First off let me say I’m sorry for the lack of posts or updates these past several months…with new schedules and the time change causing cheap twilight golf to be near impossible, I felt it was the right time to start putting more focus and time toward a new idea that I have had floating around in the back of my head.
The amazing response and support you all have shown me and this blog, has helped me to discover a true passion for writing that I never knew I had. I’ve discovered a passion for encouraging, helping and inspiring others to develop themselves and work toward personal growth in order to achieve their goals and dreams and live their best life.
As I’ve talked about in previous posts, over the past several years, I’ve experienced my fair share of emotional ups and downs. As a result, the art of self development and self improvement has become the most important component of my life. I have a deep desire to grow…to become the best version of myself while living a happier and more productive existence. I have a thirst for knowledge and ideas. I’ve spent much time seeking out anything that I could learn from and apply to my life in order to help me to grow and improve. I’m infatuated with stories of success and I want to help others in creating their own.
One of the reasons I started this journey in golf was to push myself toward self improvement. I wanted to challenge myself to excel at something that was exceptionally difficult. I was yearning for growth, not just in golf, but with my life.
I will talk more about my new endeavor in coming months, but I just wanted to let you guys know where my focus and energies have gone these past few months. I’m still in the process of learning and developing the necessary skills required to bring my new vision into reality and I’m excited to be able to share it with you all in the coming months!
Ok, now back to golf! I’ve now started the process of integrating golf back into my daily routine and yesterday I finally played my first round of 2015!
The only golf that I have played since December has been just a handful of range sessions. My handicap before this 2+ month break was down to a career low of 1.3. With golf being a game that requires constant dedication, I can tell you I wasn’t expecting to score like a 1 handicap my first round back, but I do consider myself an athletic person with a pretty good understanding of the golf swing. So I knew I wouldn’t play as good as my previous handicap, but I still did expect to play relatively well.
My buddy and I met up at a new course for this blog ~ Mission Trails.
Mission Trails is a Par 71 and at just over 6,000 yards, it’s not very long, but it does feature elevation changes, blind tee shots or dog legs on about 90% of the holes, which makes it a still somewhat challenging track. I had played out here once before, but not in several years and I could only remember about 3 holes. Playing into elevated greens, where you can’t see the putting surface, is a difficult task if you don’t have any previous course experience or real knowledge of the green layouts.
Despite my rustiness and lack of course familiarity, I did not start out playing like someone who had just taken 2 months off…after the first 10 holes, I was sitting at only (+1)!
I was hitting the ball solid. However, I did seem to be hitting a consistent cut off the tee, something that I’ve never really previously done. Both my chipping and putting were surprisingly efficient. I was making some great putts and had a few great par saving up and downs.
The slight cut off the tee would eventually cost me on the back 9 and it would cause my final 8 holes to be more than frustrating. On the 5 hole stretch of #11-15, I shot (+6), missing all 5 fairway to the left side. One found a hazard while the other 4 found me in lies of either twigs or dirt or stuck behind trees with no shot except a punch out. I bogeyed two par 5’s during this stretch and also had a 3-putt.
What I thought might be a pretty awesome first round back, was starting to get away from me and I was now fully onboard the runaway train of the bogey express. Thankfully, I was able to slow it down by making a couple pars on both #16 and #17 before finally crashing to a stop with a 3-putt bogey on #18.
A back 9 of 43(+7) after a 36(+1) on the front 9 ended the round on a salty note, but I still was able to break 80, with an overall 79(+8).
Although it’s frustrating to play so poorly on the back 9 after such a great front 9, I will take away a lot of positives from this round. Overall, I did play fairly well for someone coming off of a 2+ month absence. I was reading and seeing putts well and thankfully I didn’t develop the Tiger Woods layoff chipping yips. I also struck the ball pretty solidly with all clubs. I look forward to getting back to the range to work on my swing this week.
With this other project, I don’t currently have the ability to be playing 2 to 4 times a week, like I was for most of 2014. My hope is that I can still get out and play at least once a week, but most of my time will be focused either at the range or on short game practice 3-4 days a week. My goal for this blog is still to get my handicap down to a 0, and since starting this blog in May of 2013, I have taken my handicap from 9 down to a 1.3. To me, that is pretty amazing! I have almost accomplished my goal of becoming an “official” scratch golfer, although some could argue that 1.3 could already be considered scratch. I have also accomplished my big dream of shooting under par, not once, but twice. Not to mention I’m 3 for 3 in tournaments, having won all 3 since starting this blog. I fully intend to defend my back to back championships at Palm Springs in August and go for that 3-peat this year with an under par round.
On another side note, tomorrow I’ll be heading down to Torrey Pines for the 2015 PGA Farmers Insurance Open. It’s always an amazing experience watching the best players in the world play golf. They make this difficult game look so easy…hopefully I’ll be able to capture some footage again this year and post it up for you all in coming days. If you’re interested, you can check out my 2014 footage featuring Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson and many others here: 2014 Farmers Insurance Open
Again I’m sorry for the lack of updates. I thank you all for your continued support of me and this blog. Now that I’m slowly gearing back up into golf, I’ll start updating again more often.
flickr photo by JD Hancock, creative commons licensed (BY) : http://flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/4036482004