Round 1 Southern Open

I had a very solid practice session yesterday afternoon following my 3.5 hour drive from Leland to The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis, NC. The one-two punch of heat and humidity were overwhelming — 95 degree air temps and 65% humidity — especially when walking a very hilly golf course. Who knew the Charlotte area was so undulating! Despite the brutal playing conditions, I hit the ball beautifully on a somewhat familiar golf course and putted just as well. Course conditions were less desirable than expected, but only because of the harsh winter that many of the courses in North Carolina endured. Fairways and tees experienced serious winter kill but the greens were as good as they could be for being bent grass during a scorching summer. Although slow, they rolled rather true.

Unfortunately, my solid prep work the past week and planning did not carry over earlier today for my round one performance. I felt great going in to the first tee shot but somewhere along the line, my mind got away from me. As a result, I was only able to post a score of even par 70. All things considered, I was able to scramble very well today and most of my misses (which was nearly every shot) were within reason.

Although I am displeased with my lack of commitment to each and every shot (barring any putts) I was able to learn a lot about my style of play and what I am great at. So lets break this down…

I played with 2 other guys, one that shot 76 (+6) and the other 64 (-6). The biggest difference I noticed between us was the three of our mental games and the way we handled ourselves on the golf course. Mr. 76 was Mr. Negative and I could tell he never committed to a single swing or target the entire round. Not only that, every time he missed a shot or made bogey, he let it affect him in a very negative way. He slammed a few clubs out there and in general acted very unprofessionally. I am sure that this mindset made his score much worse, as he was not able to let go of the previous shot or previous hole. On the other hand, Mr. 64 was calm, cool and collected the entire day. He never hit a shot without committing to exactly the shot shape and distance he had in his mind. This did, at times, lead to very lengthy and deliberate routines which were sometimes painful to watch. As a result though, his commitment to every swing led to a very solid start to his tournament. The thing is, I know I can play just as well if not better than him if I can learn to commit in a similar way. In any case, I learned 2 main things about myself from watching these two players:

#1) I don’t let bad shots affect my mind set or my body language. This is something I have worked very hard on in the past. I am very proud of this!!

#2) I have commitment issues…I worry too much about the result and what will happen if I make a bad swing. This is a very large issue that I need to shake myself of in order to realize my full potential.

Tomorrow I will try very hard to believe in myself on every swing, stay in the present and not let my mind worry about the future. If I can do that, I KNOW I can perform much better than I did today. I was happy with literally just one iron shot that I hit today out of all my drives and all my approach shots. That was because I saw the shot, committed to the distance and shot shape and trusted my swing to deliver the results. Every other swing out there was guided in some way.

If I can learn to TRUST, I know I have the skills I need to succeed. I am confident that after a few more events under my belt, I will start seeing some really good results. This is just Round 1 of the next few years!

I know I will commit to more shots tomorrow than today and regardless of what happens (made/missed cut) I will be happy with my performance. Come back soon for my second round update! Round 2 begins 1:30pm.

Great things are coming! Thanks for following me on this journey.