Balbriggan Golf Club – April 2016 – As The Masters warmed up in Augusta, I teed off at Balbriggan Golf Club. My first taste of parkland golf in Ireland and what a lovely track. While today the weather was mixed (I put my wet weathers on and off four times before leaving them on) I can see the gem this would be in the height of summer.
The greens had been cored and sanded a few weeks ago and are still a little from their best but the 18th green has come back sooner than the rest and after putting out I kind of wanted to start another round.
Today I played with Craig Reilly, who I connected with via Twitter last year and saying I would contact when I planned my trip.
He chose Balbriggan Golf Club for us to play as while these days he is a social golfer, he spent his formative years as a member at Balbriggan Golf Club. Much to the delight of his grandfather, Larry Reilly, who was also a member and wasn’t able to convert any of the other grandchildren into golfers.
I arrived early and had a bit of a golf chat with the Graeme, the Assistant Pro and various members before meeting with Craig and heading out.
It was sunny until we got to the 1st green and it started sprinkling. I looked up and decided wet weather pants were necessary (and they were for another half a hole). This on/off again continued until I decided just to leave them on and if I got too hot so be it – at least I would be dry.
Craig and I had a good golf chat as we negotiated the course, which is a great test of golf. While I didn’t play great golf today, my putting was pretty good particularly on the front nine with line or weight perfect and sometimes both. I dropped a couple long putts which is always satisfying.
I couldn’t seem to get any irons working in my hands and had a few great shots but mostly rubbish. I had just finished saying to Craig that I hadn’t been able to practice but was just golfing different tracks for the last six months and I missed practicing various shots.
Then I landed in the bunker and gave myself a few practice shots to get out. In three bunkers I’d had a lot of bunker practice with 10 shots between them to get out.
That is golf – ask Ernie Els after his 10 on the 1st today at Augusta. The worst score recorded on the 1st at The Masters – not a record you would be wanting to add to your resume.
One thing I was very happy with was how I was hitting the second hand Callaway 5w I bought on Monday. When I played Tuesday I only hit it twice as I had the Ping loaner so it was nice to have a whack and I was impressed with myself with some of the shots I pulled off.
I am always feel a little delighted surprise when I do something I am actually trying and it works perfectly.
I was also using it from lies where I would usually use a hybrid just to see what I could do and I was quite happy.
I was pleased for the Lift, Clean & Place winter rules today on as a few times I was completely plugged. I had enough issues hitting the ball off the fairway at times I didn’t need the added challenge of trying to get it out of the ground as well.
It is beautiful parkland course with numerous changes in elevation, some blind hills (where I whack it and hope for the best) and a few water hazards sprinkled through just to keep you on your toes.
There are lots of hares lazing around the course and the birds and bees were out in the pockets of sunshine.
The course has had a small redesign since it’s original layout with a couple of holes changing so the 9th now finishes near the clubhouse and a par four being stretched to a par five.
I did struggle in the long squishy rough (I was using irons here) and I was hitting so far behind the ball by the time I connected with the ball the club was on the upswing.
That is not how you play golf.
My golf coach in Canada would not have been impressed with my game today but my driver was good and while I donated two balls to the course I found five – three Pro V1’s.
How can I be anything but happy?
PS – I have just added all the photos and it looks like nothing but wonderful weather. This is not the case I just didn’t photograph in the rain but I did shoot some video.