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My favourite hole - 18th ("Home")

We're having a competition for members' to write a few paragraphs describing how they like to play their favourite (or least favourite) hole on the course.

18 lucky winners will have their description published on our website and will each win a sleeve of balls.

We're only looking for 6 or 7 lines - where do you try to hit your tee shot, what do you try to avoid, what approach shot do you like to hit, whats going through your mind ?

To kick things off, here is William Paterson's homage to hole 18 - your effort can be much shorter.....

Hole 18 - Home

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Stroke Index : 9

Par : 4

Distance : 368yds (white), 328yds (yellow), 324yds (red)

So, have just managed to negotiate the tough 17th without ruining the medal scorecard. Just the 18th to play I briefly think to myself. ‘Home’…..and dry, I’m home and dry. But wait, wee moment of sense kicks in and I regain my composure – can’t be getting ahead of myself here. It may only be 368 yards from the elevated medal tee, and it’s virtually all downhill, but a wee bit of complacency could make my medal card go downhill very quickly. There is still plenty of danger lurking.

The first of which is the steep walk up to the medal tee. Turn left off the back of the 17th green, and avoid looking up. Keep the head down, and focus. Focus!! Thankfully, don’t have the honour and therefore have an extra wee minute to get your breath back. Or is it better to have the honour and get the tee shot out of the way quickly? As Lee Trevino says, if you are going to miss it, miss it quickly. Oh no, bit of indecision creeping in here. It’s ready golf these days you know, time to seize the initiative. Carpe Diem, Carpe Diem – seize the day!

However, take a wee second – look at the views, look at those views. It’s spectacular from up here. Get the head back in the game – not here to admire the scenery. Well, we are, but there’s plenty of time to do that when we’re having an awful round, and there will be plenty of them in a season – not now, not now when I’ve got a score (and a handicap cut) going here.

Decisions, decisions!! Or should that be Indecision, Indecision? What line should I take with my tee shot? Have I been hitting it well, and can go for a big drive over the trees on the left protecting the 2nd tee and hit down on to the first fairway? What if I don’t make a solid connection? No, play safe – go for the straight drive between to 2 copses of trees on the mounds and on to the 18th fairway. That’s the way the hole is meant to be played pal! If it’s good enough to have the 18th fairway, it’s good enough for me. Even if I hit one of my trademark slices I’ll be okay as long as I get it far enough, and beyond the treeline before it starts to veer right. Big advantage if that comes off – takes those pesky wee bunkers short and left out of play. Where’s the pin? Why on earth did I not check that when playing the first today. Still, as long as I can hit, and more importantly stay on the green which, as we all know, slopes sharply from the front to the back. That’s the advantage of being back a bit and on the high ground of the fairway – better chance of stopping it. These bigger hitters that whack their tee shots too far and end on the downslope with no chance of stopping the ball on that up-turned and angled saucer of a green. See them, see them - all brawn, and no brains that lot. Still, do wish I was one of those – even a wee extra 10 yards off the tee would do at times.

The risk takers though – those that had the brawn and the bottle to successfully send their tee shot over the trees on the left and down the 1st. They may well have also taken the bunkers out of play, and they are hitting across the slope with less chance of running through the back. Oh, if I only I had the brawn and/or the bottle and a modicum of skill. Still they’ve got a chance of leaving themselves with a long cross-slope putt to finish….or should that be 3-putt to finish. I mean, the nerves are here – chance of a cut after all. Don’t want to leave yourself a tricky cross-slope putt which means you need to get both the pace and the line right. I mean, both….at the one time….whilst scoring….impossible! Will I settle for a 5? – probably, but then I’ll just rue the chance of not parring the final hole and getting that wee bit more of a cut.

From the high ground – just land it on the front edge (with plenty of height mind you) and let it trickle it’s way past the flag. Wee straight up the hill 6 footer for birdie. A birdie!!! What will that do for my card. Breathe, just breathe – nice and smooth – listen for it falling in the cup, rather than looking up – for pete’s sake man just put a good stroke on it. That’s all you can ask for. Don’t leave it short….but don’t race it by, could end up 3 putting from above if you go at it.

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