First round in England

Today I rode my bike (yes with my clubs) to the nearest golf course in Oxford. The club is Southfield (http://www.southfieldgolf.com) and it's about a 20 minute bike ride from my flat. It was quite an adventure just getting there as the roads are tight and my bike is a little unstable. There were two classic moments: the first one was riding around a turn about with clubs on my back - I'm pretty sure the cars had no idea what to think. The other was riding up to the turn off road, which is called Hill Top. I learned the hard way why it's called Hill Top. I had to ride straight up hill for 8 blocks just to get the clubhouse. I think I'll take a cab or a bus next time. Now onto the course and my round. I played as a single. There was a twosome behind me that didn't want a single since they were playing a match and the twosome in front of me did not speak English and they rented the only cart I saw today. So it was me and the Oxford breeze. It was an excellent way to begin golf in England. Southfield is a splendid course. A lot of elevation changes and it was very difficult to save par if you missed the fairways. It was also tough to score when the wind picked up (but that was only for a few holes today). As for my round it started off quite nice with a few pars and one bogey through the first 5 holes. Hole 3 was a difficult hole. Driving straight downhill into a very narrow fairway, you are left with a straight up hill approach shot into a green you cannot see. Par here is a wonderful score. Hole 3 from the green:

I finished up the front nine with a double bogey on 9 for a 39. I was a disappointed in my score but very happy with the course. Now onto the back nine. I made a few great saves after some wary drives. No one would have believed the par putt I made on 12 - a 208 yard par 3. Only 30 feet or so but it dropped right in with perfect speed. But my legs and body started to get tired on the finishing holes. I bogeyed 15, 16 and 17. Each because of a mental error or something I should have stopped. But 18 I made up for it hitting the par 5 in two and just missing my eagle putt for a tap in birdie. 38 on the back for a 77. Not bad and I look forward to many more rounds at Southfield.

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