Thursday, July 1, 2010

I choked in golf

I was golfing yesterday at Sunken Gardens golf course. It is a nice par 29 course, featuring seven par-3s and two par-4s. Through eight holes I was having my best round ever. I had bogeyed the first hole, made three straight pars, a birdie, and then three more pars. That left me with, you guessed it, one hole to play before I could par the course. All I needed was a three on a hole that was playing 118 yards that day.

I'll be the first to say its never easy to land a green from any distance, and a 118 yards is a long ways. Nevertheless, I'd been playing quite well, made a few saves, had some great drives, and was confident. But as I did my preparations I thought I was focused, so I was completely surprised when the ball squirted out at a 45 degree angle, went across my fairway, through trees, and landed not on the green but in another fairway.

A terrible shot.

Not just a bad one, but the worst shot of the day on the most important hole of the day. I play 36 holes yesterday (thats four rounds) and it was easily my worst shot.

So what happened? I obviously choked. I didn't really approach the hole with the mindfulness I needed and didn't really check my backswing during the swing. I'm still surprised at what happened, and its bothersome.

I'm not afraid of becoming a choker or a panic-er. I simply need to get more technical knowledge. The fact is less than half my tee shots landed the greens I played. Some of my pars were tough up and downs. I simply have inconsistencies in my swing that result from not enough practice and not enough technical knowledge and not enough mindfulness. The best thing for me is to be able to monitor my swing and be aware of what I'm doing, as I'm doing it.

Golf is fun, and yesterday I almost made par on my first course. Once I do that, I can start trying to get under par for a round, par more courses, and par my first 18 hole course. It all comes down to focus, knowledge, and mindfulness.

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