It’s only few hours to 2018. Almost unconsciously, year 2017 will pass us by. And as the year passes by, it’s my tradition for the past 5 years, to recap the year by writing my Annual Golf Review.
As in previous year, I set my own target to play at least 40 rounds this year. I hope by playing more golf rounds, I will be more consistent on my golf game (utopian concept in golf, I know), and thus lower my score and handicap.
No such luck. I just played 31 rounds this year. This is 9 rounds short of my target, and even 5 rounds less than last year. But despite of less golf rounds, I managed to lower my Handicap from 10.8 last year to 9.2 this year. How come? Let me give you the breakdown of my golf game stats in 2017:
1. (A bit) higher average score
Actually my average score this year is a bit higher than last year. I have an average of 86.3, almost 1 stroke off from the average from last year, which was 85.9.
But despite of lower average score, actually I managed to score higher Par or better percentage. This year I have 35% Part or Birdie, whereas last year I only had 32%. I also managed to reduce the amount of ‘blew-up’ holes quite significantly. I only have 16% 2 bogies or worse this year, compared to last year of 23%!
So that explains why my Handicap is lower. I played more consistent golf. My standard deviation of golf score is reduced. I remember there was period when I played my best form of golf. I think it was between month of March to May, where I almost always played in low 80s all the time. But then came the break of Ramadhan, where I didn’t play golf for almost 2 months, then my golf game came into disarray again.
In term of other stats, I improved in two key statistics: GIRs (Green in Regulations) and Putting. I hit more greens this year (31%), compared to last year (29%). And I had fewer putts (1.86 putts per hole) than last year (1.88 putts). It’s all small but welcome improvements.
2. Another Rounds of 70s
Ok I only have 1 round of 70s. But it’s quite memorable one. I broke 80s for the very first time in Pangkalan Jati, the course closest to my house (well, Pondok Indah is the closest, but I can’t afford playing there on weekends LOL). I did have rounds of 80 and 81 in this course previously, but somehow a bit of mistake and missed putts here and there cost me the elusive 70s number.
But last September 2017, I played really great round, which I think was the best round of 2017. I drove the ball well all day long, and I was “in the zone” for my approach shots and putts. During the round, I purposely recorded my entire shots in one hole. And apparently, I got birdie in this Par 5 hole of Pangkalan Jati! I shared this glorious moment on my other post ‘Anatomy of a Birdie’ here.
3. Won the (possibly) Final Office Tournament
Back in March 2017, we held the (possibly) very last BER Golf Tournament in Nirwana Golf Course Bali. I played well and capped it off by winning the most prestigious prize – Best Gross Overall. It’s a happy ending to a great run of competitions which we held for the past 5 years.
Unfortunately until now, we haven’t had certainty whether this golf tradition will continue in the integrated entity. We shall see next year.
4. Not so much bragging rights, but hey that’s what friends are for!
Yeah, finally I got those infamous “Ketua Yayasan” title with my high-school Vidatra golfers (Abang and Gravin). I was playing so well up to 8 holes in tough Royal GC, with only +3 over and had 4 points lead over my buddies. One double bogey at 9th hole and another bad swing at 10th, sealed my fate. I lost my swing, my mental, and my bragging right. I was Ketua Yayasan, until recently in November 2017, I returned that “prestigious” title to my dear friend Gravin 🙂
On the other gold buddies group “Golf Yuk”, we planned to have “4 majors” throughout the year. But we only managed to have 2. The first one in Rawamangun GC, which I won in April. And the last one in Gunung Geulis GC, which I played one of the worst rounds in year and had to forget my target to have clean sweep of the trophies.
But that’s golf. What comes around, goes around. And what keep all of buddies playing together is the sense of competitives, and sense of comraderie, which won’t be there if one guy overplay his buddies week in week out. So bragging right no more, but great friends on and off the course is what we won overtime.
4. The New Bag and Driver
While I made no investment of equipments last year, I made to purchases to golf arsenal. The first one is the long overdue change of golf bag. My Lexus golf bag had served me well for the past 4 years, so I decided to change mine. It’s a lightweight Exotic golf bag.
Whereas I also bought a new driver, the best-selling Callaway GBB Epic Star. Distance is not really my problem, but if I can add 10-15 meters of my drive, then it’s always a plus. But so far I haven’t been able to consistently use this beast to get longer-yet-in-fairway tee shots more often. Insya Allah in 2018, Aamiin!
5. Other Notable Points:
I had one round of overseas golf this year in Suwan Golf Club, Bangkok, while I visited the city for Coldplay concert. It was really nice trip, which make my mind set to have another target in 2018: to have 1 golf excursion trip with my buddies, preferably in overseas next year. So on that note, let’s hope for another great year of golf in 2018, lower handicap and more courses to play, in and outside the country! Aamiin.