My first tournament....humbling.

Hey WRX'ers!



Played in a local tournament (my first as the the title states) at my home course this past Sunday and lets just say, I forgot how to golf as I typically shoot in the low 80's (my best round to date 73). I got a lesson in the night before and was grooving it. I headed to the course early Sunday morning to putt, chip and hit some full shots, no issues and again grooving it. Fast forward to my tee time and I was hit with nerves and thoughts of don't F up. First tee shot was a low liner left. Second shot was a punch out and I thought, "Ok, par 5 hitting 3...lets just try to get close to the green for an up and down." Third shot was a hosel shank right. At this point I was filled with complete fear and confusion. Its amazing what nerves can do to a swing, so I finished the first hole with a 9 (+4). Hole 2, 157 yard par 3. Easy 8 iron right? WRONG! Hosel it 120 yards to the right. Second shot is a punch 50° wedge about 90 yards, hosel it again. 3rd shot was a de-lofted chip just to get on the green, 2 putt 5 (+2). At this point I am +6 through 2 holes and completely mortified and embarrassed. The day continued to snowball. I would pipe a drive down the middle and then duff/shank my approaches. At this point I just tried to stay out of the way of my competition and keep positive energy for the group. I finished with a 100 (+28), as this was my worst round within the past couple years.



After the round I had sometime to reflect. First, it was a great learning experience and I have much respect for the professionals doing so in front of millions. Second, golf is a wonderful game as it teaches you more than how to get a little white ball in the hole. I was completely humbled by the day as it tested my patience and sportsmanship towards fellow competitors. Going in with such high expectations seemed to add a lot of unwanted pressure. I plan to play in more tournaments in the future and will continue the development of my game under pressure.



Feel free to share some similar experiences/advice/feedback.



- KC
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Comments

  • gioguy21gioguy21 NJMembers Posts: 7,081 ✭✭
    KC13 wrote:


    Hey WRX'ers!



    Played in a local tournament (my first as the the title states) at my home course this past Sunday and lets just say, I forgot how to golf as I typically shoot in the low 80's (my best round to date 73). I got a lesson in the night before and was grooving it. I headed to the course early Sunday morning to putt, chip and hit some full shots, no issues and again grooving it. Fast forward to my tee time and I was hit with nerves and thoughts of don't F up. First tee shot was a low liner left. Second shot was a punch out and I thought, "Ok, par 5 hitting 3...lets just try to get close to the green for an up and down." Third shot was a hosel shank right. At this point I was filled with complete fear and confusion. Its amazing what nerves can do to a swing, so I finished the first hole with a 9 (+4). Hole 2, 157 yard par 3. Easy 8 iron right? WRONG! Hosel it 120 yards to the right. Second shot is a punch 50° wedge about 90 yards, hosel it again. 3rd shot was a de-lofted chip just to get on the green, 2 putt 5 (+2). At this point I am +6 through 2 holes and completely mortified and embarrassed. The day continued to snowball. I would pipe a drive down the middle and then duff/shank my approaches. At this point I just tried to stay out of the way of my competition and keep positive energy for the group. I finished with a 100 (+28), as this was my worst round within the past couple years.



    After the round I had sometime to reflect. First, it was a great learning experience and I have much respect for the professionals doing so in front of millions. Second, golf is a wonderful game as it teaches you more than how to get a little white ball in the hole. I was completely humbled by the day as it tested my patience and sportsmanship towards fellow competitors. Going in with such high expectations seemed to add a lot of unwanted pressure. I plan to play in more tournaments in the future and will continue the development of my game under pressure.



    Feel free to share some similar experiences/advice/feedback.



    - KC
    first - be proud of yourself for stepping in the ring. not many will.



    second - it takes a little time to get used to tourney golf -- it's a different world.



    third - remember it's a game and that tomorrow, it's a new scorecard.



    **wish you only the best in the future - bad rounds happen. ****, i carded an 11 last year on a par 4 in a tourney. it was stupid, i learned from it, and carded a 77 the next day. chin up -
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  • HawkeyeHackerHawkeyeHacker Members Posts: 32
    I did exactly this last year in our club tourney. Shank City for about the first 9 holes. I looked like it was my first time golfing. I'd never had the shanks before that day. For a while I was just hitting 7 iron punch shots because I couldn't trust a full iron swing.
  • chickman1313chickman1313 Members Posts: 317 ✭✭
    KC13 wrote:


    Hey WRX'ers!



