So its time for the last round of the NZMGF pro league for the year, we have no events for December and January as it is summer here in New Zealand and a lot of people get away to the beach over the Christmas and New year period. Its a time to finish the year on a strong note. With this round being at a local course Iíve had a chance to get out and play a few practice rounds. These are needed as the course is a mix of easy lanes for aces and lanes that you either get a lucky break and kick for an ace all the way to lane 16 that is impossible to ace, even the great Allan Cox of puttputtdownunder fame hasnít been able master.
I aim to get down to the course around 11am to be able to a little practice in and set up the laptop for scoring. Iím going to have a little play with the Bangolf Arena software for the scoring, just another way to make it easier for people to see where they sit after each round. The weather isnít looking great and its supposed to rain in the afternoon so hopefully we get through the 4 rounds in before the skies open up.
As 1pm rolls around it looks like there will just be 12 playing this round, which is a little disappointing being that its being played in Auckland. Iíve been racking my brain trying to figure out how we can attract more people to the tournaments, what we can do to promote these so more people know about them. Anyway its time to get this one underway.
I start with aces on the first 2 lanes but follow it straight up with a 3, the rest of the first round is a little average I make some stupid mistakes and miss a couple of putts that should have be straight forward. I card a 42, par for the course is 43, but luckily Iím only 3 back from Fred with is 39. There is half the field within 3 shots after the first round, and its good to see the level of play has improved across the field in these first 8 events.
Round 2 is a lot better, its a steady start with 2 aces and one one 3 through the first nine holes, I get though to lane 16 with one ace and all twos so far for the back nine. I finally hit the right spot on 16 to get the roll for the easy 2 (the only time I do it through the 4 rounds). Onto 17 which is one of those lanes where you need the right combo of speed line and the friendly bounce of the wall for the ace. I hit the almost prefect putt with the ball stopping an inch from going in off the back wall. I walk up to the last with a chance to set a course record 33 with an ace. Iíve been playing the lane with a golf ball over the last couple of weeks in practice, which in hindsight wasnít a great way to play it being that its a steep up hill incline and only a small shelf to keep the ball on if you a a little strong, a lane the a deadish euro ball would have been a better option.
maybe I was a little pumped up knowing that I had a chance at the record, but the first putt was just a little strong and came back down the hill leaving a tricky second. I walk away with a 4 and 36 which would tie the low round of the day.
Round 3 is just run of the mill other than a stretch of 3 aces in row 5 through 7. But still some stupid mistakes and a couple of badly executed putts. Once the scores are in iím still handy to the lead being just 2 back from Matt and 2 in front of Fred in third.
So on to round 4, two behind which isnít a massive gap to make up on this course. Being the first to play I can try put a little pressure on. I start strong with an ace of the first, but give the shot back on the 3rd with a tee shot that was too strong leaving a long deuce that I push wide. Then lose another on the next to be 3 back. I never really any closer and in fact feel 5 behind at one stage. I card a 42, Matt cards a 40 to be 4 in front of me in the end. John the league leader has a 38 in the last round to sneak into second. i end up just holding onto third by one shot. other than maybe spending a little more time over second putts Iíve learnt a little out of this final round. I put to much focus on putting pressure on the leader and maybe pushing the envelope too much rather than forgetting the difference between us and just focusing on my own game, my lines and my game plan against the course.
So the same three from round seven take the podium in round 8 and the final one of the year, I canít complain too much with third, anytime in the top 3 is good, and Iím happy being consistent. Now we have 2 months off until the next round and I should probably have a little break from putting after the last 2 and a half months starting in Croatia until now, but I want to keep improving, making sure Iím getting better with my stroke and keeping it consistent. There are a couple of new courses opening which might be good to check out and maybe get a blog of to before the next event.