Monthly Archives: April 2017

Scottish Boys 2nd Round

So, we all managed to have a welcomed lie in this morning & after some bacon rolls for breakfast, I managed to get along to see one of my friends Barry to say hello at the golf shop, always nice to get the rounds in before heading back to the Netherlands. My brother popped down with Leslie & the kids to say hi, it’s good to see how his kids, Caeden & Isla, have grown since I last seen them. 

We went out to warm up at the “patch” (practice ground) at Carnoustie where the turf is similar to Monifieth…..Today the wind was still there, but not as much as the previous day’s.

So, the plan for Rick today is to go out, stick to his routine & commit to his shot choice. No indecision, no backing off…. no no no!!! Just do it……

Ready to go……

Routine good, over the ball good… bang… good solid opening tee shot, routine good, over the ball good… bang… good solid approach to the middle of the green & 2 solid putts…. this was the story for the first 6 holes, with the exception of 5, where Rick found the greenside bunker, there he played a lovely bunker shot to save his par & on 6 his pitch just kept running & running over the green where he dropped his first shot of the day…. still, no man overboard or so we thought. 

“A learning moment” A pushed tee shot on the 7th into the semi, but between hitting his drive & his 2nd shot, is where the group got their first official slow play warning of the day…this unsettled Rick and cut his 2nd shot right & lost his ball in the sea grass…. now you could say they could’ve avoided this by playing quicker (they were almost 2 1/2 holes behind the group in front). He wasn’t alone by playing slow… his playing partners were also not the quickest, but they handled it better. Rick is in not a slow player, in fact he’s pretty quick… , but the organization of his bag, him being nervous getting to his ball & “arsing” around, then the indecision adds up and them losing the place in the course with other groups, this is what we need to work on. His 4th shot was in the bunker, on the long, into the wind 7th where he splashed out but proceeded to 3 putt for an 8…..arggghh. 

Yesterday he birdied the hole, where you could say he gained two shots on the field & today he gave 3 back… Typical links, you get something with on the one hand & you give it back with the other. A par at 8 & a deflated 2nd shot way right on 9 led to another bogey, which led to an outward 9 of 42 blows. (Photo was his 3rd shot on 9)

Fairway, green, 2 putts on the 10th for a par, then back into the wind for the short 11th, where he doubled yesterday. A par here would get back 2 shots from yesterday, but unfortunately Rick missed the green to the right similar to yesterday, to make another bogey… 

Here I bumped into two old guys I have known for a long time Scott Knowles is now involved in the Scottish team’s & former British Amateur Champion Stuart Wilson, who both played at every level of international amateur golf, who both are working at The Royal & Ancient for the GB&I teams. They are out watching Jamie Stewart, who is one of Britain’s best players & is in the same group as Rick. Rick’s worst tee shot in 2 days, into the heather left of 13, where he hacked out for another bogey & a 3 putt bogey on the par 3 14th. Good tee & approach shots on 15 &  16, where he 2 putted both for solid par’s. Jamie Stewart, Rick’s playing partner is now leading the tournament & is 5 under for the day standing on the 17th.

After a good tee shot he pulled his 2nd shot left onto the 18th tee (Rick needed a ruling from a refereee on the other side of the green in Jamie’s line of view, where both referee and Rick were moving around & Jamie stepped out several times, they both could’ve handled it better). Jamie made a mess of it for a double, to drop back for a tie for the lead. 

Rick chipped after his free drop from the road  & 2 putted for another bogey. The last 1 1/2 hours the wind has got up & has got very cold…. Rick’s approach to the par 5 last found the right greenside bunker and a reasonable bunker holed a great putt for a 81 & a score of 17 over & the cut being on 11 over….. frustrating “yes”, can he do better “yes”, will he do better “absolutely”. 

