My first round of golf for 2021 is in the books. On Monday past, Blair, Rick, Fernando and I teed up for the first of many rounds to come. We had three seasons of golf in one round starting with a cool fall breezy conditions, then warm sunny summer conditions, and finally cool spring rainy weather. It is a good thing I was prepared for all three. Not to worry, the weather was a non-factor for me because I was grateful to be golfing. For the most part, my round was great fun and I met most of my expectations.
Standing the first tee, you can see that the course is ready for us and despite the brown patches, was in very good shape for this time of year. The course was very dry (amazing for this time of year), yet some how receptive. The greens were in good shape and wooly. It is not unusual to leave the grass longish on the greens to protect them until growing season kicks in. Additionally, the greens were punched and top dressed making putting a chore. Regardless, the Osprey Links maintenance team is hard at work and I expect that their efforts this early in the season will pay off huge dividends very soon. Keep up the great work everyone!
As to be expected, my swing was iffy all day. I would hit a few good shots intermixed with poor shots. This is not unusual for my first few rounds of golf, so I fully accept what my swing has to offer. On a side note, my lower back was sore before I start due to a change in my workout routine. This made it difficult to freely swing my clubs, however I expect in the next week or so I will be stronger and better able to swing away. At the start of golf season, aches and pains is not a stranger to me, but I have to be wary that I do not cause any lasting injuries.
Mentally, I was euphoric. I was a happy little camper and smiled my entire round. My mood and attitude was positive and even though it rained for the back nine, I was still grateful to be playing this early in the season. In 2020, our first round was not until May 16th, so you can see how hitting the links this early will only enhance my feelings of joy.
I hit some good shots, but mostly I hit the ball fat. This was a bit unexpected, but I think I understand my challenges. I made some swing changes that have not transferred from my practice area to the course. This takes a great deal of time and I need to be patient. It is very early to worry about anything. Having said this, I did make a few great shots like my tee shot from the second hole. It was 155 yards into a two club wind and I stuck it to 4 feet.
My ball landed about 10 feet short of the hole and after one hop stopped close. I confidently stepped up and hit the ball into the hole for my first birdie of 2021. Unfortunately, this was my best hole of the day and I am grateful I was able to have this one. Overall, my shot performance was slightly below expectations, however this is not unusual. All is right in my golfing world with respect to swing performance.
I expected to break 80 (as I do every year); that did not happen. Over the years I have rarely hit this milestone on my first round of the year. This year was no different. It does not really matter because it is a self-imposed goal that gives me something to shoot for. I was encouraged my some of my chipping and putting. Considering how slow the course was playing, I faired fairly well. My weight was pretty good and I definitely have a foundation to work with moving forward. Regardless of my score, I am still smiling!
After playing my first 18 holes of my 2021 season, I would say that it met my expectations. The golf season is early and all the hiccups I encountered were minor at best. Moving forward, as with previous years, I do not really expect anything consistent out of my golf game until a month after starting. At that time, I will have fully formed and engrained expectations that will shape how I view my rounds of golf. For now, I am grateful to be playing and look forward to many more enjoyable rounds with my friends.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!