Last Friday I shot my first under par nine.  It was on the Great Blue course at Heron lakes which is rated 71.9 slope 137 and plays around 6,500 yards (although in 50 degree weather with soaked plugging fairways it plays a bit longer than that, but who’s counting).  I was playing a skins game with a couple of guys and was focussing on playing one shot at a time; things just went the right way and I got a glimpse of my current potential out there.

Your potential in golf is your best 6 holes in a row.  Not necessarily on any given round, but the best 6 holes you have strung together in the past month or so is your near future potential.  On this round, I started out with a birdie and then shot par for the next five holes to be one under after 6.  My current potential, then, is to shoot 3-under for an 18, which seems very possible.

What is everyone else’s thoughts on potential?  How do you know what you are capable of?

I did bogey one hole after that by hitting a par 3 tee shot in a bunker then missing the 8 foot par putt, but then birdied the 8th hole to get back to under for the nine.  After that we were hit by the heaviest rains I have seen in a long time and had to rush back to the clubhouse to avoid lightening and hail.  Here’s some video of the downpour:

Pretty intense.  Afterwords, my playing partners didn’t want to fight the bogged down fairways and standing water on parts of the greens so they split, leaving me one under through 8 holes.  Thirty minutes later the course reopened and I walked back out to resume the round on the ninth hole.  I joined another single and was determined to finish under for the nine.  Had a solid drive and hit my approach shot to 7 feet from the cup, but the birdie putt didn’t fall.  Still, it was a 35 for the side and my first time finishing nine holes under par.  It had been a goal of mine to do this some time over the summer.  Goal accomplished.

Next goal:  Shoot a 75 for a round.  I ended up shooting a 78 on this round as I had some trouble on the back side hitting a couple of balls in the water, but the next day I played the same course and shot a 39 on the back (with a double bogey on 18), so I know that a nice low round is easily within my potential, just have to be patient and stay focussed.  Shooting a 75 isn’t a far stretch, it’s just eliminating a couple of mental errors during the round and staying out of trouble.  I’m not sure when it will happen, but it is my current medium-term goal and one that will be fun to hit as the weather turns for the better out here.  After that one, we set an incrementally loftier goal and so on until my average rounds are higher than my current goal rounds.  Always pushing forward.

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