Leven Links Golf Club – April 2018. It has been a couple of weeks since I returned from Scotland and I am sitting at my computer doing work for Fairways when I realised I hadn’t yet written about my day of golf at Leven Links Golf Club.
Perhaps it is because I played worse than I have done in more than 12 months.
This year, once again I joined the spring outing of the BIGGA Central Section. I have attended this event for the past 3 years and this year Dave joined me.
Dave was playing with David from Crieff Golf Club and another gentleman who has recently retired and hung up his mower (is that what you say when you retire from greenskeeping?).
I was playing with Gordon Moir and Craig (it could be Greg – scottish accent and all. I am also hoping my memory is correct). Note to self – that is why you write about golf adventures no more than 2 days post round.
We were off first, Craig and Gordon teed off well and I managed to punch my ball a little distance down the fairway. I then bunny hopped to the green and finished with a double.
I struggled to make a good connection with any club.
This would be the theme of the day.
Leven Links is home to two golf clubs that share the course, Leven Golfing Society and Leven Thistle Golf Club, The two clubhouses sit adjacent to each with one overlooking the 18th and the other has views across the links.
The weather was perfect for a Scottish minute before the wind picked up and spat out some freezing drops. The rain didn’t stay around long but it was cold. Very crisp. I put my wet weather pants on before starting my round and was thankful for them all day.
I am sure the fellow in shorts regretted his clothing choice. Gordon and I had a wee chuckle about his exposed legs.
Considering my driver and putter are usually my two best clubs in my bag, this day they had left me. My putting was mediocre but my driving was awful.
Dave and I had a competition going on so a small part of me was hoping he was having as much trouble I was. As he was in the group behind us, I was able to watch him a little and he did not seem to be struggling.
Did I mention the wind? It was blowing a gale with bags being blown over and I just couldn’t get anything working.
Well one thing that worked really well was my continued visit to the gorse bushes and I must say I was quite surprised at the amount of rubbish wedged in the spikes. I have not played a course with so much rubbish and I took notice that there were very few garbage bins. I think perhaps the locals may not care about waste and the wind picks up everything that then gets lodged in the gorse. Except for the glass whiskey and beer bottles – I don’t think the wind is that strong.
We were playing a stableford event and I was itchy, scratching hole after hole. There was a happy surprise when we realised that the stroke index from the ladies tee was different so there was a point or two added but considering I had 30+ points the last two years I attended this event, that was definitely not happening today.
Gordon and Craig hit through the wind and I was trying to emulate that but managed to top it and drop kick it (yes it is always a bad day when you get dirt on your driver) and just couldn’t do anything well.
I donated multiple balls to the course or should I say gorse.
My round was woeful but I laughed and dropped balls and continued on my merry way with Craig commenting that at least I had a good attitude. While my bad golf annoys me it doesn’t anger me and some of my attempts at golf were downright funny.
On the 6th, I hit a great drive. It was my best so far and I watched as it bounced off something on the fairway shooting straight right then it dribbled through the fence out of bounds. I could only laugh and tee it up again.
I got a great par on the 7th and that was the only good hole of the round.
Sometimes the golf gods are just not with you. On the 16th I hit a great drive which was a little wayward but I couldn’t find it. One of those hidden in plain sight shots that I am sure every golfer has experienced. I didn’t want to go back to the tee so scratched the hole, dropped a ball and continued playing.
I nailed my drive on the 17th and hit a perfect 3 wood then duffed the next 3 shots before dropping a nice putt. Shame I couldn’t actually put any good shots together.
On the 18th my drive was good, great second shot, mishit the layup third then dumped my ball in the water. Now nice and clean, I popped it over the burn and when I finally holed the ball I admit I was happy the round was over.
As I looked at my points, a whole lot of zeros with 17 in total, I giggled. That was worse than the 1st ever tournament I entered when I had only been playing for 5 months.
You never try to hit a bad shot and considering how many I did hit this round, I was a little impressed with my lack of skill.
I waited and watched Dave and his group come in. Dave had a fantastic round considering he too scratched a couple of holes but smashed me, getting 17 points on the back 9 alone.
Post round I was very happy to get out of the biting cold and enjoy a delicious steak pie in the Leven Thistle Clubhouse while we listened to the scores of the winners. Can’t believe someone parred the course in those awful conditions but one thing I have learnt from hanging out with Gordon Moir and the Scottish greenskeepers is they are serious about their golf.
Me – not so much but boy do I love it.