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I'm a golfing ignoramus!

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Reading the 'ground game' thread and a bunch of other threads here and elsewhere got me thinking about how little notice I take of the golf course while I'm playing golf. Am I the only one?

One thing that I'm constantly amazed by is how people can remember holes on a course and discuss them individually. I can play an 18 hole round at a very interesting course and be completely unable to describe any of the holes that I just played by the time I get into the clubhouse. The best I can do is form vague impressions of the overall course. For example, I've played St Andrews Beach twice in the past 12 months and I couldn't describe any of the holes off the top of my head, let alone number them. It's an excellent course, but all I have is some vague mental images of lots of elevated tees, an interesting shot from miles down the bottom of a hill that I had to play both times, a greenside slope that I couldn't putt up, and a few bunkers. It's just not a talent of mine.

I even struggle with my home track. I've played about 15 rounds there since joining, and I still honestly can't remember what the 16th and 17th holes are like, other than the fact that they are both par 4's. The 11th hole is a dogleg par 5, and every single time I play it I forget that it's a 5 until I get to my drive and see around the corner that I've still got two shots to go.

The only course I can remember is Buninyong, my first home track. I must have played there 200 times, so I guess it's no surprise that it is the only course I can play a round in in my head. Of course, the irony there is that they changed the routing ten years or so ago and I can't remember the new order of the holes despite having played there five times since.

The same goes for golf course design. I understand the general principles, and I do appreciate it when I take the time to really take in a well thought-out hole To be honest though, most of the time it passes me by completely as I daydream my way around the course. I just forget to think about it unless somebody points out the finer points of a hole. I'm a golf course designer's dream, completely oblivious to the sneaky tricks employed to catch out blokes who just hit it without thinking.

Sometimes I put this down to my hackerishness, and the fact that I'm not really accurate enough to be so bold as to aim for a particular area of the fairway or green. When I think about it though, there are blokes who are worse than me that put heaps of thought into this stuff and are better for it. I can't say for certain if it costs me shots though, because by the time I get to the point that I should realise what the course has just done to me I've forgotten what I did with my earlier shots or why I did it anyway. Adding up my score on a hole can be a nightmare for me, and I'm constantly living in fear of unintentionally cheating because I've forgotten how I got the ball to the green. It happens a lot.

So there's my guilty admission - I'm a complete and utter golfing ignoramus. I think the main cause is that I'm just not intense when I'm on the course, and my thoughts tend to be elsewhere most of the time. It's a problem I've always had, but I often wonder if I'm the only golfer in the world who has a complete mental blank whenever the blokes in the clubhouse start talking about how they are going to fill in the bunker on the right hand side of the 7th.

Just smile and nod Larry, smile and nod.
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  1. Russ's Avatar
    I'm exactly the same. Each hole just blends with the next, and by rounds end the entire course becomes a blur. I'd be lucky to note 5 significant areas of the course, and if I did, I wouldn't remember what hole they were on.

    Trappings of a hacker I suppose. Taking in a course and having a plan of attack for every hole is harder to do when each shot has the potential to go anywhere other than where you really want it to. Taking note of course layout's and bunker placements is probably only something that starts naturally happening when you're consistently hitting the shots you want.

    Until then, you just have to take it as it comes.

    Pius the beer consumption might have a little to do with it!
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