Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Golfing Season, stats & @HowdidIdo

It's just about drawing to a close, this year's golfing season.  It's just too short, my first qualifying comp was halfway through April, and here we are in September already.  It's been a good year for the sun though, so at least the majority of games haven't been played in torrential rain unlike last year which was an almost complete washout.

There's some interesting stats available for my club competitions from HowdidIdo a very useful tool for golfers which is akin to the powerof10 which handles data from most UK races.

What's most noticeable is the few green dots on a sea of blue.  Green is what we're aiming for here, that's a par on that hole, there's that one red dot, a birdie, but mostly blue: bogies or dark blue: double bogies (one or more over par).  It is improving ever so slightly.

Last year's average for a round was 110, but since July it's been under 100, so it's definitely heading in the right direction.  The only downside to the site is that it's only including comps from my home club.  I played in a county competition in July too, and won it with a net 69, but it's not included in the stats, other than that, it's a great tool.

Started the year with a playing handicap of 30, which was a big improvement on the year before (last September I was still playing off 34) and now I'm down to 24.  The goal this year was 21, It's not there yet, but it's well on the way, but as the season is almost finished and I've only got 2 more qualifying comps to play, it's looking unlikely.

The other thing it doesn't handle is mixed comps.  To be honest I think it's prolly a step too far for clubs to include them in their official results which is a bit of a shame, but quite a few clubs aren't that swept up with getting these things computerised, so to ask for data on mixed comps too is a big ask.

Andy (Mr T) and I have played in quite a few mixed open comps this year, and a few of the home competitions too, it's a great way to play another course for not a great deal of money, and be in with a chance of winning something.  We did win one this year at Seaton Carew, though to be fair to Mr T he did the majority of the work on that one, as I'd been bitten by a horsefly the day before and after a trip to the hospital for an allergic reaction I was full of antibiotics, antihistamines and anti-inflammatory pills and I was no use to anyone.  He soldiered on manfully and played a super game, I think I came in on two or three holes.

Aside from the win at Seaton, we did win one together at Tyneside, and in another comp, me and Tony (one of Mr T's mates who stepped up when he was off playing for a week with the lads from Bristol) won the same competition we'd won the year before: defending our title as it were ;)

There's still a lot of improvement to be had though, and even though I'll be concentrating on the cross country  running season from the end of the month, I'll hopefully keep the golf going right through the winter.  It's a good time of year to concentrate on chipping and pitching, the putting will be like crazy golf no doubt as the greens become a bit rougher, but there's plenty of elements of the game to be practicing in the meantime.

So it'll be goodbye to the golfing season for 2013, it's been a good one, despite all the blue dots!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Where did all that time go...

It's been aaaagggggeeess since I came on and updated my blog.  It's not because I don't enjoy it.  I'm just so busy with other stuff I haven't had the time.  That sounds pretty ridiculous given that it only takes 10 mins here and there but it's true.

What have I been up to?  Well, mostly work, golf, and a bit of running thrown in for good measure.  Add in admin work for the North East Harrier League, and the Vets Association, and my spare time has evaporated.

Work:  It's an on going problem that I've yet to solve.  I'd like to retire, but I haven't won the lottery, or stumbled across any get-rich-quick schemes, so that day is a long, long way off in the far distant future.

Running:  It's taken a bit of a back seat to be quite honest.  I am still running, but I'm so slow it's beyond a joke.  This year I haven't managed to crack 23 mins for 5k, never mind 21 which was always the ultimate goal.  It's a bit depressing in a way, but it's down to a lack of effort in, and some re-occurring injuries earlier in the year.  It's safe to say that 2013 isn't going to be a year for running for me.

I've still got out there and competed for the team though which is something.  If I hadn't of I might have fell off track completely, but I've done quite a few relays which is great for moral.

I haven't really had a running goal this year either which is part of the problem.  When you have something to aim towards it's much easier to maintain a training schedule.  Because of all the time I had off with plantar-fasciitis I decided not to target any races this year, and just try to manage my fitness which hasn't really worked.

I'm going to have to give myself some sort of goal for next year, sign up for a race or something.  Whatever it is it'll have to be good enough to get me off my behind and into training again.

Despite the training not really coming together I have managed to get out there a bit and I finally got my Parkrun 50 t-shirt.  One small glimmer of brilliance in the gloom ;)

Seen here at Riverside Parkrun yesterday, in a sprint finish with Kirstin for 23:41, a time that was pretty easy last year.

Golf:  Where the running has taken a back seat, the golf is really improving!

I started the year with a handicap of 30, having come down 6 at the end of the previous season.  So this is really my second season playing competitions.

After a poor year last year with all the rain, this year has been fantastic.  The sun has actually been out, a rarity in these parts, and we've been able to play without all the waterproof gear on.

So since April I've come down another 6 shots, and I'm now playing off 24.  Managed a couple of wins in that time too!  2 competitions at my club (one trophy comp) and I actually won a county competition this year too when I finished with a net 69 at the Durham Journal Final!  Me and Andy haven't played too badly either - won one mixed at our club, and one mixed open at Seaton Carew, so it's all going great.

The golf has definitely picked up where the running has dropped off, but now we're almost at the end of the golf season I'm looking to cross country to buck up my ideas.

Hopefully a winter of running round boggy fields will inspire me to get moving again