Friday, July 28, 2006

Overcoming Dreadful Starts

I was playing the Cutten Club in Guelph the other day with one of my supplier reps, who was kind enough to bring me and one of my purchasing agents out for an afternoon of golf.

I started out by making a forty foot putt on the first for BOGEY, then doubled the second and doubled the third. +5 after three holes...

Skip ahead to the 17th hole. I've only hit five greens in regulation to this point. It hasn't been pretty. I look over a four footer and drain it for par to stay at +6 for the day.

Scott, my garbage bag supplier rep says, "My God you're a grinder!"

Toast and Harry are right. Not about the 'luckbox' stuff but I definitely am a grinder.

I pretty much have to be. I don't have the natural ability of a lot of guys I play with. Since I started playing as a pre-teen, my swing looks decent enough but I'm not a very good ballstriker, relatively speaking. Since I'm too stubborn to practice and haven't had time for a refresher lesson on fundamentals, I'm stuck working with what I have.

So I grind like hell.

I don't consider myself to have a great mental game but I've always prided myself on the fact that I can right the ship after a poor start.

Unfortunately, it's something I'm having to do way too often these days. The round at Cutten - I was five over after three and ended up shooting 78. Last Sunday at St. Catharines I was four over after four and still ended up shooting 77 with a bogey on 18.

Then the other night, I brought my buddies Jay and Ryan out to the course and I started bogey, double, bogey, bogey.

I go through quite the range of emotions after a stretch like that. I'll get mad or maybe I'll start feeling sorry for myself. I might be embarrassed too. But then I get defiant.

You have to!

I think to myself that "there's no way I'm shooting in the 80's today" and "it's time to bear down."

So I scratch and I claw, going -2 on the next 7 holes to get it back to +3 on the day as we reach my nemesis hole, the 12th at St. Catharines.

Of course, I hit my tee ball in the water and make double.

I fought my ass off for seven holes only to lose it all on one swing. What do I do now?

Might as well keep grinding.

I hit some nice shots coming in and was able to par holes 13 through 17. I bogeyed the 18th in the dusk to shoot another 78, pretty solid after another brutal start.

Why do I bring all of this up?

Well, I'm getting tired of the grind, to be honest.

The only thing consistent about my game these days is its inconsistency. The handicap is up to its highest level in over two years and my scores show no signs of improving.

I sound depressed but I'm really not. I'm excited...it's time to get defiant again. The point of all of this is essentially to give myself an online pep talk, something tangible to help motivate me out of the scoring funk that I've fallen into.

I have to get my butt out of bed early and actually hit the driving range this weekend before playing. It's a running joke between Toast and Harry (one that I enjoy actually!) that I never practice but if I want to start scoring better, I need to work on my game more. I know that.

I hope this post is the defining point of my golfing year. Time will tell if that is indeed the case.

Eight days and counting till club championship...

1 comment:

  1. Just before I read the very last line i was going to say.

    way to go, 1 week before the club championships and you decided to practice for the first time in your life. Way to wake up. And tee the ball lower.

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