I just noticed that my previous post detailed the thrill of successfully qualifying for the GAM Net Am by bringing some stellar play onto the golf course (as opposed to just being in my mind or on the range).
How ironic that this post then details the total and utter collapse of the same golfer (yours truly) in the championship. A 36-hole event, the Net Am was shaping up to be an exciting time to put all the practice to the test.
Well, I failed the test. Miserably. Totally. Entirely.
After posting a Net 75 on day one, I was 5 shots out of the lead heading into the final round. I could easily locate those 5 shots since during round one I took an 8 and two double bogeys – all of which were simply user error (self-inflicted) – and simply the result of correctible mistakes.
So when I warmed up before the final round, it was with a great deal of confidence. Shots were crisp, putts fell, short game was on fire. But then we had to actually play.
At Oak Pointe Golf and Country Club, there is one primary rule of thumb for good scoring – stay below the hole. The sloped greens are not intended to be approached from behind or above.
So, on #1 after a perfect drive, I was a little amped up and powered and wedge right at the flag stick. And 10 yards past, atop an impossible mount. Bogey.
Ditto #2. Perfect drive. Flew green with wedge on 2nd shot. Well struck, but disaster. Bogey.
You get the picture. Except then it got really ugly. I began to unleash a string of grounders, shanks, mental mistakes, and high scores. Needing to shoot only in the mid-70s to have a chance, I went the wrong direction. 87. Lost by a cozy 14 strokes to the eventual champion, and felt as if I never wanted to play the game again.
It’s a helpless feeling isn’t it? To be good at the game one day and then appear as if you had never touched a club the next. I don’t get it, can’t cure it, and right now would just as soon resume my career as a chess player. At least there are no triple bogeys in chess.
Congratulations to the winner. Yes, for playing well…but mostly for maintaining the composure needed to keep all the pieces held together. Maybe next year…