I am sure you have heard the saying “a calm before the storm’. These five words cover a plethora of situations but none so dramatic as when trying to make a pressure, must have golf shot. I have explained how I hit clutch shots under pressure before, but yesterday’s round reinforced my view that remaining calm throughout my entire round is key to shooting low golf scores.
Yesterday’s round started off a bit challenging because if was drizzling and there was a forecast for heavy rains. Having not played in 3 days, I decided to hit the links and take my chances. With Rick and Fernando playing along, it was going to be a great day despite the weather. Additionally, I was leveraging my solid play from my last time out at Idylwyld and felt good about my upcoming round. And so this calm venture began.
My tee shot produced an uncommon fade and I thought I would end up in a fairway bunker just left of the pond. Not really fussed about this result, I proceeded down the fairway at a leisurely walking pace. I was in a good mood and enjoying the relatively wet conditions. As I arrived at my destination, but ball was actually sitting between the two bunkers in a great position. The interesting thing about the result is that I did not feel any relief or excitement, I was calm and focused on hitting a solid second shot.
And so my demeanour continued for the rest of the holes on the front. My acceptance of every shot, focus on making solid contact and keeping my emotions on an even keel proved to be very rewarding. Except for one poor drive on the 7th hole, into the water, I was tranquil and relaxed. On a side note, I dropped my ball on the 7th, hit a six iron from 165 yards to within 8 feet, then left my par putt two inches short. Normally, I would find leaving par putt short from that distance frustrating, but not yesterday.
We finished the front 9 with 6 GIR for a one over par 37. During every shot, I was calm and collected. My zen-like mental state was perfect for ensuring I hit the ball as wanted. Nothing seemed to phase me, not even the weather. We did have rain (more like a drizzle) for almost the entire round, but I hardly noticed. As we passed the clubhouse on the way to the 10th hole, I did the ultimate foolish thing!
I checked the weather and it looked like a storm was just a hole or two away. So, I second guessed myself and put the clubs in the car and calmly walked away from an awesome round. My friend Fernando decided to continue and texted me later that it did not rain at all. I have to say I am disappointed in myself and my calm disposition disappeared for a moment or two. 😉
The lesson from yesterdays round was to stay calm and focused during my round. This is not a new lesson, but one I relearn from time to time. It is beneficial to reinforce tenets that work for my game to remind myself on what works for my game. Oh yeah, the other lesson is to stop checking my phone for weather at the turn. Go with my gut and not electronices.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!