    Played in a local tournament (my first as the the title states) at my home course this past Sunday and lets just say, I forgot how to golf as I typically shoot in the low 80's (my best round to date 73). I got a lesson in the night before and was grooving it. I headed to the course early Sunday morning to putt, chip and hit some full shots, no issues and again grooving it. Fast forward to my tee time and I was hit with nerves and thoughts of don't F up. First tee shot was a low liner left. Second shot was a punch out and I thought, "Ok, par 5 hitting 3...lets just try to get close to the green for an up and down." Third shot was a hosel shank right. At this point I was filled with complete fear and confusion. Its amazing what nerves can do to a swing, so I finished the first hole with a 9 (+4). Hole 2, 157 yard par 3. Easy 8 iron right? WRONG! Hosel it 120 yards to the right. Second shot is a punch 50° wedge about 90 yards, hosel it again. 3rd shot was a de-lofted chip just to get on the green, 2 putt 5 (+2). At this point I am +6 through 2 holes and completely mortified and embarrassed. The day continued to snowball. I would pipe a drive down the middle and then duff/shank my approaches. At this point I just tried to stay out of the way of my competition and keep positive energy for the group. I finished with a 100 (+28), as this was my worst round within the past couple years.



    After the round I had sometime to reflect. First, it was a great learning experience and I have much respect for the professionals doing so in front of millions. Second, golf is a wonderful game as it teaches you more than how to get a little white ball in the hole. I was completely humbled by the day as it tested my patience and sportsmanship towards fellow competitors. Going in with such high expectations seemed to add a lot of unwanted pressure. I plan to play in more tournaments in the future and will continue the development of my game under pressure.



    Feel free to share some similar experiences/advice/feedback.



    - KC




    What kind of tournament was it? I'd love to play some but don't know where to find any that arent scrambles. I'm not a member of a club so club championships and such are out.
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  • nitramnitram Take Dead Aim Members Posts: 5,177 ✭✭
    Cudos to you for posting. This is the norm for most of us mortals and it'll happen again in future tournaments. It's a learning/growth process on how to deal with tournament nerves and self-degradation. As previously mentioned, "tournament golf is a different animal". Hang in there and good luck to ya. image/hi.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':hi:' />
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  • dpb5031dpb5031 Members Posts: 5,011 ✭✭
    Unless you grew up playing junior golf it's a totally foreign experience and your results should not be surprising. It's likely that your nerves and desire to do everything right resulted in the opposite. You tense up, the body doesn't flow and move the way it should naturally, and hooks & shanks are the end result.



    You need to train yourself to pick conservative/smart targets and then make aggressive swings like nothing matters. Easier said than done! Whiskey helps 😁
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  • King_SlenderKing_Slender Members Posts: 1,429 ✭✭
    Tournament golf is a mental grind - the plus side is that once you can just go play, 1/2 the field beats itself. The important thing is to do whatever you can to not beat yourself. 20 footers for par are far preferable to trying to hit a miracle shot and adding and extra shot or 2 to the scorecard.
  • spartan6910spartan6910 Go Green, Go White! San DiegoPosts: 367 ✭✭
    Congrats on taking the plunge. Tournament golf is the best test you can take. It's a whole lot different playing a round knowing you can't just drop another one and pretend like your accidental wormburner didn't happen. On the flip side, I often find that I focus more in tournaments and tend to hit better shots as a result.



    The best advice I could give, and the best advice that has been given to me, is to play in as many tournaments as you are able. All your practice sessions and rounds are nice, but you won't get better unless you're truly tested, and tourneys do just that.



    Don't get discouraged - I could rattle off several tournament rounds that made me want to quit the game. Keep your head up, know that this game IS difficult, and keep plugging away.



    And finally, set yourself a goal. Be it a score number, finish position, whatever. Work toward it, and once you achieve it, set another. Your own internal goals are those that will push you to become the best player you can.



