I was really excited for my first ever club championship at the Calgary Golf and Country Club last weekend.
On the surface it went rather poorly. I shot rounds of 83-87-84 in the 1st flight. My adjusted handicap scores were 83-83-81 so I obviously had a few too many bad holes. To boot, those scores bumped my handicap up from 4.1 to 5.0 over the weekend.
It’s not like it was playing easy out there. In the entire 1st flight there were only two rounds shot in the 70’s over three days.
Now that I’m over a week removed from the tournament and the initial disappointment has passed, I’ve realized there are more positives and things to be proud of than I first thought.
First, I never gave up. No matter what happened I fought until the bitter end and just tried to make the next swing a good one.
I hit more good shots than I initially gave myself credit for. Unfortunately I made a few big numbers that derailed my rounds score-wise, but take those away and I got it around fairly well and gave myself a lot of chances.
Most importantly I stayed positive and kept having fun. Even when I felt my score slipping away I just embraced the challenge of trying to post the best score I could moving forward.
Tournament golf is an interesting animal, particularly for the inexperienced amateur like myself. Most of my big numbers seemed to be mental errors; making poor decisions under the gun. For example, trying to hack it out of a shrub several times rather than deeming it unplayable and taking a 10 out of play. It took a couple minutes to find my ball in the shrub, so once I did I convinced myself I had to hurry and didn’t have the confidence to make a proper decision.
That’s part of the beauty of tournament golf, it really exposes your weaknesses. I’ve learned more in a few tough tournament rounds than I have in all of my great casual rounds put together.
Now that club championships are over, it’s hard not to think about the Calgary golf season winding down into it’s last month of good weather.
The season is coming down the stretch, but it’s still far from over. I have another 2 day tournament this weekend which I’m really excited for. It’s at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club, a private golf course here in Calgary which I’ve never played before.
I hope to apply some of my lessons learned at club championships to continue to improve my tournament game. The road to improvement in golf is definitely a marathon, not a sprint.