I played my first match play last week and things did not go as I had hoped. It was a great match and my competitor Rich was fun to get to know. We met up on Monday morning and the course was wet, but the weather was perfect for playing golf. As we walked down to the first tee, we discussed handicaps and as a result; I had to give him 11 strokes.
I am playing to a 5 and Rich is playing to a 16. I needed to play my best in order to walk away with a win. After our first drives, I knew I was going to play a tough match. Rich was not long, but he was very straight. He was never in trouble and his short game was excellent. The real challenge for me was giving up 11 strokes.
Rich’s short game was very good and his putter was hot. He was never in trouble and did not make many mistakes. Now before you raise your eyebrow thinking that Rich was playing better than a 16 handicap, he was; but not that much better. At the end of the match he was only 3 strokes better than his handicap and on any given day, this is absolutely possible.
As for me, I played okay. I took advantage of most holes that I need to and I was in the match until the 13th hole. I hit a very poor shot and doubled the hole. Then I did the same thing on 14. As a final result, I was closed out. Instead of being down 1 with 3 to go, I lost 5 and 4. I ended up playing 3 strokes above my handicap.
Well, it was my first match play event in some years. I learned some things, but the best part of the experience was meeting Rich. We had a great time talking and playing a friendly round of golf. This is really what playing in these friendly events are all about. Meeting new golfers and enjoying our time on the course.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!