So that’s another year flown by! 2019 will always be a memorable one for me due to a number of things which have happened in my personal life (which we will come on to later!), but I have also managed to experience some fantastic courses along the way! As I write this on the 31st December 2019, it is a great time to look back and reflect on the goals I set at the start of the season.
For those that haven’t seen the original post- you can find that here…
So… how did I do?
How many courses this year?
Unfortunately, 2019 was not the year in which I will complete my ultimate goal of playing every course in the county, but I do continue to get closer! (Check out the course map here to see how I am getting on!). Playing 42.5 rounds across 36 different courses, ultimately I smashed both of my goals I set at the start of the year!
- Rounds played: Target 40+ : Final 42.5
- Courses played: Target 25+ : Final 36
As the eagle eyed of you will spot- there are still a few courses across the county I am yet to get to. If you are a member / employee at any of the courses I haven’t played- get in touch, and lets sort something out!
So I had hoped that I would be able to try and hold my handicap below 10 come the end of the season.
- Handicap: Target 9.9 : Final 10.4
In the end, I did miss this goal, however I am still happy to have a playing handicap of 10. I managed to get as low as low as 9.4 (Playing 9) back in February, but ultimately finished the year at 10.4.
Fairways and Greens
An area which I have always felt needs work is getting the ball in play off the tee, and giving myself a decent change at hitting the green in regulation. I have tried multiple approaches over the years, from hitting a lot of irons and hybrids, and trying to sacrifice distance for the sake of accuracy, to just hitting driver or 3 wood and trying to get the ball as far up the hole as possible, which I felt more confident in doing for the second half of the season after a driver and 3 wood change in my bag.
I thought the goals I set were a little optimistic, but there are slight improvements shown from 2018… so at least we are moving in the right direction! Numbers were slightly down for the second half of the season.
- GIR %: Target 40% : Final 34.6%
- FIR %: Target 40% : Final 34.8%
I was aiming for minor improvements across the board here, and despite my handicap going up, I have delivered on the scoring average front, and feel much of this is down to my game being more consistent.
- Scoring Average Par 3: Target 3.5 : Final 3.55
- Scoring Average Par 4: Target 4.85 : Final 4.81
- Scoring Average Par 5: Target 5.7 : Final 5.53
- Scoring Average: 86.8 ⇒Target 84.7 : Final 83.35
In the end, my Par 3 scoring average is the essentially same as 2018 (down by 0.01), Par 4 scoring average has come down by 0.18 (and beat my target) and Par 5 scoring average down by 0.29 (again, beating my target). Multiply all of these numbers out against the assumption that the course has 4 Par 3s, 10 Par 4s and 4 par 5s, you would expect a 1.98 reduction in my scoring average. My actual reduction of 3.5 would suggest that courses I have been playing have had a par of less than 72.
Putting was one area I targeted for improvement in 2019, but if anything, things seem to have moved slightly in the opposite direction! Whilst I know that not all of these are specifically related to the flat stick (i.e lots of it is to do with approach proximity to the hole!), I don’t feel as confident in the 6-10ft range as I used to. Something to work on!
- Putts per Round: Target <30 : Final 32.2
- Putts per GIR: Target <1.95 : Final 1.96
- Putts per Missed GIR: Target 1.6 : Final 1.64
- 3 Putt %: Target 5.55% : Final 9.6%
Whilst I haven’t managed to hit my goals in any of the 4 categories, I have managed to at least improve on my Putts per Missed GIR, which would suggest slight improvements in my chipping. I definitely feel more confident just around the greens, and hope that for the rest of the season, these numbers will continue to drop and hopefully I will hit a couple of my targets before the year is up!
- Consecutive rounds below handicap
- Consecutive rounds in the 70s
- Treat myself to a round somewhere special for my 30th birthday!
Three big ticks here! Two consecutive rounds in August where the handicap came down at two fantastic heathland courses (West Sussex GC and Piltdown GC. Two consecutive rounds in the 70s were achieved back in July with a 78 at Farleigh GC (Surrey) and a 79 at Piltdown GC again. As for the somewhere special for my 30th? West Sussex was always top of the wish list… and boy did it not disappoint!