Yesterday was a unique experience at my home course of Roundel Glen. The back nine is temporarily closed, so I played two rounds on the front. It was a cold, windy day, but it was still fun to hit the links. Interestingly, I played two completely different rounds of golf in the space of 3 hours!
The first nine holes was a struggle. I shot a 43 with 2 doubles, 3 bogies and 4 pars. I had zero putts for birdie and every swing seemed out of sync. Granted, I did not warm up properly (or at all) and I was rushing from the car to the first tee because I was still in work mode. The only highlight of this round was that my friend Jean was there to share in my misery.
After the first nine, I considered stopping. However, in true “can’t get enough golf” fashion, we pressed on and played another 9 holes. As I walked to the first tee, again, I started my internal self-talk. If I change my thoughts, I can change my results! Additionally, I only needed one good shot and I was sure things would turn around.
The first hole on my course is a par 3, 150 yard beauty. Last year, this hole was a 210 yard, par 3 monster. However, due to construction, the hole was shortened. Playing into a strong left to right wind, I selected one club more than usual (7 iron), aimed 10 yards to the left of the green and swung with confidence. My ball landed on the left fringe and bounced on the green. This shot helped boost my confidence, but was not the shot that changed my round. It was the next shot.
After reading the uphill, left to right breaking putt, I took careful aim and made the 20 foot ‘fall in the side door’ putt! It was my first birdie of the year on my home course and I suddenly felt relieved and confident walking to the number 2 tee box!
As the round unfolded, I smoothly ended up with 7 putts for birdie! I was one under until the sixth hole and ended even after that. I finished strong and was not in any trouble for the entire 9 holes. My drives were in the fairway (except for the sixth hole), my approach shots were accurate, and my putting was good. Overall, this 9 holes was exactly what I was expecting after the birdie on the first hole.
For those doing the math, I shot a 79 – 43 / 36. This early in the season, I happily accept both results. However, the lesson from yesterday is to never panic, stay focused, and know that one good shot has the potential to change your entire game.
As I have stated in the past, I never worry about my score in May. It is unrealistic to think I am in mid-season form and as such, I curtail my expectations until I have had a chance to practice and play more. The 2015 season is well under way. I have 6 rounds completed and will be hitting the links tomorrow. I hope to better my round of 79, but if not, I will be grateful to be playing!
How is your 2015 golf season going?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!