It’s been an eventful couple of days here in Johor so far. Our quick, early morning practice round on Tuesday was elongated to an all day affair once the siren was sounded to suspend play due to lightening. It’s not uncommon to have rain delays here in Asia, especially Malaysia but this one was particularly prolonged and frustrating as it was only a practice round! Had we known the course perhaps we’d have packed in and headed back to the hotel but instead we waited it out in the clubhouse and resumed play a few hours later. I doubt it’ll be the last time we get to see this little device.
Sure enough the Lightening detector was in full use again yesterday morning, we woke to see flashes of light outside our hotel room and rumbles of distant thunder. The storm stayed around for a little while delaying the start by some 45 mins. My rescheduled start of 9.25am arrived and I swiftly pulled my opening tee shot of the day too far left and out of bounds. De ja vu! Similar to last week in Thailand I managed to hang in there and grind for the next few holes. With a ball striking round straight out of a horror book I relied heavily on some magical short game to keep me going.
I chipped in on the first of the par 3’s on the back 9 (my front 9) for a much needed birdie before hitting a couple more errant drives to rack up back to back bogeys. Seemingly unable to find anything near the middle of the club face my 7th hole of the day was another tricky short par 3. Again, I missed the green after a lack luster 7 iron plugged deep into the ground in the rough before the green. A free drop later and I lofted the ball green wards with my 54 degree wedge. It landed perfectly on the edge of the green and trickled into the hole for another highly unlikely birdie.
9 holes played. One green hit in regulation and +3. Ouch. Not the start I was looking for this week. I managed to hang in there despite still hitting the ball in every direction but straight. With 2 holes to play I was +4 for the day and in need of a couple of closing birdies to tidy up my card. Instead I bogeyed them both. A poor start. A scruffy finish and not much to report in the middle apart from some world class scrambling!
It’s hard to describe how a golf swing can feel so comfortable one week with the driver and irons flying exactly where you intend to seemingly having zero control the next. I had a feeling yesterday of being very disconnected. The timing just wasn’t anywhere near where it has been the last couple of weeks. But after an hour on the range post round I felt like I was getting it back a little. A bit more patience during my swing and a smoother transition from the top of my backswing is the key today to hitting some more fairways. The greens here at Johor Golf Club are tiny, I mean really small. It’s like hitting full shots into pitch and putt sized greens. The advantage is if you get your ball onto the putting surface you’re rarely going to have a long putt to convert.
My 78 yesterday of course putts me in that all too familiar position of needing to play much better today but I don’t feel like I’m a million miles away. If I can get my tempo and timing back to where they were just last week I’ll start hitting it back on the planet again and can start attacking for birdie again instead of scrambling for par. Hopefully it stays dry today and I can get moving in the right direction at 12.55. The good news is there’s no out of bounds anywhere to be seen from the first tee so my new found first tee habit should be broken bar a straight top through my legs into the clubhouse….
Ok, time to get out there and make some birdies.