    Good luck and have fun!
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  • KC13KC13 31st StatePosts: 329 ✭✭

    KC13 wrote:


    Hey WRX'ers!



    Played in a local tournament (my first as the the title states) at my home course this past Sunday and lets just say, I forgot how to golf as I typically shoot in the low 80's (my best round to date 73). I got a lesson in the night before and was grooving it. I headed to the course early Sunday morning to putt, chip and hit some full shots, no issues and again grooving it. Fast forward to my tee time and I was hit with nerves and thoughts of don't F up. First tee shot was a low liner left. Second shot was a punch out and I thought, "Ok, par 5 hitting 3...lets just try to get close to the green for an up and down." Third shot was a hosel shank right. At this point I was filled with complete fear and confusion. Its amazing what nerves can do to a swing, so I finished the first hole with a 9 (+4). Hole 2, 157 yard par 3. Easy 8 iron right? WRONG! Hosel it 120 yards to the right. Second shot is a punch 50° wedge about 90 yards, hosel it again. 3rd shot was a de-lofted chip just to get on the green, 2 putt 5 (+2). At this point I am +6 through 2 holes and completely mortified and embarrassed. The day continued to snowball. I would pipe a drive down the middle and then duff/shank my approaches. At this point I just tried to stay out of the way of my competition and keep positive energy for the group. I finished with a 100 (+28), as this was my worst round within the past couple years.



    After the round I had sometime to reflect. First, it was a great learning experience and I have much respect for the professionals doing so in front of millions. Second, golf is a wonderful game as it teaches you more than how to get a little white ball in the hole. I was completely humbled by the day as it tested my patience and sportsmanship towards fellow competitors. Going in with such high expectations seemed to add a lot of unwanted pressure. I plan to play in more tournaments in the future and will continue the development of my game under pressure.



    Feel free to share some similar experiences/advice/feedback.



    - KC




    What kind of tournament was it? I'd love to play some but don't know where to find any that arent scrambles. I'm not a member of a club so club championships and such are out.




    It was a local city championship tournament at my home course (Irvine, CA) being individual play, lowest score wins. They had different flights if you wanted to play with your GHIN. I am a member at this course but its a public course so all are welcome. They sent me an email but I am not sure how they market to the public. I'd suggest calling around to some local courses and inquiring about little local tournaments. Over here in sunny southern CA they have a few "championship" tournaments for anyone who wants to play. Long Beach Open (Very prestigious tournament for pros/amateurs/locals), San Clement Championship, Costa Mesa Championship, Irvine City Championship.



    - KC
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  • CircaflexCircaflex Well, I gotta go now. I’ve got a lotta bouncin’ to do! Members Posts: 727 ✭✭
    My advice is, next time don't suck so much. image/golfer.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':golfer:' />
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  • DavePelz4DavePelz4 A golf course in the Chicago area.ClubWRX Posts: 24,208 ClubWRX
    Justin Thomas won 5 straight matches in the WGC and knowing if he won 1 more he'd go to #1 in the world golf rankings. He said he couldn't get the thought out of his mind and played like **** hitting the ball all over the yard. Tony Romo is allegedly a scratch golfer and a former NFL quarterback. He shot 82 in his second round in Mexico last week. It happens to players at all levels.



    Thanks for the honesty and sharing.
  • GolfWithdrawalsGolfWithdrawals Woodstock, GeorgiaPosts: 330 ✭✭
    Don't beat yourself up too much. As others have stated, tourney golf is a different animal and takes some getting used to. The only way to get better in tournaments is to play more tournaments. I've won two tournaments in the last 6 months and didn't have my best game in either one of them. I won a golf am tour event a week ago with a 77 and I won a club Championship with a 73 in October. I just started playing in tournaments again last year. Before that I hadn't played in one in 10 years. 10 years ago I played in some Georgia pga assistant division tournys and those were my first tournys in my life. I played tennis in college and no ajga growing up. I had a difficult time breaking 80 and I carded a 12 on a par 3 once....a 12! I think I shot an 89 that day. Anyway, keep practicing, keep playing tournys and find a game that you can confidently play under pressure. Play smart and try to take the big numbers out of play. Good luck!
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  • tatertottatertot Members Posts: 4,298 ✭✭
    You didn't quit, you worked on staying positive for the rest of the group, and you didn't die.



