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NH Sate AM Here I Come (Hopefully)


ejgaudette

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Well after reading a very interesting book about risk and pushing yourself to do hard things and the positive effect it can have on your kids, and the parents as well. Next year I will enter the NH State Am Qualifying with the goal getting to the actual NH State Am tournament. My wife keeps saying, but your good at golf you should try something else, but I tried to explain I am pretty good, but this is a new level. Competitive golf is its own world, with its own pressure and the players are even better than I am. I currently am at a 4.6 handicap, but I play mostly the same course and by myself first thing in the morning with no real consequences for a bad shot. I know on the first tee my arms will feel like jello and hand will be a little bit sweaty, hopefully there will be no vomiting of mom's spaghetti though. Just getting the ball off the tee with a reasonable strike will feel like a victory.

I played a couple years on my High School team where I scrapped the ball around for two years after giving up on football. There were plenty of rounds where I had a good score going that fell apart to some degree on the last couple holes. Overall though I enjoyed the experience and end up playing pretty well my senior year. Since then, golf has been fits and starts of trying to improve punctuated by no real progress. This year though I have been more focused on my game than ever. Enduring swarms of mosquitos and black flies, sorting through my own swing thoughts, and managing an increased workload as this job thing. Don't they know there is golf to be played!

You might be asking yourself, well how impressed should I be when you meet this goal? Thunderous applause, a golf clap, shrug indifference? Great question and one I had not idea about when I started thinking about it. So I went to the NH Golf Association website and reviewed the qualifying site results. Each year there are 7 qualifying sites that promote various amounts of golfers from each. The site I am planning to play in the last two years let in someone at +6 or 78, though this year that was in a playoff. Thankfully NH being a smaller state with a nice long off season there is a bit less depth than other states (hears scratch golfers in Florida cackling). Having never played the course and not knowing how hard the setup might be it seems attainable but will take a good round under pressure.

The stretch goal would be to make it to the match play round. So if you make it into the actual State Am tournament, much like many of these tournaments, there are two rounds of stroke play before a 64 man match play bracket. Again taking a peak at what it took last year or a difficult track, +13 went into a 12 for 8 playoff to round out the bracket. So +12 or a 78 average got the job done, again seems within the realm of possibility if I play really well for two days. Of course I could flame out after 5 holes of qualifying, but that is golf.

In this journey I will share where my game is at, strength and weakness. How I plan to practice and continue to improve. The course where I plan to try and qualify, with hopefully a couple practice rounds. Join me for a journey just above golfing mediocrity with some birdies, even more bogeys, and no promises of a good time. Now I gotta go hit some balls.

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