During my great round yesterday, After the first eight holes I felt I had a solid chance to shoot under par. This milestone is the golden ticket for me and I cruising towards success. I was hitting the ball very well, my chips were solid and my putting was smooth. It appeared that the stars had aligned and an under par score was in my grasp. That is until I hit three poor shots that cost my four strokes. Let me lament!
My game as of late has seen a dramatic increase in my GIR percentage. Shooting between 60 and 70 percent for my last 5 rounds, I am playing very well in this the weakest area of my game. I normally hover around 50 percent hence having two or three extra chances at birdie is quite an improvement. During my round yesterday, I had seven putts for birdie on the first 8 holes. Most of the putts were long, but my lag putting was very good and as such had seven tap ins for par. The one hole I missed, I scrambled very well and sunk and 8 footer for par. With my game on cruise control, I was shocked when I hooked my ball into the pond on the 9th hole.
I was left with an 185 yard shot to the green and pulled it just a bit left. This left me with a 30 yard chip downhill. After missing my 7 foot first putt I walked off the green with a double bogey 6. This was a very disappointing end to an otherwise solid front nine. I was not dismayed because I have shot under par on the back quite often over the years and I was still feeling great about my game. Before going on here is a quick video I thought I would share.
After parring the first three holes on the back, I birdied the 13th hole with a great 12 foot putt. Sitting one under, I felt the momentum shifting in my direction. After a decent drive on 14, I was set up for 165 yard approach shot to a large green. After hitting such great approach shots all day, I felt very confident I was going to hit the green. Well, I did not; I pulled my 6 iron left which placed me in a difficult up and down for par. I made a great chip, but miss read the break and was left with a six foot skater down the hill for par. After lipping out, I gave my birdie back on the next hole. My approach shot on the 14th hole was my second poor shot of the day.
Fast forward to the last hole. Standing on the tee, I was still 1 over. I realize my dream of shooting under par disappeared when I missed a relatively short putt on 17 by leaving it short by 2 inches (this is something I have been doing lately and I do not really consider it a poor shot in relation to today’s discussion). However, I felt very comfortable that I could birdie the 18th hole and finish even for the day.
I pulled my tee shot left, but had a clear shot to the green. I hit my approach the way I wanted, but came up 3 feet short of the green. I am not disappointed with my approach shot because was very difficult and I missed hitting a perfect shot by inches; that is all part of golf. I chipped up to three feet and waited for my turn to putt. After watching my ball skate left of the hole on my par putt, I was again flabbergasted at how poorly I struck the ball. Being left a 3 foot par putt and missing was very frustrating. My putt was my third poor shot of the day.
The rest of my round went very well. I struck the ball well, made good course management decisions, and could feel my confidence growing. It seemed, at least for the first two poor shots, that when it looked bright for my round I found a way to knock myself down a peg.
I realize that many of you do not have any sympathy for my woes, but this situation is relative. Each of us has a milestone score that we love to exceed and mine is par. I do not have that many opportunities to break par, but when I do I like to take advantage of it. I will say, though, I am very happy with my overall round and did not let the poor shots affect my mental approach to the round. The double on the 9th hole could have really destroyed me in the past, but by recovering and shooting even par on the back does show that my mental toughness in golf is improving (at least for yesterday’s round 😉 )
Golf is a game of ups and downs. If I put my entire round in perspective where I only had three poor shots, then yesterday’s round was a great one.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!