I finished the first round of the Wing Playdowns yesterday. This golf tournament is a three-day event to select a 5 man – 2 woman team to represent 8 Wing Trenton at the Ontario Golf Regional competition in July. Due to inclement weather, the second and third round will be played next Wednesday and Thursday. After two days of heavy rain , about 100 mm, the course played tough, long and unforgiving. We played from the tips (blues) and between the hot sun, sprinkles, puddles, ground under repair and casual water everywhere, all the players had to be on their game to score well. I am grateful for my two playing partners; they were very pleasant which really reduced any stress that might have mounted as the round progressed.
Shooting an 81 was a great score. Given the conditions, I felt very good about my result; let me explain. The very first shot was into a 200 yard par three. Using a 3 hybrid, I struck a smooth shot that tracked straight for the pin. As the ball landed 2 yards short of the green, it kicked straight right and finished 4 yards from the green, but still on the fringe. I could not believe it! When I arrived at the green, I noticed my ball hit the side of a sprinkler head! And so the games began.
I was short on most chips. For some reason I could not adjust to the wet conditions and could not hit the ball hard enough on my approach shots. Uncharacteristically, I only chipped the ball within 10 feet once all day. No matter where I was located, I could not seem to adjust. Having said that, my putting was very good. I made at least 5 putts from between 10-15 feet. Most of those were in the side door!
I am not a long hitter, so I do rely on the extra 10-20 yard roll from my woods and long irons. Well, during this round there was no roll! Therefore, I was hitting many long irons on my second shot. Everyone knows that hitting long irons into the green is not conducive to scoring low! As a result, I walked off with an 81.
Our round took about 4.5 hours. It was a bit slow considering we were a threesome, but we spent quite a bit of time looking for balls in the long rough. Our course has decided to let some of the grass grow along the course. Normally, this grass is not really in play, but yesterday it was. In some cases the grass is up to your knees and if you find your ball, it was likely you would call an unplayable lie. This change in routine definitely impacted how we played. Focus and concentration was definitely tested!
Some of the things that was very helpful during my round that helped me grind out a good score was:
- pre-shot routine – this allowed me to stay focused on the shot at hand regardless of other results;
- mental concentration – I worked both physically and mentally during the round. I found that the use visualization and positive mental focus prior to my round really helped; and
- being grateful – stuff happens on the course. Good breaks and bad breaks, regardless I was grateful for the opportunity to play golf and hopefully represent my Wing at the next level. This positive attitude kept the negative thoughts from creeping in and really affecting my score.
For those players who understand that you can score well and play poorly; score poorly and play well; and really work on the course keep your score down, yesterday was the latter. I felt that I really worked at playing golf yesterday. My score is a bit higher than normal (about 4-5 strokes) but I am very happy with the result. I am encouraged and excited for the next Wednesday!
Currently, I am tied for 3rd place with two other players. Our moving day will be Wednesday and my strategy is to play my game and shoot my handicap. If I do that, I will be well situated to move on to the next leg of the competition.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!