For years I have tried to be in the moment for every golf shot. I think it is important that being mindful lowers my golf scores. For the most part, this is entirely true; however, I remember playing one round when I felt like I was in a haze of despair and success. It was a memorable round that resulted in an even par round.
A few years back I was playing a friendly round with a couple of friends. It was a regular day and although I was feeling well, nothing special about this round stood out in my mind before walked to the first tee.
After the two holes, I was 4 over because of two doubles. There were the result of a poor approach shot and two 3 putts. With a start like this, I felt my mind disengage and I started to go through the motions. I was in a haze of despair. For the next 7 holes, I can honestly say I do not remember what happened until the 9th hole. After hitting the pin with my approach shot and stopping a foot from the hole, I tapped in my only birdie of the front for a 3 over 39. After such a poor start, I played the rest of the front nine, 1 under. And I do not remember it at all. How crazy was that!
Obviously, after counting my score I came out of my haze and decided that it was time to focus on my game. Or was it? After birdieing the 10th hole, I started to think that this round was going to be one of the best of the year. As I started to hit each ball after the 10th hole, my mental game grew. My confidence fed my ability to think and see clearly and as a result, my game became stronger.
After birdieing 4 more holes, I was one under for the round walking to the 18th fairway. The earlier birdies were really nothing special because my haze of success was blocking out some of the great shots I made. Thinking back, my best shot was a 45 foot putt for birdie on the 16th hole and I cannot forget the shot on 14 when I hit my drive into the woods, only to finish on the fairway. So some luck had to do with my success of 1 under after 17.
After a solid drive to the right side of the fairway, I was set up for a perfect approach shot. Sitting about 160 yards out with the green uphill, I decided to hit a smooth 5 iron. This is normally too much club, but given the uphill shot it was the right choice. Well, I flushed my shot and launched my ball over the back of the green. I was surprised, but looking back now, I realized that my haze of success amplified my swing and added a few yards to my shot. All of a sudden, by joyful attitude was wrought with worry.
In the long grass, I figured an up and down for 1 under would be fantastic considering my start. I selected by 56 degree wedge and stroked a solid shot. stopping 12 feet from the pin, I felt I gave myself a chance. Unfortunately, I missed my putt by leaving it short by 3 inches! If you can imagine…..short!
This even par round was probably the craziest round over the years. I was up and down like a yo-yo experiencing the haze of despair and success within 3.5 hours. It is difficult to think back and understand how my round could be so diverse, I really cannot explain how it happened, but say that it did. Have you ever had a round of golf like this?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!