MIRACLE on the 17th – A Short COVID Golf Story

18 months ago was the last time I played Golf with my Dad and after this game, it could be 18 months until we play again!

Fortunately, we managed to play just before the most recent lockdown, Lockdown3 that started in early January. Teeing off at 8am, playing the back 9 of the tree-lined, Leighton Buzzard Golf Club. On a chilly and fresh morning, the mix of woodland and parkland ground soft from the recent rain that has soaked through the course over the previous 2 weeks of downpour.

My Dad announces on the 10th tee that we shall be playing matchplay, closely followed by, “and you will be giving me 3 shots.” “Well hang on, I haven’t played since June and that’s my only game last year” I protested. Dad was quick to remind me that my previous handicap before surrendering membership in 2017 was 3, alas he got his way.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that I find myself 2 down to the old boy as we stand on the 17th tee. Although, I wasn’t really bothered, it was great to be out spending the time and talk with my Dad this Christmas. Having not seen any of my family due to the COVID lockdown this was a fortunate safe and legal way to see him and do something we both enjoy.

Emotions aside, this is where our game takes an unexpected turn. The 17th at Leighton Buzzard is 260 yards Par 4, but is tight. You must use an 8 iron of the tee and then wedge on. There is the option to go for the green, which being 2 down I elect. The problem is that anything left will be lost and anything right, drops down a bank which is around a 20ft drop, there is no margin for error.

Looking down the hole shoes how narrow the 17th at Leighton Buzzard GC is

Dad finds the fairway with his little iron and I pull out the hybrid. Unfortunately, I push it ever so slightly, and the ball rolls halfway down the right-hand bank, green high.

The relentless old boy hits a full wedge which lands 3 feet right of the hole and spins due to the delightful little draw he’s manufactured and ends 1 foot away. Instead of “shaking hands/ accepting defeat from 2 meters” I tell him that I will play my ball. He laughs, picks up his gimmie birdie and stands on the edge of the green, peering down towards me, halfway down the bank.

I have a little jump up to check where the hole is because you cannot see the flag from down there and I pull out the 58 degree. A big swing and a flop and the ball goes up and I notice, it looks pretty good, certainly in line with the flag. CRACK! I hear the ball strike the flag! “YOU ARE JOKING” I hear the old boy shout, and as I look at him on the edge of the green, his hands have flown to behind his head. The flop has bounced perfectly into the hole, and we have an eagle. The match continues.

I will save the details of 18, but the old boy is now rattled and is on the green putting for bogey. That won’t be enough old boy, and we have a surprising yet honourable half.

The match didn’t really matter, we had a lovely time together, it was fantastic to catch up with him and order a sausage roll from the half-way hut again. A throwback, a blessing and a great golfing story to come out the back of it

Matt Tizzard

@MattTizzard

Founder: WAGGLE DUFF

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5 Tips when picking your FANTASY GOLF TEAM!

5 tips to picking a winning fantasy golf team.

Picking a WAGGLE DUFF team or any Fantasy sports team can be tricky, there will be some events where all the big guns aren’t playing or a top player maybe out of form.

What do you do? Follow these 5 quick tips, and you will consistently be pushing towards the top of the Fantasy Golf Leaderboard.

1. Previous Winners

Some players just love particular courses and have a good record to follow; Wikipedia is always a good place to start with seeking previous winners. They have most European and PGA Tour events as a page. Within that page is a list of recent winners and runners up. For example, our first event is the Sony OPEN -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Open_in_Hawaii

2. Current Form

A lot of the Tour players fall in and out of form a number of times across a golfing season, catching ab Aaron Rai during his 3-week blitz or Jordan Spieth when he finally returns to the top of a leaderboard is an essential knack to master. Fortunately, spotting good form is easier than licking your finger and placing it up in the air. I recommend you check out the guys at Golf Betting System (https://www.golfbettingsystem.co.uk/sentry-form-stats-2021/).

They offer more data than you could shake a stick/ club at. Like WAGGLE DUFF they run a podcast, which is also worth a listen. It boasts a great deal of in-depth analysis before a Tour event that Steve, Barry & Paul give, they also clarify with the listeners their reasons and statistical rationale.

3. Similar Courses

Ok, a little more complex this one, but worth knowing. Some players are particularly good on certain courses, like a Links or a Parkland course. Other players just suit certain courses or conditions.  I wrote an article last month, outlining 10 players to look out for in 2021 on the European Tour.

I discussed Adrian Otaegui, a player that can shoot the 63, 62, 61 gross. He is one of the players on tour who can go real low when he is on song. Therefore, he will suit a Links on a still, summer day or a Portugal Masters type competition where the scoring is traditionally low.

Identifying players that suit certain types of courses is a powerful tool in the arsenal of fantasy picking. However, this is harder information to come by, listen out to @golfbets101 on the Waggle Duff Podcast or follow his blog on the website, as he explains how he uses this data, and where he obtains it.

4. Make use of the Tipsters

Which leads us on nicely to No. 4. There are people out there, that study the 3 factors listed above (plus hundreds more!). Many of these guys will post tips on social media or have a blog you can follow, it’s worth keeping track and seeing if your onto a winning tipster.

WAGGLE DUFF fortunately works with PGA Tour tipster Mark Diana, whom you can use for insights into the betting market and to build your WAGGLE DUFF team. Find out more on the link  -> (https://waggleduff.com/betting-tipping/)

5. Check out WAGGLE DUFF’s recent teams!

We run a community of Golf watchers, players and twitterers! Each week you can see the winning teams and who picked which player. Make notes of who is performing well and if they have any common themes or certain picks that rack up the points. Don’t hesitate to jump on their bandwagon! However, remember that 2 of your picks must be outside 50/1 on SKYBET!

By following these 5 tips, you could be a Fantasy Golf winner, the new season starts next week! Best of luck and enjoy the golfing year!

Matt Tizzard

OWNER/FOUNDER

WAGGLE DUFF

@MattTizzard