Breaking 70: Crieff

Play Your Best Challenge winner, John Boag, blogs on his mission to break 70

John Boag

So, onto round two at Crieff (opens in new tab) on April 7. Teed off at 10am and it was cold and damp but otherwise the weather was good with no wind, always a bonus. The 1st is a par 3 at 160 yards to the back straight uphill. I did notice at the range that I was hitting the Ping i20s a club further so out came the 6-iron. I hit a high draw right through the back of the green and left a tricky downhill putt over a mound, knocked it to eight feet and two-putted for a bogey. It wasn't a great start but I was feeling quietly confident for a change.

Onto the 2nd and it was the first chance to hit the driver after the range work. I hit it straight down the middle but a little high. Left an 8-iron to the green which I pushed a little right, chipped on and two putts for bogey. It was a similar story at the 3rd.

So three straight bogeys, not the start I was looking for but I did not let my head drop and used techniques learnt from Gary to refocus. I made good pars at 4, 5 and 6 before a dropped shot at 7 caused by a poor putt. Surprisingly I was booming the driver either straight down the middle or with a slight draw and had hit every fairway in regulation.

After another good drive on the 8th I was on in two before three-putting as I chased the birdie and ran it five feet past before missing the one back. The drive at par-5 9th was the best of the day, right over the marker post to 275 yards according to my SkyCaddie (opens in new tab). Laid up with a great 5-wood,chipped on and single putt for the first birdie of the day.

Par at 10 was followed by a tap in par at 11, but again dropped a shot at 12. The 13th hole is a 176-yard par-3 uphill. Hit a good 4-iron but it headed left again and was blocked out by a tree, all of which led to a 'good' bogey after a decent flop shot.

After trying to get greedy with the driver on 14 I ran up an eight, which I followed with a double on 16. Despite a birdie on 17 it all added up to an 81. I was very disappointed with my putting and some silly shot choices that cost me at least six shots but I'm feeling good about my game and find I a hitting the ball much better with the interlocking grip. Stats read 12 from 14 fairways and 10 from 18 greens.

Follow John's progress on Twitter @toady67

The leading website from the world’s oldest golf magazine, we’re the go-to destination for amateur and keen golfers alike who are keen to up their golfing game. As well as expert course reviews, news and tips to improve your handicap our golf-focused travel content will help you pair teeing off with your travels in some of the best destinations around the globe.