Would you break 90 at Q School?November 13, 2017 The Scoop
European Tour Qualifying School begins this week. In Alternate Shot, Steve Carroll and Mark Townsend argue about how they would get on
European Tour Q School takes place over Lumine’s Lakes and Hills courses this week. But how do two of our writers think they would get on in the intense end-of-season slog? We asked them if they could break 90…
Yes, says Steve Carroll
Could I break 90 on Lumine’s Lakes course? Well, here’s the thing. I already have.
Now a couple of factors were definitely in my favour when I managed this feat in September last year.
A near monsoon had softened up the greens to the point where it was drop and stick and my partner on the day was Lumine head golf professional Andy Gordon. A better guide you won’t find.
Lumine, at its core, is a golf resort and the Lakes is a great example of what that entails. So, yes, if you get into deep trouble expect to be punished.
Some of the fairways, though, are on the wide side and there are a few inviting targets where you can open your shoulders.
You will pick up bogeys – and doubles are definitely a possibility – but there’s also plenty of opportunity to fashion par or better. You can recover. It makes for an exciting round.
While I’ve got many foibles on the golf course, hitting the ball over water is not one of them.
The Lakes course lives up to its name in mighty fashion. Seven holes on the front nine and six on the back all have large amounts of liquid as a central feature.
If you relish that challenge – as I do – then what’s the problem? With a par of 71, I’ve got 18 shots to play with.
If I can go round Royal Troon in 35 stableford points, surely I can replicate that anywhere?
Clearly, under the pressures of Q School and with a livelihood on the line, how I’d react is open to conjecture.
All right, I’d panic. But I’d still fancy my chances of posting something in the late 80s.
No, says Mark Townsend
I’m on my way to Q School as I write. Even the thought of watching golf terrifies me slightly, the thought of playing it always puts me on edge. Put me in among 155 brave hombres who are all trying to sort out their plans for 2018 and I would be finished.
There are two courses at Lumine, a par 71 and a 72, so if we were to bogey every hole on the 71 that would get the job done. I play off 8 so losing 10 shots to the course should be doable?
Except I know myself. The simple facts are that I haven’t played a medal for move three years due to small children that keep arriving in my house. The other bankers are that it takes me half a dozen medals to get the hang of them again, by which time we are into September and I’ve made a mess of another season.
And the real racing certainty is that I can’t chip under pressure. I can barely chip without any undue burden but with the prospect of playing alongside the likes of Rosey and Rors I would be toast.
I’ve not played Lumine but you would imagine any greenside rough will be the gnarly type where the half-hidden ball either stays where it is or screams through the green, probably into water.
There’s a double right there and this might happen six times.
‘Just play it like a bunker shot,’ they say. I’m rubbish from sand too.
Pop me down for a 94 and I’ll grab your hand off.