    Not a complete failure. You'll do better next time.
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  • CircaflexCircaflex Well, I gotta go now. I’ve got a lotta bouncin’ to do! Members Posts: 727 ✭✭
    edited Mar 26, 2018 #14
    It probably didn't help that our playing partner was a head-case and pouted all day after about three holes. We'll get em next time big dog.



    I had a similar experience, nerves were high for the first few holes. Made some mistakes I NEVER make on certain holes. Made the game more fun and brought some competitive drive out of me that hasn't been there for a long time. It was a whole new game.
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  • KC13KC13 31st StatePosts: 329 ✭✭
    Circaflex wrote:


    My advice is, next time don't suck so much. image/golfer.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':golfer:' />




    Hahaha, wish you would of "Mike Malaska" me sooner!



    Well done on your day Bossman!
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  • GHIN n JuiceGHIN n Juice Wingpointe GC...Never Forgotten Members Posts: 1,667 ✭✭
    I’ve played tournament golf for 20 years and still sh!t the bed occasionally. A few years back I shot 72 to lead my flight after day one. On day two I’m in the final group with people who’ve finished their rounds coming back out to watch and I completely forget how to spell golf let alone play it and finished with a 92...from first to also participated in front of everyone.
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  • KC13KC13 31st StatePosts: 329 ✭✭
    Gentlemen/Ladies, thank you for the kind feedback, similar experience, advice and moral support (much needed as my ego is a bit flat)!



    GolfWRX provides such positive insight for a shared passion, Golf.



    - KC
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  • Forged4everForged4ever Putting is 98%+ Mental..... ClubWRX Posts: 15,578 ClubWRX
    edited Mar 29, 2018 #18
    As has been said above me, there is the game of golf, and then there is Tournament Golf~



    As you found out, they are two very very different animals~



    I noticed that ya said that you got a lesson “the night before” and the only suggestion that I would make is to NEVER EVER EVER do that again, lolol.



    As you obviously found out, Tournament Golf is more mental than physical and sure, you may hit poor shots which you attribute to physical flaws, however to be a competitive Tournemant Player, one must Master the mental side of the game and this starts with clearing all physical and mechanical thoughts from one’s head and visualizing the swings, strokes, shots and desired outcomes that one EXPECTS to hit.



    It is virtually impossible to do this while processing physical and mechanical swing thoughts.



    My Teacher referred to this as the “bridge,” that one crosses over from thinking about physical/mechanical thoughts to when their confidence in both their physical swing and themselves allows them to free their mind of mechanical thoughts and only visualize their swings, shots and desired outcomes.



    On one side of the bridge is a golfer~



    While crossing the bridge does not guarantee one of becoming a Player, it will provide one with the mental tools to improve and perform up to one’s potential competitively, whatever handicap that may be and be that in Tournaments or money games.



    You can only do this by intense practice, reps, both of your physical game and mental, and most importantly, by Playing Tournament Golf.



    Yes, there is no substitute for actual Tourney Play however unlike our physical game, which, whether it be practiced on the line, on the practice green, on the course or in the garage into a net, ya must have a club and/or ball in hand.



    The mental game on the other hand, can be practiced whenever you have a few minutes of peace, quiet and solitude to close your eyes and visualize your PSR or PostSR.



    The more often that ya do this off the course or line, the easier that it will be to do on the course or line😉



    Regardless, You are a Gentleman and a credit to both the Game & this Board!!



    Thank you for sharing KC👊



    My Best,

    RP
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • Congratulations for showing up. Just another funny story to tell in the future, and you'll get comfortable in your tournament skin.
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  • Sean2Sean2 #TheWRX (Callaway Trip) Members Posts: 30,826 ✭✭
    Props to you for playing in a tournament. A lot of folks play golf, but will never play in a tournament. My first tournament I was extremely nervous, and my scores reflected that. :-)