It’s good for him to see the level of other players again from other countries…. he played with Jamie Stewart, who is leading the tournament & one of Britain’s leading under 18 players, Rick doesn’t hit it any worse than him, Rick probably hits it a little further than him….. more & more it’s going down the road of the correct shot choice, organization with his bag & preparation, short game & more mental game….. next up are several tournament’s in Holland, then over to play the Scottish & English under 16’s & English Boys in July. 

He’s progressing nicely & is learning from his experiences…..


Scottish Boys 1st Round 

Rick had a start time at 9:40 today, so it was an early start & to make things easier for my mum, we decided to have breakfast at the Monifieth GC, who are the hosting club this week… a couple of bacon & scrambled egg rolls & we jumped back in the car to go to the practice ground so Rick could warm up. 

It’s again windy today, not as much as yesterday & not straight down wind, but more left to right & helping on the first 6 holes, blowing everything towards the out of bounds. 

It’s a day for fairways & greens & making as many pars as you can & avoiding doubles or worse, time to go…. he’s nervous going to the first tee, but he hits a solid iron & finds the green with his 2nd, 2 putts later it’s a solid opening par 4. Unfortunately he hits his tee shot straight right o.b on the 2nd…..He’s nervous & like the tournament in December in America he’s indecisive over the shot & not following his routine. Sometimes you feel he needs a kick up the backside to get him going…… he misses the green just left about 12-13 yards from the hole….which he holes ….bonus!!!! Hopefully this will settle him down…. nope…. not really, after a par at the 3rd he then 3 putts both the 4th & the 5th for bogey…..

A slow play warning from the referee on the 6th tee seems to do the trick…. look at his yardage book, decide where to hit it, couple of practice swings then bang hit it…hits a nice tee shot on 6 and plays a wonderful approach to about 6ft…birdie. 

The 7th is a long par 4 back into the wind, good drive and a lovely long to about 20ft… bang!!! Birdie. The short par 4 8th, Rick hits a nice tee shot into the greenside bunker & up & downs it for birdie… 3 on the spin & back to level par. The par 5 9th back into the wind is a brute….

Rick found the fairway bunker off the tee… it’s gonna be a good bogey from here, after splashing out the bunker then a fairway wood he finds the green with his 4th & 2 putts later he can put a bogey on the card. All in all it’s a solid front 9 in 1 over par. 

Now, the back 9 is gonna be a different animal…. with 6 holes  into the wind. After par-ing the 10th he pushed his tee shot way right of the green on the par 3….. with no way of stopping it over the bunker, there was little option but to chip between the bunkers & try to make a bogey…. a nice chip, but a very careless first putt he doubled after missing his short putt. 

Two good pars on 12 & 13 he moved onto the par 3 14th, a short hole with the freshening wind coming off the right, gorse & whinn bushes right off the green, it was no disaster missing the green but another careless approach led to another bogey on the card. 

Ok…..  he’s now 5 over with 4 to go, not to bad if he get to the house with a 76 in this wind….. Rick crushes his drive on 15 splitting the fairway to leave a short pitch to the green….

A low chip & run along the ground our young shot maker from Holland is adapting to Scottish links golf very well, his birdie putt has a quick look at the hole, but slips by leaving a tap in par. 

A good drive on 16, he pushes his 2nd short right of the green and has  a bunker between him and the flag…. now if any of you know links golf playing of hard tight ground, chipping can give you the hebee jeebies especially if you got to go over a bunker, the saving grace is that it’s into the wind….. after stepping out being indecisive a couple of times he duffed it into the bunker & made double pfffff. 17 a long par 4 bang into the wind he couldn’t reach the green in 2 but had a reasonable chance to get it up & down, another indecision over his straight forward bump & run that ran carelessly passed the hole for another bogey. 

A great drive and a lucky 2nd shot that could of easily ran into the bunker if it was a yard or so further right….. but hey you got to run with the breaks, he had 56 yards over and choose to play a shot that could get him in the one a clock gang (the old golfers in the Carnoustie GC ) any day….. it wasn’t my or Herman’s club choice but who are we anyway. ​​

​He tapped in his birdie for a 78 & all in all it wasn’t to bad an opening round that keeps him in the tournament. Into the Monifieth GC for a drink & it was down to the Carnoustie GC for a 

My mum had a chicken curry for dinner and it was off out to the patch (practice ground) at Carnoustie for some fine tuning. 

