The Road to Scratch Update: First Taste of Spring

After being teased for a couple of weeks with nice weather and announcements from courses that they were going to open, followed by cold and snow that prevented them from opening, courses finally did open up last week.

Beth and I managed to get a couple rounds in at the Calgary G&CC after work during the week playing 9 holes on Tuesday and 18 on Wednesday.

The Tuesday 9 holes was purely a practice session. We would often hit 2 balls off of the tee or on our approach shot just ironing out those early season kinks and practiced some extra chips, putts, and bunker shots.

On Wednesday we initially planned on playing 9 holes but we were able to get away from work a bit earlier and ended up with time for a full round which was a nice treat. Beth was still in practice mode, and although I probably should have been, I was itching to play a normal round and post a score.

I was actually really happy how I hit it. The range was closed that day for some construction so it was a bit of a stiff start, but still managed some pars out of the gate. I put myself in play off the tee the entire round and gave myself a lot of scoring opportunities. The rust on my game inside about 75 yards really showed though so I’m eager to get some more short game reps in on the course and on the practice range.

I was frustrated with my putting most of the day and after missing close range birdie putts on 15, 16, and a par putt on 17 I was a bit disgruntled. This prompted Beth to give me a bit of a pep talk, “Josh you just gotta keep your head down, you’re following the ball and wanting to watch it go in the hole before it gets there”.

She was totally right. My putting was a bit anxious that day once I thought about it. On 18, a 460 yard par 4 with an elevated tee shot, I hit a decent drive to the right fairway and then hit an 8 iron pin high to a back left pin about 15 feet away. I told myself to relax, keep my head down, and just make a good stroke and accept whatever happens. It went in for birdie, which I accepted.

Once the smoke cleared I was still fairly pleased with an early season tally of 79 despite some short game frustrations. All the more reason to get out there and knock the rust off with some practice.

Most importantly it felt great to stop at the turn for a burger and a beer. The sun was shining, we were wearing shorts, life didn’t get much better.

Then a couple days later…..


Spring in Calgary at it’s finest. Golf in shorts one day, snow a couple days later. I think I can speak for all golfers and golf courses around here that it’s been a pretty frustrating spring. No sense getting too worked up over something you can’t control though, but it’s tough not to feel antsy to get out there in some nice weather!

There are already some great events that I have to look forward to:

This Saturday is Men’s Opening Day at the Calgary G&CC which is 4 man modified best ball type format.

I’ve signed up for 3 match play events.
One is a mixed alternate shot that I’m playing in with Beth.
One is a best ball format where I’m teaming up with Gary (Beth’s Dad). I’m looking forward to being on Gary’s team for a change, when he’s throwing darts at the flag it won’t cost me money!
I also joined the singles event.

Further down the road I also have June 12th circled on my calendar where I’m going to play in qualifying for the Alberta Amateur Championship in July.

As far as my goals of becoming a scratch player or better, I’m going to be patient. Can’t dwell on the scorecard too much or live and die by each round. With anything there’s going to be peaks and valleys. Just need to keep practicing and focus on hitting solid golf shots and things will take care of themselves. It doesn’t happen in a few rounds or even one season necessarily, but it still feels good to be getting off on the right foot despite a slow start with the weather!

Happy golfing!


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