    I like playing in tournaments. They get the juices flowing more than a standard round of golf.
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  • oldpalchampoldpalchamp Members Posts: 1,204 ✭✭
    Can't really add anything that hasn't been said. But, will say this. Don't stop. The more tournament golf you play, the easier it will become.
  • platgofplatgof platgof ClubWRX Posts: 1,370 ClubWRX
    edited Mar 26, 2018 #22
    You took lessons before a Tournament, really! Man, what were you thinking. That was way to much koolaide before a match. Just be your self next time, and just have fun, and let the competition begin. I absolutely loved my first tourney. **** the card and find your groove. My next one is this summer, can't wait.
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  • KC13KC13 31st StatePosts: 329 ✭✭
    edited Mar 26, 2018 #23
    platgof wrote:


    You took lessons before a Tournament, really! Man, what were you thinking. That was way to much koolaide before a match. Just be your self next time, and just have fun, and let the competition begin. I absolutely loved my first tourney. **** the card and find your groove. My next one is this summer, can't wait.




    To clarify, I have been seeing my swing coach for the past several months. Nothing crazy mechanical wise was worked on that day as I told him I am entering my first tournament ever (He actually encouraged me), just some touch up. I didn't intentionally plan it that way, it just happened to fall on that day as I see my swing coach every other weekend. But sure, I can see the perspective of being fresh off a lesson and having way to many swing thoughts. This is the second time this advice has been spoken of and it seems very logical. Learning every day!



    - KC
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  • jslane57jslane57 Members Posts: 3,929 ✭✭
    Congrats on entering the world of tournament golf! I will second: Don't take a lesson the night before a tournament! Don't even work on your swing. Also, don't ever change to a new putter the night before a tournament. Tournaments are all about being yourself, playing your own game, and changing things the night before is a sure way not to know who you are out there...
  • rdangelo1077rdangelo1077 Posts: 133 ClubWRX
    edited Mar 26, 2018 #25
    ****, at least it was under tournament pressure! I also play to a 9.5. Two weekends ago I joined a group in my area and was hoping to make a good impression. Have been taking lessons since September and have made some good strides. Shot below 80 a few times in the late fall and was excited to see what this season would bring. Step up to the first tee (par 5) and flare one right into an unplayable lie. Try to hit a low 9 to get back in position and go left. Ultimately took an 8. My spiral downward continued throughout the day with some good, but mostly terrible. Went out and worked on the swing over the last week and realized my arms were trying to over swing and I was getting severely stuck and was so insanely flippy at impact. Shortened up the arms, more body rotation and back to hitting crisp irons. Crazy how a little pressure can throw you all sorts of out of whack. Keep at it and good luck in future endeavors!
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  • BeerPerHoleBeerPerHole Members Posts: 1,079 ✭✭
    edited Mar 26, 2018 #26
    Yeah, keep yer chin up. I once had a round where I had a severe case of the shanks. I happened to be playing with a friend of mine who's a father of two guys who were on the tour at that time (you can figure out who they were, I'm thinking.) I literally slammed my clubs into my trunk when I left the course. I tell people this often..."When I started out I was the worst golfer I have ever seen to date. It's a miracle I stuck with it." I, like you, expect now to shoot in the low 80s...really a miracle... Oh, and my shank record day...was the day after a lesson.



    My son, 12, plays competitive golf. Kid has the best swing of anybody I know. but struggles between the ears. He asked me recently how I dealt with having an audience back when I played football and ran track. In football, I was an offensive back, so I was preoccupied with a bunch of half-humans trying to kill me. But, in track I told him I just pretended the audience was a bunch of monkeys. Worked great. Imagine that the next time you tee one up...haha!



    You'll improve from here, I'm betting.
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    Maker's Mark
  • thug the bunnythug the bunny Members Posts: 6,140 ✭✭
    jslane57 wrote:


    Congrats on entering the world of tournament golf! I will second: Don't take a lesson the night before a tournament! Don't even work on your swing. Also, don't ever change to a new putter the night before a tournament. Tournaments are all about being yourself, playing your own game, and changing things the night before is a sure way not to know who you are out there...




    I will third that. No lessons, and if you hit the range, focus only on getting loose and tempo, not on shot making. 9 to 3 shots for me only. Center face square contact, no working on swing stuff. I prefer to just practice putt before a tournament. Gets you into a golf stance. And don't forget to breath before addressing each and every practice shot.



