The Road to Scratch Update: Reflecting on 2014

It’s hard to believe, but fall is here and the golf season in Calgary is coming to an end. There might be a couple of rounds remaining out in the falling leaves, but the real meat of the 2014 season is certainly behind us.

Overall it was a very fun season. Being a first time member at the Calgary Golf and Country Club was an honor and a privilege that I am very grateful for. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of great new people and play in some great events. I really can’t say enough about my first season there.

As far as my golf went, I learned a lot about my game and myself this season. I’ve definitely improved, there’s no doubt about that.

I made a consistent improvement to my handicap, improving it from 6.5 to 4.5 and getting it as low as 3.3 at one point.

I gained some valuable experience in competition. Although my results weren’t quite where I wanted them to be, you can’t replace gaining experience and learning from your mistakes.

With the help of my instructor Fred Teno, my swing is improving and I’m becoming a more consistent and confident player. Of course, there’s more work to do. However I’m very happy that we’re headed in the right direction.

If I had to criticize myself this season, it would probably be my discipline. Given my lofty goal of becoming a scratch golfer, I did not practice enough. I didn’t work on my mental game enough, and I didn’t take care of my body like I should.

Summer is fantastic, but there can also be a lot of distractions when you have lofty goals. Work gets busy, friends are getting married, and social obligations go through the roof. It can become a lot easier to go drink beers on a patio than it can to go and workout or practice your short game. Not that there’s anything wrong with drinking beers on a patio…

Of course, these are just excuses. There’s always time, you just have to find it if you want to work towards lofty goals.

Playing more golf with good players this season has really opened my eyes to what is required to continue to improve and reach my goals.

My approach shots inside 130 yards need to improve drastically. I need to dial in and gain confidence in my distance control and improve my attack angle which can sometimes get too steep for consistent wedge play. This is definitely my first priority in the off season, to gain a better understanding of solid wedge play and work on the necessary adjustments.

Wait, my first priority isn’t my short game? I figured that my short game being a priority was way too obvious. No matter what your handicap is, or what your world ranking is, your short game can always improve. Unless you’re making every chip and one putting every green, you can’t convince me you don’t need to work on your short game. Working on and trying to improve your short game should always be a constant season to season, assuming that getting better at golf is up your alley. So yes, improving my short game is also a priority.

On the other end of the spectrum, I’d like to continue improving my driving of the golf ball. I’ve definitely improved from the beginning of this season, but I’m not quite getting the ball flight I want as consistently. At times I still have a tendency to get ahead of the ball a bit and squeeze it out there low at the sacrifice of control. Distance is definitely not my concern, it’s about gaining a bit more control and a better launch angle.

Most importantly, I had fun this season. Golf can be a frustrating game at times, but with a good outlook on life and the golf, frustration should never completely replace fun.

Competition is fun. Bouncing back from adversity is fun. Making a birdie after a double is fun. Dealing with frustration is fun. Playing with friends is fun. Pressure is fun. Being nervous on the first tee is fun. The challenge of golf and everything that goes along with it is fun.

No matter what happens or where I’m at with my goals, I’ll still be having fun.

Happy golfing!


6 thoughts on “The Road to Scratch Update: Reflecting on 2014

  1. Josh

    Sounds like you had a great season. 3.3 is a very good handicap!! I like what you said about practice, I could not agree more. Time is the biggest challenge, but I guess we can make time if golf is our priority. I enjoy reading your posts! Keep them coming!


  2. Hey Josh
    Thanks for following me. I love the substance of this post. We are all trying to go lower. I am going to enjoy reading your posts.

  3. So much of this hit home for me. Well said on all of it. I especially liked that you hit on the fun part. It is really easy to get caught up in the next level of improvement or always looking forward to the next milestone without remembering that Golf is FUN! Thanks for posting.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post and were able to relate to it. Reminding ourselves why we’re out there in the first place (to have fun) can be a very refreshing swing thought. I appreciate the comment!


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