Each year, my home course sponsors a Match Play event that lasts all season. This year, 32 men signed up to play head to head to determine who is the best. Because of work and, well life, each match is played over a week or two period until someone wins. Our event should be finished in about 10 weeks.
Today, was my first match and it did not go so well. It was a match against last years winner Apollo. He is a 15 handicap and I am 6. So I gave him a stroke on the nine toughest holes. This was a tall order, but I felt confident I could come through in the end.
Well after 9 holes, I was down 5! Apollo shot a 40 front nine and I shot a 42. He was playing below his handicap and I was playing above mine. So, it is not surprising that he had such a commanding lead. After pushing holes 10 and 11, I knew things were not looking good for The Grateful Golfer! Apollo closed my out on the 13th hole.
However, today was not lost. I ended up shooting a 39 on the back nine. I played better starting on the 8th hole, but I could not build up enough momentum to close Apollo’s 5-up lead Apollo.
It is not unusual for me to have different nines. And today was another day of some inconsistencies. I seem to be a slow starter lately, but I am playing pretty well. A couple of things that changed to make me play better today included:
- a better putting stroke. It appeared smoother and softer;
- closer chip shots from 40 yards out; and
- most importantly, I was in play off the tee!
The difference between the first 7 holes and last 11 was amazing. I guess I could come up with many excuses, but that would just cheapen Apollo’s win and make me look like a sore loser. So congratulations to Apollo for coming through in the clutch.
The highlight of my game was my playing partners. Ted and Serge, the other two players in our foursome, were fun to be around. Our loop around the links was light, full of laughter, and focused on fun. I really enjoyed it and hope we get a chance to play together in the future.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!