When things just don’t go your way

How many times have you been playing in a tournament and either couldn’t get focused or just found everything you did on the course was poor?

In the latest tournament I played in, before I even hit my first tee shot, everything seemed to be right in the world.

I was hitting the ball extremely well on the range, the weather was in the high 70’s, sunny as can be. I felt confident, I felt like I couldn’t actually win the tournament.

So Mental Focus is at 100% at this time.

The golf course was not a difficult course. You will be penalized for poor tee shots, but all in all, its not TOO hard to score on it.

Apparently that isn’t true for me :) I started my 1st round off with 4 straight bogeys. Its kinda hard to get focused when you are on a bogey train. I tried to stay positive but a few four letter words slipped out.

I wasn’t hitting the ball bad, I just couldn’t SCORE. I struggle with some fairways, but most of the time it was the accuracy of my irons. Then, when I missed a green, I wasn’t my usual self and I would fail to get the ball up and down for par.

In a nutshell, I got 9 bogeys and 9 pars. I wasn’t happy and I realized I was out of the tournament (which effectly hurts your focus), but I did tell myself to go out and play better during the 2nd round.

So at the start of the 2nd round, things seemed to be better. I nail a drive down the middle of number 10 (started on the back 9), and ended up getting a nice par (missed my birdie).

I pull my next tee-shot and was left with 185 yards out of some thick rough. I often am able to hit ‘flier’ shot out of the rough, so I often have to downgrade a club. I chose a 6 irons and nuked it. The ball hit the green and rolled to the back, 2 putt par.

Then I birdied my 3rd hole, (1 under par). So I am getting kinda excited (and my mental focus is higher).

The next hole is a par 3 and I put it in the bunker. FRIED EGG. This thing was NASTY. So I blast it out and it rolls over the green. I fail to get up and down, so I got a double bogey.

The next hole I have a chance for an easy par and I fail to get up and down. +2 now.

Here was a hole I was hoping to turn things around on. Its a par 4, 320 yards. Remember when Tiger Woods drove the Par 4 in the Ford Championship. I had a Tiger Moment :)

I knew I was going for the green. I was 30 yards short the 1st day, as this hole has bunkers and creeks everywhere. The ‘smart’ play was to hit a 5 iron to the 100 yard marker. I wasn’t going to have any of that.

I setup, got comfortable, swung back and ripped down at the ball. I crushed it and it was flying right at the green. Sure enough, the ball hits the green on the fly and trickles to the back.

It was a SWEET feeling. I got birdie, moved back to 1 over par, and then another par 3. Guess what, ANOTHER fried egg. Bogey. Then the wheels started coming off. Snap hook into a creek, can’t get up and down on other holes, more bogey trains, etc… I won’t bore you with the rest of the round, but its kind of a mental drain when you

a. Know you aren’t going to win the tournament.
b. Know your not even going to get in the top 15.
c. Can’t trust some of the shots your used to pulling off.

I tried to stay focus, but I think I can admit I got down on myself more then I should have. Maybe its a lack of practice. Maybe its a lack of play. I just felt like no matter what I did, I couldn’t score. It was sad.

My next goal is the Indiana State Amateur, which I have to qualify first at. Obviously my goal is to win it, but I have some work to do before that will become a reality.