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!