Monday marked the official end of the golf season in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. As per the Golf Canada rules October 31 was the last day one could enter a score into the handicap system. Since my last post I managed 2 more rounds to finish out my season with 69 rounds entered for handicap purposes.
On October 23rd I played an early morning round with a couple of other Metcalfe members. Given the fact that I hadn’t played many decent rounds this fall, that it was quite cold, and quite early, I didn’t expect much from my game. I was pleasantly surprised to go out and shoot a 80 from the blacks, with the only disaster on the score card being a double on 18 (scorecard here). A couple of 3 putts also held me back from a better score. With the knowledge that it could have been my last round of the season I was quite content to go into the winter break with a decent round. In addition to posting a decent score, I also manged to nudge my index back down to 6.6.
The golf god’s smiled on me for one more week. This past Sunday (October 30) I was back home in St.Thomas (again) and managed to get in an early morning round with a good friend and his dad. The course was Belmont Golf Club, a course I am very familiar with as I played it frequently when I still lived in the area. The morning was cold, evident of the frost that kept us off the course until 9am. In reality we should have been kept off the course for another hour, but the owner let us go knowing it was the last day the course would be open for the season. Needless to say the first few holes were pretty interesting, it was the first round of golf I have ever played where I had to knock the ice off my shoes when I got to the green. Once the frost lifted the course was actually in decent shape, but a little wet. From what I have been told there has been lots of rain during the month of October and the course showed it.
Belmont is not a very hard course. It is par 70 playing 5400 yards from the back tees, there isn’t much sand and although a fair bit of water, it rarely comes into play. With that said, I have never gone low at Belmont, with my best round being a 2 over 72. On Sunday I played quite well, but once again had troubling finishing, taking back to back bogeys to finish (we played the back 9 first, so it was holes 8 and 9). I also managed back to back double bogeys early on the back 9. The 2nd double was a result of not finding my tee shot that landed in the middle of the fairway. I am convinced it plugged in the soft grass. So, after starting with a 2 birdie 2 over front 9, I came back with a 6 over back 9 to shoot 78 (scorecard here). I was happy with my round, I hit the ball well, putted well and knew part of the score was due to simple bad luck.
Unfortunately, Belmont appears to be one of the lowest rated (65.3), lowest sloped (109) courses in the country and as such my 8 over 78 turned into a 13.6 differential. This wouldn’t have been so bad if posting this score hadn’t knocked off a 75 from Metcalfe. With the 78 in and the 75 out my index went from a 6.6 to a 7.3, where it will now stand until at least mid April 2012.
Having finished the 2010 season with a 6.9 index and having felt that I played much better in 2011 than I did in 2010 the increase in my index of 0.4 is a tough pill to swallow, but that’s golf. A follow up post with a more detailed analysis of my 2011 handicap and statistics is in order.