Review of 2010 (Golf)

2010 has been a busy year – but a good one.

Golf is one of my great loves and my game has improved a little in 2010.  I continue to track my scores and be an active member on www.Golfshake.com – a site that I first joined back in 2006.  According to my Golfshake stats I played 33 rounds in 2010 which is less than I would have liked but okay bearing in mind other committments.  My handicap started at 23.5 and dropped by 3.6 to and finishing handicap of 19.9.  I am pleased to be sub 20 and need to work to stay a Category 3 player through 2011.

In 2010 I stayed a nomadic golfer – that is not a member of any club and playing wherever I can get a game.  I played a few times with a new golfing friend Andy Barnes who introduced me to Lords Golf Club in Rayleigh.  Through the summer months I played a fair bit  in the long summer evenings with guys from work – mainly around the Bracknell area. I also had a couple of golf days out.

In April I played in a Spinal Research charity golf day at Hintlesham Golf Club near Ipswich as a guest of Tencate and in September I played in one of two works teams at the Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) golf day at the Menzies Welcome Golf Club near Stratford-upon-Avon.  Both these two courses were excellent and to be recommended.

In April I played in the annual Golfshake North vs South matchplay golf competition on the South team held this year at the Abbey Hotel Golf Club near Redditch in Worcestershire.  The event was a two day affair with around 60 of the 80 players staying in the hotel overnight having a great meal and watching the final hours of the Masters from Augusta on a big screen. More Photos here.

South Team at NvS 2010

In the main event I played with a friend Colin Astbury (who runs the Gtour series) in the last grouping out.  We lost our close fought match 2down on the last hole.  By then however the North had won with a final score of 12.5 to 7.5.  Oh well – there is always 2011.

L-R Colin Astbury, Me, and two northerners
North Vs South final scores North 12.5 - South 7.5

In 2010 I also played a few events on the www.Gtour.co.uk amateur golf tour organised by my pal Colin Astbury who lives nearby in Rayleigh and his partner in crime Simon Overland.   The tour consists of 10 or so events around the country mostly at the main sponsor’s venues – DeVere Hotel and Golf  Clubs.  To qualify for the final Order of Merit you have to play in a minimum of 3 events.  I managed to play in four events this year.

In June I took part in the second Gtour visit to Belton Woods (Grantham) and came 9th out of 19 with 32 points.  In July I played at the Dunston Hall (Norwich) event and came 13th out of 29 with 26 points and in August I played at the Wokefield Park (Reading) event and came 11th out of 32 with 32 points.  These three events gave me a finishing position in the OOM of 37th out of 163 and of those who played in 3 events 31st out of 51.  I did also play in October at the lovely Manor House course (Bath) where I had an absolute nightmare and didn’t submit a card.

Oneself contemplating my next shot

I played a handful of new courses in 2010 – all of which were very good.  These included The Downshire course in Bracknell – council run and an excellent course, Cranham Colf Club near Upminster – short and open and a handicap wrecker, The Shanklin and Sandown course on the Isle of White – a old and interesting course played whilst on holiday, The Gtour and NvS courses described above, and the Lords Golf Club in Rayleigh which – on the Dukes course at least – is excellent – with good food to follow in the clubhouse.

Dukes Course at Lords GC - In the snow.

All-in-all a satisfying year on the golfing front.  In 2011 I’d like to play more, reduce the handicap to around 15 or so and play in a few more competitions.  This might be helped by joining a club which I am currently considering.  A return trip to courses around Le Touquet in Northern France would be nice too!

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