Ben Nash Season Update

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THE BERKSHIRE BLUE COURSE On the 9th of September I made my way up to the heart of surrey golfing estate. The Berkshire is home to two golf courses and I played the blue. The blue course starts with a long par three over heather. The weather was bright with a slight breeze but forecasters said that the weather was going to take a turn for the worse later on in the day. I got off to a good start with a par, birdie, birdie. Unfortunately I dropped one shot but made it back by the turn. I was -2 at the half way stage and I was playing well. It got a little cold around the turn, dropping one at the long par 3 10th hole which put me back to -1.That’s when the heavens opened! I managed to cling on for 5 holes up to the 15th, but had two very tame bogeys down 16 and 17th. I pared the 18th hole to shot a 73 an came 13th. Soaking wet and cold I got back in my car and drove home after a great day of golf! SCOTLAND This year I was lucky enough to get an invite to the Tomartin Malt Whiskey pro-am in Scotland, so on Sunday 29th of September I headed to Inverness. It was a pro-am format but the pro would have to keep his card for the three rounds that he played. The event offered a healthy prize fund of £6,500 for three days work! The format of the event was to play around three of the very best golf courses in Inverness. The Castle Stuart Golf Club just outside Inverness held the Scottish Open which Phil Mickelson won before he departed to the British Open Championship, so this place was very special! The views were also amazing. A nice practice round around Castle Stuart set me up for the 3 days in hand. The first day took us around Nairn which is rated the ninth best golf course in Scotlan. I was teeing off at 9.50am, a windy morning along the North Sea but I managed to be +1 through 9 holes having not holed a single birdie put. This continued throughout the back nine but unfortunately I slipped up on the hardest hole on the golf course, with no birdies I managed to get it around in +3. Not a bad start to my week of tough Scottish golf! Day 2 took place at Royal Dornoch Golf Club, which is situated about an hour north of Inverness. The golf course was rated last year as the 15th best golf course in the world. Another blustery morning followed and I had a battle on my hands. I managed to shoot 79, I was very happy to break 80! I didn't realise until the next day that the average score for the pros on that day was 78.5 so it was playing very very tough! Tom Watson said "there is no tougher shot in golf than the 2nd shot on the 2nd hole at Royal Dornoch." The funny thing is that the 2nd hole at Dornoch is only a 175 yard par 3, but if you miss the green you have 'the toughest shot in golf'. Above is a view from the highest part of the golf course, the ninth tee. On day 3 my final round around Castle Stuart gave me some work to do. In the practice round I found it very tough. I started well being -1 through 6 holes and dropped a shot at the 7th. I got around 9 in level par. I felt good and comfortable on the golf course and it showed in the next 4 holes being -3 under for them which lead me to the 15th which I made a good few pars and then finished with a birdie. I had a nice afternoon and finished -4 (68),which helped me climb up the leader board. I managed to win the day at Castle Stuart, which I was really happy with and I finished 27th overall. Overall I really enjoyed my week in Scotland. NORTH HANTS Last week I was at North Hants Golf Club, home to the U.S open champion Justin Rose. This was a different kind of professional golf even - a better ball competition and a bit of fun at the end of the season but still money up for grabs. I played with Lee James who has won 11 mini tour events this year so a good match up for me. We started well, through 9 holes we were -3 but we needed a good back nine. A birdie at the 12th saw us get to -4. From that hole we holed no more birdie putts which was a shame. With -4, we ended up 10th, which was a bit disappointing after getting going, but -10 won! A great bit of fun. WHAT'S NEXT Next week is the Tour Championships at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club near Watford. There has been some positives over the last few weeks and I have managed to get the putter working after lots of practice last month. I feel that I'm playing well and I’hopefully have a good end to the season.

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