Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Golf - Winning is better than coming second

Play Your Best Golf - Break 90 Vol 1
28th June 2010 Experiencing the personal reaction to a performance in a competition is a many faceted journey for me, this weekends round in the Keith Open was particularly stimulating on review. Managed to play under my handicap again in consecutive weeks and this should see me dropping to a playing handicap of 20 and another step closer to my goal for the season. Did not win either major prize in the “C” grade, missing out on the gross score runner-up by 1 shot and finished 3rd only 2 shots behind the winner and the Best Nett score was a fourth place finish on a countback. With a front nine 43 off the stick, the back nine resulted in a 48 with 34 putts for the day. Not a bad result for a “C” grade golfer, considering this is the first time on the course and having a few additional challenges that affected the round.

The week preceding had the unpleasant suffering of an abscess in the mouth from Monday morning until the eventual tooth removal on Thursday. The second setback was the result of a bit of an oversight on my part, having felt particularly good physically for the past 3 months prudence suggested it would have been a good time to have a tune up from my Bowen Therapist and get the back and hamstrings all moving freely without any tightness. I didn’t have the tune up and after the front 9 and sitting down for lunch following the 90 minute drive to Keith, my back went stiff and my swing was affected enough to make the round a battle. Even with these matters considered it is not possible to feel negative about the result, to do so would be just irrational carping the equivalent of winning a lottery and complaining about the tax you pay on the earnings!

It was confusing for me to have done well and not feel satisfied until the obvious was realised, I did want to win and to have came so close and falter in the last nine holes was the irritant. Not only did my game falter, for the first time in my golfing career I experienced playing on greens that changed dramatically during the course of the round. The front nine had greens which were quite fast not overly so but the pace of them was totally different slowing down a lot in the afternoon nine. Not being experienced enough to be able to adjust my putting while struggling with the stiffness in my back which had my tee shots with an outside in swing plane and slice taking me off the fairways. This added a stroke to several holes having to play recovery shots to be able to play at the green with the third shot and this is a long playing course with five par 5 holes and par 4 holes of 370-400 metres. The distance tested my mid iron accuracy and pitching ability and I am not adept to make the ball stop with my wedge and in many of the back nine holes I needed one putts for bogey and did not get them, 34 putts tells the story on the greens (2 x one putts and the rest 2 putts).

Once again the benefits of playing at another club’s Open Competition were more than just refreshing skills and game approach on a different course. For the second time I played in a group with a 4 handicapper who I had the pleasure of playing with in October 2009. A very sociable and chatty fella who revels in the game it was interesting that on the front 9 we were invariably playing our second shots from similar parts of the course. Not that I was trying to follow, he was teeing off after me. Once my ability to play accurately off the tee went in the back nine I fell away at the end of the day it was good to know that my game plan was similar to this players and that is very satisfying. There was also a 6 handicapper in our group and he had a 37 off the stick on the front nine (square with the card), on the back nine he started with an 8 on the par 5 tenth. He could have easily avoided this by playing safely when his drive went among the gum trees, playing sideways onto the fairway as opposed to taking the riskier shot towards the hole which hit trees and left him still among the timber. No wonder I feel tired after a round of competition golf, my brain is going flat out on my game and observing everything from the markers shots the rest of the playing group, the course and the nuances of the fairways and greens.

If I had played this inaccurately at my home course my score would have been in the 100’s after the back nine. No matter what I did though it was just not possible to get my swing right on the back 9 off the tee, it felt odd to realise that I knew what was going wrong only 6 months ago I would not have had a clue!? Booked a “tune-up” appointment for Thursday and getting ready to have a crack at the Monthly Medal this Sunday. “Hit ‘em Straight all” Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff

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