my round analysis I have to thank Brett Fletcher of the Lancaster University Sports Centre (01524 548339). He did an amazing job to get me an appointment at short notice and did his best to free up my shoulder- the evening before the event may not have been ideal, but something was better than nothing as I would of had to pull out otherwise. I highly recommend his services for any aches or pains you may have. 

I was advised from the doctor to TOTALLY rest my shoulder for as long as possible, so unfortunately I hadn't hit a single ball before my first tee shot, (a 508 yard par 4 - UPHILL!). I had the 8.40 tee time and traffic was unbearably on the way down - I had set off at 5.45am to leave plenty of time (1 hour, 20 mins usually) but still only managed to pull into the car park at 8.30. I managed 2 practice putts and was still putting my tying my shoes laces on the first tee. As you can see from my score card it was a very colourful round but I was chuffed to bits with my fight back for the last 8 (-4). I did my best to keep going, as with such bad weather conditions (rain/wind/sun/hail - you name it I got it!) you just never know the qualifying score. Unfortunately FOR ME as soon as my round came to an end, the clouds broke open and the sun started cracking the flags - typical! 

 

 

Sunday
May172015

Formby Hall - 12/5/15, Lancashire PGA Players. 73 - 2nd place

3 weeks since the last order of merit event and I couldn't wait to get back at it. It was blowing a gale at Formby so I knew I had to knuckle down to get the job done. I had never played Formby Hall before and I must admit it's a great lay out! The round got off to a good start with 2 holes into a 50mph wind making par. To give you an idea of how strong the wind was on the 2nd hole I had 154 yards to the front and I nailed a 4 iron at it (usually 195 carry) on the 3rd, par 5 I had 197 left to the flag and hit an 8 iron (155 usually) over the back! After those crazy numbers I knew pars would be good scores. I was really happy with my game and shot choices over the front 9 going out in -1. I had knocked it close on 7,8,9,10 and didn't convert the birdie putts this cost me 2 bogeys down 11 and 12 from just been a little in-patient as I knew Iwould be in the hunt. I settled down to finish with a +1, 73 and waited for the scores to roll in. I was still leading until the final group had a -1 in it - I may be a little biased but it definitely felt like the wind died in the afternoon! finishing 2nd and back to the top of the Lancashire Order of merit!

PGA Championship Qualifier at Dalamere next week although I have picked up an injury so fingers crossed I can shake it off before then.