As I sit down to see if Rory McIlroy can win his first tournament of the 2016 I thought I would blog about my first round of the season. It was not a great round but there were plenty of positives and I really enjoyed being back on the course. Despite it being very cold day, I teed it up with three good friends at Bromsgrove Golf Course.
As I outlined in my first ‘Me and my golf bag’ post, after every round I am going to identify three things that went well and one area that needs some work. Below are the three positives and one thing that requires some attention:
Positive one – My tee shots on holes 8, 9 and 10
Improving my driving accuracy is one of three goals for my 2016 golf season and yesterday there were several good signs that the hard work I have been putting will pay off. Whilst my first tee shot was terrible I walked off the eighteenth green having hit 54% of fairways. The best three tee shots I hit were on consecutive holes (8, 9 and 10) and the key to those shots was the smoothness of my swing. Knowing I’ve hit consistent drives will give me a lot of confidence when I stand over my tee shots in my next round in two weeks.
Positive two – Escaping two greenside bunkers
When I see my ball in a greenside bunker I tend to tighten up and worry about escaping first time. I am not a good bunker player and it is the weakest area of my game. So when, on the 6th and 7th holes, I hit shots in to the green that ended up in greenside bunkers I was dreading having to escape. However despite facing tough shots I managed to splash the ball out on to the green first time. Although I have a long way to go before I have faith in my bunker play the two shots yesterday have given me the knowledge that I am capable of getting up and down from greenside bunkers.
Positive three – Chip shot from the rough on the second hole.
After a great tee shot on the second hole I managed to mess up my approach to the green and ended up in the greenside rough. With a small amount of green to work with and a bunker on the other side I faced a difficult chip shot. What followed was a great chip that rolled out nicely and left me with an easy putt. My short game still needs a lot of work but I was really pleased with the majority of my chipping yesterday.
Area for improvement
Without a doubt the area that let me down the most yesterday was my putting. Even though we played on seven winter greens yesterday my putting was simply not good enough. I carded 36 putts and that should’ve been 6 or 7 less. I have not been working on my putting over the winter but even so I would’ve hoped to have putted better.
So there you have it, my first proper round of 2016 is in the bag and there is a lot to improve upon. I tee up again in two weeks and I hope to make some good progress between now and then.