17/10/11 Monday. I have stiff spots on the stiff spots, in the past three seasons there are some vague recollections of feeling stiff after early rounds and practise. Today after yesterdays 32 holes played out of the 36 in the Club Championship final my body is doing everything except creaking like a door that needs oil. Coming second, yes I was defeated and to have made the final itself was a highlight of the season for me. Threw everything I had into the game and even hit the lead in the first 18 for a couple of holes. Could not maintain the standard over the second 18 holes and slowly fell behind the winner.
Had chances to get back into the game when my opponent made mistakes and when I called upon my body to deliver the tank was empty. Not a modest person by nature nor a quitter and to lose was not a result that caused any angst for me, simply because I had nothing left to put into the game. As I sit here now working my way through a tube of Deep Heat today it is with total satisfaction in accepting a loss. I had not even considered the need to physically train and raise my fitness for this competition.What was acceptable in B and C grade for me, failed at the highest club level. The effort it took to hold a pen last night and scrawl in the diary, “Fitness training is a must.” better be acted on if I want to improve.
The game itself was played in very good spirit and a sporting manner. It was important to have an enjoyable game and the ledger is now balanced with the Handicap Championship win for me in 2009 and my opponent defeating me in the Club Championship in 2011. Learnt a lot about my game and what is needed to go the next step to single figures from this experience. It still resounds that the fitness level has been a failing of mine in recent months yet I had not paid any notice to it. All my focus had been on improving skills and consistency and none on the body that has to make the golf happen. Hindsight is 20/20 when it comes to looking back, slapping the forehead in exclamation in realising the patently obvious.
Of course I was not fit enough. Writing off the fading in rounds during the last 3-4 holes as concentration lapses. A litany of reasons for not recognising this can be churned out that are lame and nothing to do with reality. Truth is when returning to the game in 2009 I played 3 x 9 hole rounds and 2 x 18 hole rounds most weeks. These days I spend more time on the practise fairways training to hit the ball better with the clubs. I can wander out and break 90 easily each week, going out and playing to my handicap is a different matter. The fluctuating scores of late have nothing to do with golf ability. After a season of big improvement and pushing myself hard in competition since January, after ten months the realisation has gone off with ringing bells on the course. Time to stop playing for a few weeks and give my body time to recover. My next competition is going to be the club Open on the 6th of November. That should give enough time for the “golfer’s elbow” (right and left) to recover and get in some quality push bike riding. Have been planning on playing in “The Race to Cypress Lakes” South Australian rounds at The Vines, Friday 2 December and Mt Osmond, Sunday 15 January 2012. The first at Flagstaff Hills clashes with the club open and will be missed. These will be a good trial for my build up to the 2012 Southern Ports Tournament. Going to be interesting, after 2nd place in 2010, “C” Grade and 2nd in 2011 “B” Grade while making the documentary “Another Crack at the Title” I am going to extend the filming schedule to 2012 as I have a crack at the “A” Grade Title over the three days. Handicap section of course, can’t see me getting down to the 1-5 handicap level that the off the stick winner coes from in this tournament. I am an optimist with reality not fantasy in my goal setting.
Well the Deep Heat is soothing the aches. Time to stand up and see if the early hobbling gait is now replaced with a fluid walk this morning. Thankyou for your time and attention. “Hit ‘em Straight all” Geoff