I’m beat. This weekend was a perfect storm of sorts. I played in a two-day tournament at Eastmoreland Golf Course and had one solid round and one upsettingly rough start.
Day one went well. My tee time was 10:47 so I had plenty of time to stop by Columbia Edgewater and warm up with all of the sticks and still make it down to Eastmoreland in time to test the greens and get my head mentally suited for the game. I started off with a couple of bogeys, a par and then two more bogeys to be at 4 over after 5 holes. I birdied the par 5 sixth hole and then made the turn at a 5 over 41. The back was pretty consistent. I had my biggest issues of the day getting off the tee and was punching out or hitting knock-down shots a lot, but managed to make some solid pars and a few bogey saves to end with a back 9 40 for an 81 on the day.
I was really proud of that 81. There were a lot of good sticks in the field and at least 7 of which were scratch or plus handicaps, and the low round on Saturday was a pair of 72s. I talked with one of the guys who shot 72 after his round and he said he felt like he played the course really well and was a plus handicap who shoots upper 60s on a regular basis. So, 81 was a pretty solid score and something to be proud of. I didn’t double bogey any holes and had the one birdie. Also, when I turned in my card at the end of the round the weather app on my phone said it was 100 degrees in Portland, which is about 20 degrees warmer than the day before. It was a full-sun hot 5.5 hour round in the middle of the day. I was pretty happy to shoot 19 strokes under the temperature
On Saturday evening, my girlfriend, her two kids and I went to a little barbecue and then got back to the house around 8 to put the kids to bed (3 and 6) and try to get some rest ourselves. I was really beat from the long round and heat of the day and wanted to get to bed early for an 8:30 tee time on Sunday. All was well at first, we went to sleep around 11 and despite the heat in the house everyone fell asleep well. (on a side note, not many people, including us, have air conditioning in Portland as it rarely gets hot enough to use it, usually just one weekend a year.) But, around midnight, Mary woke up feeling nauseous. I’m a pretty light sleeper, so woke up when she got out of bed and after she didn’t come back to bed for a while I got up to check on her. She felt like she had food poisoning and couldn’t get to sleep between feeling sick and being in such a hot house. I stayed up with her for a bit and then around 2 she started feeling better so we went back to sleep. At 3, her son woke us up needing some water, he couldn’t sleep in the heat either. At 4 the kids got up again due to heat and then her daughter woke up for good at 6. By the time I got out of bed at 6:30 I think I had gotten a combined total of about 3.5 hours of broken sleep. That stacked on top of a really long hot Saturday didn’t make for good energies heading into the round Sunday. When I got into my truck to head to the tournament it took me a few moments to remember whether it was a stick or automatic. I dropped my water bottle three times between waking up and getting to the course. Definitely not a good sign for coordination.
Now that that is all written out, I want to say that I’m not using this as an excuse for today’s round. Things happen and you need to perform when the time comes no matter what your previous night was like. Rather, I just wanted to shed a little light into my general energy level and mental focus for the day.
The round started off just like yesterday’s. For the first hole, that is. I bogeyed 1 after hitting it in two by three putting due to not having the speed of the greens down. The second hole was a total blow-up. I pushed the drive on the 440 yard par 4 left. I tried to punch out back into the fairway but my punch hit a branch and there I was punching out again. I got the third shot into the fairway but pulled too much club on my 150 yard approach shot and the ball bounced pin high but didn’t check up and ended up rolling off behind a tree. I had to chip up to the opposite side of the green because the tree blocked my line and then two-putt for a triple. On the third hole I pulled a 3-hybrid way right and it ended up stuck behind a tree. I had to punch out and then hit the green and two-putted from 10 feet for a bogey. Fourth hole I pushed the same club I had just pulled and again was stuck behind a tree. After punching out I took too little of a club for the approach and ended up with a 60 foot putt which took me three to get in the hole for a double. The fifth is a 220 yard downhill par 3. I tried to hit a little faded 3-hybrid but ended up hooking it right OB. I hit it again and the ball landed pin high but just off the green. I chipped on and had a 6 foot putt in front of me. The guy I was playing with had the same line and was out so I got to see the line before putting and his turned right just before the cup. I hit it towards the left edge, but it made a turn for the left and lipped out. Another triple.
I was pretty heart broken at this point. I had played 18 holes just yesterday at 9 over and here I was at 10 over after 5. Golf is such a cruel game sometimes. I felt shellshocked. I started the round in about 20th place for gross and 5th for net and had just thrown it all away in five holes. I had a moment on the fifth green of anguish and despair but it was fleeting and I realized that I just had to adjust my goals to fit for my current position. When I began my goal was first and foremost to take it shot by shot and play some good golf, but also I wanted to see if I could improve on the previous day’s round. At this point, I needed to reevaluate and set a new goal. I decided that I wanted to start by getting back to bogey golf, which means that I would need to be 10 over after 10, or 11 over after 11, etc. That was the new goal.
The rest of the front got better, but wasn’t too great. I ended up turning at 12 over for a 48 on the front. I started the back with three pars to meet my goal of getting to bogey golf, as I was now 12 over after 12. From there my goal was to finish under bogey golf for the day. I hit some good and some bad shots over the next few holes, but by the time I entered the tee box for 17 I was 14 over par. I started 5 over after ten, but then played 4 over for the next 11 holes. I ended up lipping out my 5 foot putt on 17 for a bogey and then missing an approach on 18 to score another bogey for a 16 over 88 on the day.
Ten over after 5 and then 6 over on the final 13 holes. That’s golf. The positive from this experience is that I mentally didn’t crack and stuck to it and actually managed to improve through the round. I’d take this type of round over 6 over after 13 and then 10 over on the final 5 holes any day. Also, I was able to adjust my goals during the round and make those goals. All in all a positive experience and a learning experience.
I would have loved to card another 81 or anything lower, but sometimes things just don’t go your way. When that happens you can’t give up, just adjust your target and stay the course.
Here’s to a good night sleep before my next tourney If nothing else, I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight.