It’s rare when my golf game goes exceedingly well although this summer has surpassed my expectations and impressed a few friends.
My first shot off the tee came in early June at an annual golf tournament by a non-profit organization. There were a few good golfers present but many were people who only play in the summer like me. I played solidly all day and held my composure despite a few poorly played holes. I came in 3rd and kept my score near my handicap the entire day.
The second time around was in a club tournament in southern Sweden with a Swedish friend. The competition was “alternate shot”, meaning that my partner and I alternated shots throughout the day.
We didn’t start strongly but found our mojo around the 4th hole. Lady luck was on our side as my partner hit off the tee most of the time which was fortunate as he's better in that role. We came in 3rd place out of 91 pairs!
The third time found me playing with a Norwegian friend who is typically 10-12 strokes better than me. On this day, I beat him (by 5 strokes) marking the first time that has ever happened.
The conditions were VERY TOUGH with strong and diverse wind gusts all day. While walking the course, it was hard to talk due to the wind and my walking cart blew away on more than one occasion! We both thought the day would be super challenging.
Despite the conditions, my third time out was one of my best scores in years. It included a back nine of 3 consecutive pars on holes 10,11, and 12 and a score of 45 - a great nine hole score for me. And to do it in the aforementioned conditions made me feel good.
To give you an idea of how tough it was, consider these two points:
-- On many holes, when the shot called for an 8 or 9 nine iron approach, it was difficult to reach the green with a 5 or 6 iron!
-- My friend mentioned that these conditions would normally take 10 strokes off of one’s handicap. Indeed. His round was 20 strokes above his handicap.
I wondered why I was able to perform so well the third time when the conditions for my first two rounds were more ideal - sunny, no wind and perfect temperatures. In addition, I warmed up for twenty minutes the first two times and had no warm-up the third time.
Golf is funny that way as some days simply shine for no apparent reason. Maybe my concentration and focus were at a high level due to the wind gusts or I need a challenge to bring out the best in my golf game.
Who knows? What I do know is that is was a great day as any day is for me when it includes 18 holes of golf!
Keep in mind that I would not call myself a good golfer although I am a competent golfer which means that I am confident and competent when I compete with players on my level or higher.
My golf weakness is that I often don’t score well due to some bad habits and lack of practice - something many people can relate to. I hope to improve those habits in the future.
The "3rd time was the charm” - a charm I hope will revisit me sooner rather than later.
Happy Gswede Sunday!
Horses and the beach in southern Sweden - photo by our friend Mia