    I have been exactly where you are OP. My first club champ qualifier I developed hosel shanks, and I hadn't hoseled a ball for years before that.



    I would bet a paycheck that your grip got tight, you got quick, and you didn't rotate completely and finish your backswings! Tournament golf is a great lesson in how to calm down and trust yourself.
  • kc_hackerkc_hacker Members Posts: 60
    I've played a lot of tournament golf, but took a few years off (not golf, just tournaments). Finally entered a tournament and my group teed off on #9. Lots of nerves. Put the tee ball on the range. Took an 8 on the hole (par 4). I had to remember how to play tournament golf.



    Get back in the ring. There is a lot of fun to be had. You'll learn a lot of lessons, and the regular weekend foursome rounds will improve as well.
  • kevin2kevin2 Members Posts: 294
    edited Mar 26, 2018 #29
    I've usually played great over the decades under pressure in tournaments. However, last year I played in 1 and after my first shot, which I about holed out on a par 3 and tapped in for a birdie, I shanked about 10 shots the rest of the day, 7-8 in a row! DANG! I'm a 1, so it was hard to swallow. I just went to identifying the cause and got it worked out for most of the middle 14 holes, only to have a couple more shanks arrive when we were out of the tournament for sure. Took a couple more rounds after that to get rid of them for the rest of the season! During the tournament I didn't let the get to me, but rather just dug in deep. I've seen golfers of all abilities melt down emotionally to the point that they ruin golf for the rest of the foursome too with some of their "displays". Hey, it is just a game. As long as you remained a good sport, then that is all that matters.
    Taylormade R15 430 12'
    Callaway X16 Pro Series S300
    Odyssey White Hot Pro HAVOK
    PING Cadence TR Anser W Traditional - Custom 4' Flat
    Cleveland REG 588 56' 64'
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  • fairways4lifefairways4life Members Posts: 1,553 ✭✭

    KC13 wrote:


    Hey WRX'ers!



    Played in a local tournament (my first as the the title states) at my home course this past Sunday and lets just say, I forgot how to golf as I typically shoot in the low 80's (my best round to date 73). I got a lesson in the night before and was grooving it. I headed to the course early Sunday morning to putt, chip and hit some full shots, no issues and again grooving it. Fast forward to my tee time and I was hit with nerves and thoughts of don't F up. First tee shot was a low liner left. Second shot was a punch out and I thought, "Ok, par 5 hitting 3...lets just try to get close to the green for an up and down." Third shot was a hosel shank right. At this point I was filled with complete fear and confusion. Its amazing what nerves can do to a swing, so I finished the first hole with a 9 (+4). Hole 2, 157 yard par 3. Easy 8 iron right? WRONG! Hosel it 120 yards to the right. Second shot is a punch 50° wedge about 90 yards, hosel it again. 3rd shot was a de-lofted chip just to get on the green, 2 putt 5 (+2). At this point I am +6 through 2 holes and completely mortified and embarrassed. The day continued to snowball. I would pipe a drive down the middle and then duff/shank my approaches. At this point I just tried to stay out of the way of my competition and keep positive energy for the group. I finished with a 100 (+28), as this was my worst round within the past couple years.



    After the round I had sometime to reflect. First, it was a great learning experience and I have much respect for the professionals doing so in front of millions. Second, golf is a wonderful game as it teaches you more than how to get a little white ball in the hole. I was completely humbled by the day as it tested my patience and sportsmanship towards fellow competitors. Going in with such high expectations seemed to add a lot of unwanted pressure. I plan to play in more tournaments in the future and will continue the development of my game under pressure.



    Feel free to share some similar experiences/advice/feedback.



    - KC




    What kind of tournament was it? I'd love to play some but don't know where to find any that arent scrambles. I'm not a member of a club so club championships and such are out.




    Check out the Golfweek am tour...



    http://www.amateurgolftour.net/nla_tour_pages/default6.asp



    http://www.amateurgolftour.net/sla_tour_pages/default6.asp
  • kujositkujosit Posts: 101 ✭✭
    Thanks for sharing your story. Agree with you how golf is such a mental game. Like others have commented, get back out there and should them what you got...
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