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Playing my first stroke-play tournament


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12 hours ago, revkev said:

Me too but a long, long time ago, after college.  Once I quit playing baseball I played a lot of competitive golf (until I got married and had children).  I did not do very well.  I was a 3 handicap and could not play to it at all.  My main issue was that I took it way too seriously. 

 

After having children and graduating from seminary I started playing competitively again and loved it.  I was in my late 30's, I could still hit the ball fairly long and was a very tough 5 on my home course - so tough that I could even compete when I had a little stretch that brought my handicap down to a 2.  My game however did not travel well at all.  Then I moved to Wisconsin where the season was very short and my competition was limited to a 9 hole match play league.  Then I moved to Florida and at 50 my game really blossomed.  For about 5 years I was a solid 1, anywhere I played because I absolutely loved playing competitive golf, loved the nerves of it, loved meeting and competing against new people, loved holing big putts to shoot solid scores, loved winning, loved loosing because I knew that I could come back for another go round.  Sadly that ended when I got really sick and then developed an irregular heartbeat - I very much want to get back into playing competitive golf again - my club has games at a great time - I just need to get through the summer and I'm in.

 

Bottom line is I think that the more you focus on enjoying it the better you will do.  The biggest mistake that you could make would be to get out of your routine the day of the tournament.  If your normal routine is to show up half an hour early, bang a few balls and go putt don't suddenly show up an hour early because that's what the pros do - do what you do.  The other three things that I'd suggest that I haven't read (I may have missed them) as yet are:

 

1.  Play all golf straight by the rules from here on out including putting everything out.  You will miss some putts that you would have racked away in a casual round, it's okay, it happens, the more that you putt them out, the more comfortable you will be when it counts.  When I'm in competition and have a knee knocker I just think about the 1,000 of putts I've holed before.  

 

2.  Practice with a purpose.  You may be on the range but once you're warmed up, simulate play on the course - if you would normally hit driver down the left side and 8 iron on number 1 - do it.  If number 2 is a 178 yard par 3, tee up your 178 yard club and hit it and so on and so forth.  A few years back I was going to play a round at TPC Sawgrass.  For two months before I went I would tee up an 8 iron on the last shot on the range and hit the island green.  Every time I faced 135 yard shot on the course I was picturing hitting that green.  On the day that I played the course I had 137 to that back shelf, into a slight breeze and I hit my 8 iron about 15 feet short - it was never in doubt - practice with a purpose.

 

3.  On the days of your tournament slow down.  Your heart rate will be up, you will be nervous and excited, like stepping into the batters box if you were a hitter or facing the middle of the batting order if you were a pitcher - unlike baseball though golf can have that kind of pressure for 5 or 6 hours - so slow down when you get out of the car and stay slow throughout.  

 

Good luck - can't wait to read how you did - three days - that's a big tournament.  Have fun!

Got a response from Rev himself! This is gold. Thank you for sharing! I love the practice advice.  I just had a range session where I was EXTREMELY focused on having a purpose for everything that I did.  It was one of the best sessions I have had ever. Not in that I was hitting every shot perfectly but by the end I knew that what I had done would translate to the course.

Two days later I played a 9-hole Thursday night scramble at a course here in OKC and jarred one from 70 yards out for eagle and won 2nd in the flight.  Hoping to keep playing in that each week as a lead up to the tournament to help foster some good feels in a semi-pressured situation. 

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On 6/17/2022 at 11:20 PM, HeathS16 said:

Where you at in NH? I lived in NH for 6 years during my later elementary and early middle school years. 

I grew up in Nashua, but now live up north a bit. Where did you live during that time?

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On 6/21/2022 at 7:22 AM, ejgaudette said:

I grew up in Nashua, but now live up north a bit. Where did you live during that time?

Lived in Litchfield right between Nashua and Manchester! Lived there a solid 5 years in Elementary and Middle school! Really cool area. Honestly all of NH is a bit underrated IMO

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49 minutes ago, HeathS16 said:

Lived in Litchfield right between Nashua and Manchester! Lived there a solid 5 years in Elementary and Middle school! Really cool area. Honestly all of NH is a bit underrated IMO

I know Litchfield well. Played a course their Passaconnaway. I think it was supposed to host some tournaments as it has a very TPC like feel. One side is an absolute monster, no par 5s under 400 before the updated some tees (shortest is 450 if you play the tips, with two at 470+), and then the back has more hazards but shorter. Tips out to like 6,900 with 4 par 3s and only 3 par 5s. Played it on my HS team once and it really kicked everyone's but as we played the long nine.

