Monday, July 19, 2010

GOLF - First place finish Lucindale Open

19th July 2010. After 3 weeks of finishing third in competitions, yesterday was a first place finish and Gross Winner of the “C” in the Lucindale CAVPOWER Tournament. As someone commented on my way to receive the prize, “1st is better than third” that has been a motivating factor inmy mind for the past week and it is a reward for putting in the effort to prepare yourself to play as well as possible that made it worthwhile, not the winning. Playing golf is importantly fun and the social enjoyment with my playing partners was a bonus to hitting the ball well. “C” grade is the place where some of the most amazing shots happen in my opinion. As many of us are beginners and at times play the most atrocious shots imaginable the law of percentages decide that eventually the occasional absolute miraculous shot happens. One guy with us hit two on the same hole, a low shooter out of the gum trees scorching across the green heading interstate, stopped by hitting a sign post and ricocheted back to the green. Followed by a putt that was hit hard enough to stun an elephant yet found a line to the hole, bounced up in the air and dropped into the hole like a roulette ball into your lucky number. That was just a couple of the moments that made playing the round enjoyable and not a dull, clinical and methodical delivery of golfing skill.

Maintained the same practice routine throughout the week. Pitching for an hour plus a day into a target net resulted in an accuracy 55% in the net from 5m, 10m and 15-20m out. The closer the more that went into the target which is approximately 75cm in diameter circle. Even at the worst from 20 m out, the ball would land no more that 3 metres from the target. In the round on Sunday at Lucindale this practice was the crucial factor in my success. Also dedicated time for putting practise was included, in the aftermath of the round this was well worth it but is still a significant weakness in my game. I will be spending a bit of time today looking a some green reading practices. The putting practice routines I use are fine, adding the use of a putting stroke guide tool has been a major benefit in establishing a consistent stroke. The faults that cost my rounds are misreading greens and concentration lapses.

Obviously there were more positives in the round than negatives, off the tee as the round progressed I became more accurate with the driver and using the long to mid-range irons were superb (for a 20 handicapper) hitting near 50 % of the greens in regulation. Missed every birdie putt though! It was a very different experience to be hitting the ball to where it was aimed and being able to walk up and do the same with the next shot as well. The small things were what made this happen. Sticking to the set up routine and not taking shortcuts after hitting a few good shots. On a several holes the tee shots were played for safety to consolidate my game and avoid blowouts, this was coupled with shots played to the green that hit. At this moment, a day later it is very satisfying to realise these were not lucky flukes but the result of my practice.

There were errors made that after some reflection and replaying mentally were the result of concentration lapses. At this stage I have one thing that must be done to correct this. When the focus is lost during setting up for a shot I must stop walk away and start the whole set up routine again. With a 46 and a 44 for the front 9 and back 9 respectively (we did start on No. 10 though) my first hole was an 8, three over on a par 5. That was one hole in a total of 44 for that nine, again my focus was not even distracted by the initial score it took a quick calculation to figure out my target for the next three holes and it worked.

This Saturday is another round of the DK Edwards Trophy this time at  Millicent Golf Club, one of the best courses in the region, noted for their fast greens which will be a challenge for an erratic putter like me. A course I have never played as opposed to Lucindale which I had played on before albeit 20 plus years ago. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all”Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff