In this increasingly technological age, in which Trackman is more or less the thinking or imaginative (wo) man who rules golf at the highest level, the play on the coast remains an art form that will never really control any amount of science. Do you want proof of this immutable fact? I'll give you the third round of the ISPS Handa Vic Open on 13th Beach.
On a day when golf provided a bit of everything, it did the same thing again. And so it happened in turn on the Beach Course. That was actually no surprise. The indication is in the title.
The temperature went from cold to warm and back again. The wind blew in unpredictable gusts of wind that sometimes made the decision making a lottery. While sharp, squally showers made things, at least in short, everything but unbearable, the Aussie summer became a Scottish autumn. Wave of numbers turned into wave by numbness.
Ah, but here's the thing. Because of all of the above, the course remained playable. But only for those with the nous to set aside their yardage books, their preconceived ideas and, invariably, their towering ball flights. This was left wave at its best, a game for artists, for virtuosos, for composers of beautiful, & # 39; classical & # 39; recordings made by imagination and flair, never by mere calculation.
So it was that, in the midst of an inevitable massacre – scores in the high 70s and low 80s – there was a chance that the really skilled people could separate themselves from the peloton. Although some previous and undoubted practical experience in the prevailing circumstances was clearly also an advantage. Being born British or Irish, for example. Dubliner Paul Dunne – who as an amateur led the 2015 Open in St. Andrews with a round to play – is right. And the Englishman Callum Shinkwin, who two years ago the Scottish Open in similar circumstances at Dundonald could and should have won, there is another who fully exploits his upbringing.
On the other hand, memories can sometimes be too short.
"It felt a bit like amateur days," said Dunne, whose 70 brought him to 11 – below par. "Playing in that strong wind and without spectators, it was really an amateur event, but I have to admit that I've forgotten how to play such a kind of golf." There were many & # 39; mysterious & # 39; where I was 20 meters long or short, so I lost a bit of my feeling, but it's all about grinding and pitting, that's what I did, that's the real key. "
Perhaps unsurprisingly, that no less than five Scots half and half went through, Kylie Henry & # 39; s 69 was one of the few sub-70 scores.
"It was very heavy out there," says Scot, David Drysdale, who is ten-under-par after 71. "It was headwind after cross-wind, and the (104m) 7th hole? I just did not know what to do there. Everyone in my group ended up on the left side of the green, the three did that for us, that kind of wind is so difficult when you have a cage in your hands.
"Despite that, the score is still reasonable." As fast as the wind is, the course is still playable. "But it is so difficult to get so far away from your ultimate target I like to draw the ball and in a right-wing wind I see the shot as & # 39; hold on & # 39; against the breeze, not today, I could the ball does not pull enough and worlds, I just threw them out of the window. "
So it was not all sailing for the Caledonian hordes. The European captain of Solheim Cup Catriona Matthew, born in North Berwick on the always windy coast of East Lothian, struggled with a 75 and missed the last round.
"The hardest thing for me was to hit the ball against the wind," she admitted. "I pulled them too often too often, and putting is always so heavy in that wind, you never know for sure how much the ball will be affected.
"The big key stays positive at times when the round feels like it is slipping away, it helps to remember that if you find it difficult, many others are likely to do the same, so you have to take your bird chances to what they are experiencing, you know you are wrong. But it's just hard, but today I made a bad bogey on the first, dropped another one on the second, and came to the third tee where a par would come from. "
Another part of golfing on the left is to break a number of rules that apply to regular play. Long par-4 in the teeth of the wind that you might not be able to reach in two? Try to drive semi-rough so that you make a "jump" in your approach. Expand your attitude by ensuring better stability. Take more slap and blow shots gently to keep them in the wind. As the old cliché says: "wave with ease in the breeze".
And of course put some putts. Some things never change. It does not matter how windy it gets.