Why is it so difficult sometimes?
I’ve struggled staying patient on the course at times. In my previous blog entry I wrote about how patience was taken over by frustration in our first round of the Calgary Golf Association’s Riley’s Best Ball event, which knocked us to the consolation side.
Since then we’ve mustered up a couple wins and found ourselves in the consolation quarter-final match last night on the Hawk course at Priddis Greens G&CC. It has taken me a while to implement relentless patience this season, but I have started to find some recently.
The momentum swings in golf, particularly match play, make patience paramount. Unless you’re Tiger playing Stephen Ames, momentum will rarely remain one-sided. You just have to stay the course and not exhaust your energy with worry and frustration when momentum isn’t on your side.
Our quarter-final match last night was a superb example of momentum swings. We got off to a great start and carried all of the momentum through 8 holes, and here is how it went after that:
4 UP thru 8
3 UP thru 9
2 UP thru 10
2 UP thru 11
1 UP thru 12
2 UP thru 13
1 UP thru 14
AS thru 15
1 DOWN thru 16
We had momentum for almost the entire first half of the round. We didn’t lose a hole. We won four of them. Then we found ourselves headed to the 17th hole 1-DOWN, having just lost 3 holes in a row to surrender our lead for the first time all day. In a way, I almost got a kick out of it this time. Rather than resort to worry or frustration, I managed to embrace and enjoy how crazy the swings were in this match. We were all playing some good golf and it was fun to be a part of.
On the 17th, one of our opponents stepped up and hit a solid shot on the 228 yard par-3 to 15 feet. We both missed the green after my shot landed on and trickled over the back into the rough. It felt close to game over, but I remained calm and patient. I was not willing to give up, but I was willing to accept any end result which, in a way, took results off my mind. I just focused on the next shot at hand which was the only thing I could control at that point.
Then, I chipped in for birdie. They missed their birdie putt — back to all square. We won the 18th with par after they got into some trouble off the tee, to win the match and advance to the semi-finals.
Moral of the story — you never know when momentum will flip. It can happen suddenly and unexpectedly and sometimes you can’t control it. Stay patient.