On any given day, I could not tell you which of my golf games is going to show up. I expect that my normal game of five over is the baseline that should make an appearance. Unfortunately, I could not tell you whether I will shoot over that or under that on any given day. Sometimes the elation of a great start is slowly eroded by a few poor swings. On other days, just the opposite happens. I never know when these shifts will occur or why for the sudden change. It is frustrating, but all part of my golf journey.
Over the years I have tried to focus on what constitutes the switch to great play, but alas I have not found the setting. To be fair, I generally understand that I will shoot a normal round in the mid 70s and that is not the problem. I can be playing great, then suddenly with no apparent reason, I make a terrible swing and poof my great round turns into a mediocre or disappointing loop around the links.
A recent round where I shot 73 (don’t let the score fool you) was going very well until the 16th hole. Shooting one over on the front and two under on the back to the 15th hole. I was thinking that I had a chance to shoot under par. I did not dwell on this milestone and stayed focused on the shots at hand. I hit a great drive on 16 and set myself up for an easy layup to the uphill par 5. I selected a 5 iron to place my ball at about 80 yards. Unfortunately, I pushed my ball right and was forced to hit over the trees (a shot I have made many times in the past). Well, I chunked my third shot badly leaving me in a very difficult 4th shot and fortunately was able to scramble for a bogey.
On the next tee shot, I hit very poor shot into the water that led to a double bogey. I finished the round with a two over 73. Although the score was great, I was very disappointed in the two shots that led to three strokes over par. I am not sure where those two strokes came from because I was hitting the ball so well. On the surface, I am happy for the lower score, but disappointed at the results.
During one tournament round in Petawawa, Ontario, I was grinding out a score on the final day. I was in the second last group and with a score in the low 70s, I had a chance to make the military regional team and head to Nationals. I was not playing poorly, but I was not making any amazing shots either. It was a grind as I said and I was on track to shoot a 79 (not good enough to make it to the next level).
On the par 3, 139 yard hole I was hitting to a green that was 30 feet above the tee box. The green was very undulated and the pin was tucked on the front right. This was a very difficult pin position because being anywhere but on the green was almost a guarantee for a double or more. I hit my best shot of the day to four feet and an easy birdie.
On the next hole, a uphill par 3, 310 yard challenge is a test for anyone’s course management skills. For my game, I had to hit 110 yards to the green just short of a massive hill that protected the approach shot. From this position, I had an easier (he says with tongue in cheek) shot to an elevated green 75 feet up. This was a difficult shot to say the least.
I hit my drive to my desired spot and selected a 9 iron. Normally, this club travels about 135 yards and I had to convince myself to make a full swing. As my ball sailed towards the hole and disappeared over the lip, I had no idea what happened next. As I huffed and puffed my way to the the green, the crowd (other participants) said that I had hit the pin and my ball came to rest about 8 feet from the pin. My putt was flat and easily sunk it for a birdie, birdie finish. Shooting a six over 77 for my round. I was extremely happy with the finish, but did not make the team. I finished 5th and first alternate.
After reading both examples, you can see that the golf switch can be turned on or off without any waring. I know that this is all part of being a golfer (which I completely enjoy), but I sure would like to know how to flip that switch. Of course, I would always be turning it to positive setting because I am like that 😉 . Seriously, on any given day I am not sure which setting the switch is going to be in, but it is always fun trying to find out.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!