We all hear how we need to commit to the shot, but how about needing to commit to the entire round?
I had a lot I should have done yesterday – some chores I needed to do and some other things I both wanted to do and needed to do. But I missed the Friday skins game last week, so I played in this week’s game instead of doing what I needed to do.
I was distracted, and opened the round with two three putts. I followed that with a poor drive and a bladed wedge to an unplayable lie, so by the fifth hole I needed to shoot one over the rest of the way to shoot my handicap. After two straight pars and a glimmer of hope, I got a lie that the Chipping Lizard described as the worst he’d ever seen in his life. The round continued to deteriorate from there.
You can imagine the thoughts going through my mind. “What am I doing out here today? I knew I shouldn’t have played. I’m never going to do something stupid like this again.” Occasionally I’d pull myself back to the game, remind myself it really didn’t matter, try to enjoy the day and my friends, it’s a skins game and I just need one good hole, etc. Then I’d slice one out of bounds.
Of course, I finished the round with three straight pars on a difficult stretch that has often destroyed good rounds. That was highlighted with a par on the 16th that featured a push-slice drive that somehow stayed in bounds, and a pulled and bladed wedge that ricocheted off a tree onto the green, followed by a routine two putt for a par. That won a miracle skin when no one else managed a par.
So what are the lessons here?
1. Good play is highly unlikely without commitment to the round.
2. Never give up. It’s always possible to get blind lucky, irritate your friends, and take their money.
3. Remember why you play. Try to have fun, or don’t bother to play. It’s cheaper that way.