The wind had been up all day & by plays end Rick is lying t39 bang on the cut. Best score of the day was a very impressive 2 under 69 from a guy from Iceland 👏🏻👏🏻well played young man. Tomorrow’s tee time is a late one…. 2pm, so a bit of a lie in it’ll be then. 


Scottish Boys with Rick Hessing at Monifieth Golf Club

This week, I’m off back home with Rick & Herman Hessing. 

We travelled down from the East of Holland this morning on the train to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam….. easy, relaxed & no hassle from traffic jams & parking after last nights Bruno Mars concert in Cologne (only a few hours sleep…😴😴)

After a short flight into Edinburgh, Herman picked up the hire car from the rental company & we headed up the road to Monifieth. 

Monifieth is a town next to where I grew up & where you’ll find the best course in the world Carnoustie 😉….. We are staying with my parents in Carnoustie, who I’ve not seen since September, so it’s mum’s cooking for a week….. Always when I go back home, like most others of the British pro’s in Holland, we have a bucket list that has to be done whilst we’re back on home soil. 

Mine is is a goooood pint of Guinness, a bag of salt & vinegar crisps, fish & chips from the local chipper, a bottle of irn bru & maybe grab an Indian from the Gulistan….. but not all at the same time. 😜 A busy week, then before heading back to Holland a happy camper……

So, after a 90 minute drive we arrived at Monifieth & Rick went off to register & get changed before his practice round… time for Herman & I for a quick pint of Guinness. 

Rick got changed & I had a blether with the pro’s Gordon McLeod & Lee Sutherland, who I’ve not seen in years, the guys sent out a yardage chart to Rick so he can get a heads up before he comes over what was nice of the guys to do. Cheers guys!!

Since we came off the plane the weather was cold & very windy, I had called my dad the day before to ask what the weather was like….”lovely weather, it’s boiling” he said. So, it was in the bag with the waterproofs & woolly hat. 😉

Monifieth, is a links course, it’s used for Open Qualifying when The Open is at Carnoustie & of course, it’s used for many Scottish National events, I played here in the same event in 1990, where I finished 3rd in the same tournament as is getting played this week. The first 6 holes are all in the same direction & it’s playing down wind today & it’s very strong. So strong, that the first hole at 338 yards, Rick almost knocked it on the green. The first 6 holes with the wind in your back may be beneficial from the tee,  but it was very, very difficult to get the ball close from the short chip/pitch to the green. Hole 7 was straight back into the teeth of the wind and where Rick was hitting a 3 wood 300+ yards, here he hit a cracker only 210-220, the 9th was also a brute.

Where 9 was straight into the wind, the 10th was straight downwind & Rick hit his 3 iron 290 onto the middle of the green. After a couple more holes, he was getting tired and a few erratic shots, he decided to walk the rest of the course from the 13th. 

Rick likes the old stories about the older Scottish players  from yesteryear from around these parts & there can be no better than the famous Ian Hutcheon…… a legend absolute legend. 

We finished at 8 o’clock and it’s been a long day,  so it’s back to ma & pa’s for some dinner & a whisky or two with my dad after Rick is tucked up early in bed. 

Up early tomorrow for the first round…. Rick has a tee time at 9:40 with two Scottish……

It’s a big field, with almost 200 players trying to make the cut with only 40 players going thru to Friday….. he’s building his experience & is doing his ground work by playing & putting himself in difficult situations. Links golf is something he doesn’t play every week & playing in that wind is not that easy for anybody. If the wind stays up & he keeps it between 75-79 for 2 rounds he’ll of done well, but let’s see after the first round what the scores are like……to make the cut is surely the first goal.