Throwing Caution To The Wind

Kirk making an amazing shot out of a tough spot!

While playing golf, throwing caution to the wind is never a good strategy. Navigating the links takes thought and meticulous observation of the course conditions to score well. From the first time I tee it up to my final stroke, I zero in on the shot at hand. I stay focused for 4 hours and, in the end, I feel a sense of accomplishment that I achieved all my goals and left nothing on the course… Okay, wake up and grab your coffee! Of course, we all want the above to happen, yet it happens rarely. Now, for the real story! Continue reading

Day Three – Ontario Golf Regionals for the Military

Day Three of the Ontario Golf Regionals for the Military started of just great. For the third day in a row, it was a hot day with beautiful sunshine. Atypical for late September, we hit 29° C with very little wind. It was a bit hot for playing golf, but who is going to complain about a perfect day. As I stood on the first tee, I was mentally ready to play solid golf. So off we went! Continue reading

Day One – Ontario Golf Regionals for the Military

Day one of the Ontario Golf Regionals went as hoped. I played a strong round overall, but with mixed 9s. The course was set up to score and considering that it is late September, it is in fairly good shape. The only real challenge is the greens because they are playing slow and are a bit shaggy compared to earlier in the season. But we have to play the condition that is tournament golf. Continue reading

Perception is Reality in Golf

Golf is a funny game. No matter how well (or poorly) we play, there is always more to accomplish. How often have we shot a poor round, but felt that, regardless of the score, it was a good round. Conversely, shooting a low score, we sometimes feel that we left something out on the course.

You read about my recent adventures in Petawawa at a 54-hole golf tournament. After shooting 79 three days in a row, I felt really good about my score. I earned each 79 and although I could have shot a stroke or two lower each day, my perception is that it was three great rounds of golf. I walked away grateful for the results and felt like I contributed to our team win.

On the flip side, yesterday I shot an even par 72. It was smooth and easy. I was not in trouble at any time, my swing was under control and my short game was pretty good. However, my putting was off and on. I know that sounds weird considering my score, but I did not feel comfortable over the ball for about half my putts. The most frustrating aspect about the round was the two easy putts I missed. One was a three-footer for par and one was 18 inches for birdie.

The birdie putt was the most disappointing. If I would have sunk this 18-inch putt on the 16th hole, I would have been even par heading into 17 and 18. Normally, I birdie one of these two holes (par 3 and par 5 respectively) and yesterday was no different. I birdied the par 5 to end up even par.

As a result, I left the 18th green with the perception that I could have been under par for the first time this year! This perception translated to being slightly disappointed with my even par 72.

simple and complicated

Before everyone starts ordering me a straight jacket because they think I am crazy, I am trying to illustrate that perception is a person’s reality. An outsider looking in would not see or think the same way as me, but they are not the ones walking in my shoes. For clarification, my disappointment was very short-lived and I am extremely happy with my final score.

The caboose to this train of thought is that: in golf, perception is reality! You have heard me talk about remaining positive as much as possible through previous articles and the reason is to shape my perception to form a positive reality. If I constantly perceive positive aspects about my golf game, then my positive reality equates to positive things on the links.

I believe that the power of positive thought is a game changer in golf and it works for me. It is all a matter of perspective!

I am grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Ontario Regional Golf Tournament – Day 3

Petawawa (11)

Approach shot to the 18th green!

 

My day did not start as expected. I bogeyed the first hole and doubled the third hole. After 5, I was 4 over and struggling to make a good swing. It seemed that no matter what I did, I could not find my normal smooth swing that I relied on over the years.

As I closed the front nine with a double bogey, I was a bit deflated as I walked to the 10th tee. Finishing the front with a 43, I was wondering if my current strategy of being patient was worth keeping for the back nine. After I bogeyed the 10th hole, I decided to change my focus and try to hit the ball closer to the hole on my approach shots! I know this sounds silly, but I no matter how hard I tried, I was short on most of my approach shots all week.

Suddenly, I birdied the 13th hole and the train was back on its tracks. I jockeyed back and for on the back nine and was 10 over standing on the 17the tee. It was toughest 16 holes of golf I played in a long, long time. But, now was not the time to give up! Our team was still vying for the Pennant and bragging rights for a year.

The 17th hole was a 150 yard par 3 with a strong wind blowing directly in our face. Additionally, the tee box was 40 feet lower in elevation than the green. Normally, I would hit an 8 iron from 150 yards, but given the wind and elevation change, I hit a 6-iron. I hit a laser that looked like it was going in from the moment it left my club. My ball flew right beside pin and stopped 6 feet directly behind the hole. After making the putt, I was now 9 over.

Teeing up first on the 18th tee, I hit the ball straight down the middle to 135 yards from the green. The 18th green is elevated and is 100 feet above the fairway. It is an extremely difficult closing hole. Normally, I would hit a 9-iron, but chose an 8 for my final approach shot of the tournament. My contact was pure and my line was dead on. As the ball flew towards the pin, all I could think was, “be enough”! As the ball came down, I lost sight of it over the ridge of the green. After struggling to climb the hill to the green, I notice my ball stopped 8 feet from the pin! As I stepped up with confidence, I putted it true for another birdie. My third on the back nine.

After all the smoke cleared, I shot another 79! My third straight. Unfortunately, it was not enough to get me in the top 5, but I was very happy with my final result. I finished in 7th place. Petawawa Golf Course was a very tough track because of the very slow greens and the windy conditions. There is a slight possibility I can attend nationals, but two of the top 6 players have to withdraw because of work or other reasons.

Another aspect of the tournament was the team play. The top 5 scores from each team are counted each day. This aspect of the event is where the Pennant is won. The Pennant is a covenant trophy that military organizations proudly display in their trophy case for all visitors to see. This year, my team won by 5 strokes! After three days of competition, my team won by just 5 strokes. After calculation 15 rounds of golf, Trenton shot 1201 and Petawawa shot 1206! The funny thing about our win this year is that none of the Trenton players made the top 5!

Thanks to my team mates for a great tournament and wish you all the best for the rest of the season.

This years Ontario Regional Golf tournament was outstanding. I had a great time and look forward to next year.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!