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That Birdie Feeling

By: | Mon 01 Nov 2021 | Comments

Making a birdie is a beautiful thing for any golfer, representing that brief moment when we feel like a tour player, having successfully navigated a hole under par, courtesy of shots or a putt that would grace any major championship.

Celebrating the art and joy of making birdies, this season Golfshake launched its #BirdieClub in partnership with Odyssey Golf and Callaway Golf

Running throughout the summer to after the Ryder Cup, tens of thousands of golfers tracked their rounds on the Golfshake Score Tracker - recording 450,000 net birdies or better from over 100,000 rounds that were submitted during the qualifying period.

Several lucky participants were drawn to win prizes - a reward to them for following the Golfshake mantra of Play More & Play Better!

Golfshake Birdie Club

But reflecting on this year's #BirdieClub, it got us thinking about the magic of birdies and how memorable they can be.

Golfshake Member, Mark Lockyer, who was a #BirdieClub winner, reminisces about one of his highlights: "My birdie on the last of East Dorset Country Club. It was one of those eight irons which was over all the flag leaving me a four foot putt for birdie. Little did I know at the time but that was the winning shot in our society day giving me 36 points and winning by one!"

While another Golfshaker, Richard Russell said: "The most memorable birdies, and there have not been many, so they are all memorable, generally involve a slice of good fortune. I was recently playing at Wycombe Heights GC and hit a perfect drive into the middle of the fairway on a 360 yard par 4. I have a habit when forcing an approach shot to pull the irons. There were mature trees to the left of the green with one or two branches overhanging. The pin was front left about ten feet past the overhang from the tree branch. I have 130 to go, tried to hit a full nine iron and pulled it. It hit the tree, rolled along the top of the branch and dropped to 18 inches! Play the course as you find it came to mind, as did “lucky bugger."

Lucky, indeed, but there was pure skill in this birdie from Golfshake Ambassador Rob Treanor: "Birdies on par 3s are always memorable because it invariably means the tee shot had a chance as it sails towards the hole. On a trip to La Cala Spain, I recall a 220 yard par 3 which required everything I could muster just to make it to the green. Having hit a worldie, the ball was in the air for an eternity towards the hidden flag. When we got down there it was great to see the ball just six feet from the pin with a nice uphill putt for birdie. After holing out I remember saying "I love golf."

Birdies are always fun, but when you get them early in the day, it can set a positive tone for the round and boost your confidence.

That's what Golfshake's Darren Ramowski found this summer during an unforgettable golf trip to Scotland.

"For me, it is often daunting standing on the first tee due to lack of practice, lack of playing and my arrival at the golf course is usually rushed with little preparation. How I start is usually a good indication of how my round will go.

"This year I was lucky enough to play the exceptional Western Gailes on the Ayrshire coast along with several members of the Golfshake Team. Having watched the three other members of my party hit decent shots, pretty much straight down the fairway, I started my normal way with not knowing where my opening tee shot would go. Thankfully the opening hole is fairly short so a slightly pushed five iron saw me in light rough leaving a nice short iron approach. Surprisingly for me, I made the green and left myself with a 15-foot putt which to my astonishment I made. Walking off the first having made the only birdie was pleasing. However, this was followed up with a double bogey, but playing off 18 I was pleased with two further pars. Unfortunately, I then made the rookie mistake of adding up my card to discover I was 7 over on the front 9 which meant the wheels fell off!

"The last 18 months have been different for most of us but to have some memories to look back on from this trip to Scotland and an opening birdie is something I will remember for some time. For anyone interested that was the only birdie of the trip for me but will be long remembered!"

St Andrews

Finally, the ultimate birdie feeling goes to Golfshake Editor Kieran Clark who FINALLY managed to birdie a hole on the Old Course at St Andrews.

"It took years of trying and literally dozens of attempts, but my first birdie on the Old Course will forever be a highlight. Unfortunately, moving to St Andrews in 2016 coincided with worsening arthritis making golf increasingly challenging, but I always clung to the dream of making a birdie on the most legendary of venues. 

"I had parred all 18 holes of the Old individually, but going one step further has long been my pre-round ambition, rather than worrying about a score. Playing in a late afternoon in October in a crisp breeze, I surpassed all expectations and put together a decent round, including a six-hole stretch that I played in level par. However, the ultimate thrill among that was making birdie on the par 4 10th, named Bobby Jones.

"Playing into the wind, I hit a mediocre tee shot, leaving a lengthy approach towards the back of the massive double green. But I then produced a fine six-iron approach to within 15 feet of the flag, a putt which I holed for a rare moment of glory. FINALLY, I had crossed that line and made a birdie on the course that I love more than any other. Magical. I just hope that I won't have to wait years for the next one."

So, there you have some examples of that birdie feeling, which thousands of members of the Golfshake Community enjoyed this year.

Let's hope there's even more to come this winter and throughout the 2022 season!

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