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2 hours ago, ejgaudette said:

I know Litchfield well. Played a course their Passaconnaway. I think it was supposed to host some tournaments as it has a very TPC like feel. One side is an absolute monster, no par 5s under 400 before the updated some tees (shortest is 450 if you play the tips, with two at 470+), and then the back has more hazards but shorter. Tips out to like 6,900 with 4 par 3s and only 3 par 5s. Played it on my HS team once and it really kicked everyone's but as we played the long nine.

Yes!!! First course I ever played! Brutal if I remember right. I Was really really young at the time, would LOVE to go back and go play it again. Beautiful area there around the Merrimack! Loved my time up north great people in NH. Nice break from the heat down here😅

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57 minutes ago, HeathS16 said:

Yes!!! First course I ever played! Brutal if I remember right. I Was really really young at the time, would LOVE to go back and go play it again. Beautiful area there around the Merrimack! Loved my time up north great people in NH. Nice break from the heat down here😅

Yes just brutal and starting your golfing career there is a tough draw to say the least. It is a nice area and is a bit cooler for sure.

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3 hours ago, ejgaudette said:

Yes just brutal and starting your golfing career there is a tough draw to say the least. It is a nice area and is a bit cooler for sure.

For sure! Loved my time up there. Can’t wait to go back, still have some friends in the area. Gotta hit up Passaconnaway again. 

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16 hours ago, HeathS16 said:

For sure! Loved my time up there. Can’t wait to go back, still have some friends in the area. Gotta hit up Passaconnaway again. 

If you come to the area drop me a line would love to meet up for a round. As long as your ok with playing some of the shorter tees on that nine 😄

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7 hours ago, ejgaudette said:

If you come to the area drop me a line would love to meet up for a round. As long as your ok with playing some of the shorter tees on that nine 😄

That I can certainly do! Sounds awesome! 

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Shot an 84 in the first round today. Just turned in my card so I’m not sure where I stand but I’m guessing at least 8 off the lead. Was grinding it out and hovering around +10 (80) on the day when I dunked one on 18…I’ll give a full recap tonight! 

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Backed up my Day 1 84 with an 85...I was E thru 4 and finished the turn at +7, with a triple on the card. Held it together until hole 13 where I took a quadruple bogey.  +13 thru 13 basically shot me out of contention.  Rallied for back to back birdies the following two holes to get it back +11 on the day but faded down the stretch to finish out at +15 (85). Been fighting the shanks all week, I'm not sure why they have decided to invade my swing this week but... I played 3 holes +9 today, that was the killer. I was proud of rallying for the back to back birds after the quad, because honestly, I was ready to eject. Won't be in the money but I am gunning for a top 10 or top 15 on the leaderboard by day 3's end. Thanks for any of you who are following this tournament experience! 

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Last day was an 80. Significantly better today as I was able to work out the shanks. Thru 7 holes I was actually -1 on the day. Had one blowup triple  but otherwise was very consistent. Finished solo 13th so I was in the top half of my field. For my first tournament experience I am chalking this up as a success. Made 5 birdies throughout the 3 days so my game wasn’t too far off, just need to not have shanks coming into the week. Thank you again for all of the advice getting ready for this thing I am for sure going to play again in an tournament atmosphere! I loved it 

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On 7/4/2022 at 10:31 AM, HeathS16 said:

Last day was an 80. Significantly better today as I was able to work out the shanks. Thru 7 holes I was actually -1 on the day. Had one blowup triple  but otherwise was very consistent. Finished solo 13th so I was in the top half of my field. For my first tournament experience I am chalking this up as a success. Made 5 birdies throughout the 3 days so my game wasn’t too far off, just need to not have shanks coming into the week. Thank you again for all of the advice getting ready for this thing I am for sure going to play again in an tournament atmosphere! I loved it 

That's great to hear and I am sure a learning experience for the future and does seem like a good time. Hopefully you score a bit better next time out.

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3 hours ago, ejgaudette said:

That's great to hear and I am sure a learning experience for the future and does seem like a good time. Hopefully you score a bit better next time out.

The scores were out there for sure.  I just had a few bad holes tbh. Got over the nerves pretty quickly and my confidence is through the roof, knowing that I can still manufacture my way around even without my A game. I will say all I could think about for six holes in the final round was that I was under par 😆 need to work on staying in the moment a bit more. 

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Just now, HeathS16 said:

The scores were out there for sure.  I just had a few bad holes tbh. Got over the nerves pretty quickly and my confidence is through the roof, knowing that I can still manufacture my way around even without my A game. I will say all I could think about for six holes in the final round was that I was under par 😆 need to work on staying in the moment a bit more. 

I have that trouble in a practice round never mind a tournament it has to be difficult for sure.

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