The bets are in.

Back in mid-December I asked people to guess what my handicap would be when the “winter season” ended in February.  The two months flew by and the GHIN system finally refreshed on February 15.  To my surprise, it had my new handicap as an 8.7.  So, to hold true to the blog posted back in December, it’s time to send the sleeve of balls to the closest guesser. About 40 people chimed in on the blog post and unfortunately (for postal reasons alone), the best guess came all the way from Adelaide, Australia.  Lachlan thought the number would be 8.8 and so to the winner goes The Dan Plan logo balls.

I was a bit surprised that it was that low, but the more I thought about it, that number felt about right for this moment in time.  When my handicap was 11-12 I honestly felt that I was better than that and whenever I played people who gave me strokes I felt like it was unfair to get so many.  (On a side note, I cannot wait until I am the one giving out strokes, It just doesn’t ever feel right to be getting strokes on holes, no matter how good the opponent is.)  Single digits feels better and I know that when things get aligned right I can be pushing rounds lower and getting down to some really good levels.  I’m looking forward to seeing the type of golf that I’ll be playing come high summer this year.  But…  That’s not an expectation.  I’ve learned my lesson so many times.  I am going to put in the work and hope to see some good ball strikes, but I will try my best to play one shot at a time and leave the expectations at the door.  Can’t a man just hope for the best without calling it an expectation?

I have an all-afternoon lesson planned for tomorrow and then fly back to Atlanta on Saturday.  Once I get back out to Cartersville for a full day of practice on Sunday I will have hit the 2,500 hour mark on The Dan Plan.  I think being at an 8.7 seems about right for the amount of time that I have put in to date.  It will be the next 2,500 hours that really tells a story, though.  The previous one was mostly about getting myself oriented to the different clubs and learning ball striking, putting and chipping.  For the next 2,500 hours I plan on tuning in swings and learning more about how to score as well as begin the voyage of competitive golf.  That voyage will hopefully start sooner than later as I’m looking for tournaments to enter as early as this March.  If anyone knows a good place to register for amateur tournaments in Atlanta or Portland please let me know.

It’s been a great little trip to Portland.  Had Valentine’s with the lady, met with Nike, got interviewed by Golf Magazine then had a full day photo shoot with Angus from Golf Mag.  Even managed to squeeze in some practice hours and learn a thing or two about my swing and how to play in changing weather conditions.  Now it’s back to sunny Atlanta to knock it around for a bit before making the cross-country drive back to Portland in late March.

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