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Hopes and Dreams Dashed on the Rocks of Mediocrity


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#1 finleysg

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 07:24 PM

Tell us about your tournament failures.

I've had many, but the last two days were extra bitter because I hit the ball so well, especially the driver. Too well, in fact, because I kept carrying the ball 5-10 yards further than I have come to expect.

So after going 37-43 on day one, I know I need a +4 75 or better just to make the cut to get to play the third day of our state mid-am. Day 2 is on a course I have never seen before, so that 75 is a tall order, but dang it, the ball striking is better right now than at any time in my life (I'm 56), so I'm determined.

The start is par, par, then a sloppy three putt bogey on the third. Two more three putts and a birdie (I stuffed the approach to 18 inches -- my 82 year old mother could have converted that one), and I make the turn at +2 for the day.

Miss the next two greens and cannot convert the up and down because my feeble short game skills are totally over-matched by these greens. Hit two good putts on the next hole that both miss (my good putts miss on the lip -- don't ask about the bad ones), so I extend the bogey train to three holes. Total rim job on the birdie putt on the next hole, but hey, at least it's not a bogey.

Now for the crushing disappointment.

I block my tee ball right on the next hole. First miss of the day with the driver, but I catch a break and have a clear shot to the green. Only I can't see the green because I'm behind Mount Vesuvius. I guesstimate the yardage at 125, climb Mt. Vesuvius to get a line to the green, trudge back and proceed to hit the purest, prettiest PW of the year, right on the flag stick. I climb the mountain and see a ball tight to the hole, and my heart soars because I know it's mine.

Alas, if belongs to my FC. My ball is 50 feet past the pin.

The putt is downhill to the hole, then really downhill to the front on the green. I give it a bit too much gas, and I've just putted off the green. I have a 40 foot come-backer. Like Seve, I miss, I miss, I miss, I make. Big fat 6.

Next hole, par 3 at 180 to a back pin, water on three sides. I must have some extra failure adrenaline going because I fly my 172-carrying 6 iron over the green and into the drink. Back to back doubles and the fat lady is singing the blues.

To rub some extra stingy salt into my wounded pride (how's that for mixing metaphors), I finish the back nine with smooth, back-to-back 8's. The old Alan Page (no. 88 for the Vikings of my youth) finale.

Trudge my way to the scoring table and look on sheepishly as the poor official has to do the math on my back nine. 47. 85 for the day. 10 shots above the cut line.

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#2 naval2006

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 07:52 PM

Golf can be so frustrating... But then again you'll have some great rounds in the future, OP, so keep on grinding.


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#3 finleysg

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:37 AM

View Postnaval2006, on 12 September 2017 - 07:52 PM, said:

Golf can be so frustrating... But then again you'll have some great rounds in the future, OP, so keep on grinding.

Thanks, but this post is mostly tongue-in-cheek. I was mainly just disappointed by missing out on another round at a really fun (and hard) golf course. The actual two days of "failure" were a blast. Except maybe the 8 8 finish.
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#4 75or95

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 03:15 AM

I played a ton of tournament golf growing up. AJGA, tried to walk-on at an SEC school, etc and then I quit until my senior year of college. Eight years ago, after not playing in a tournament for 15 years, I was playing to a 2 at my home course, not a traveling 2 by any means but decided I was in tournament shape and registered for the State Amateur Qualifier. It was an absolute disaster on the greens. I had two 4 putts, 5-6 three jacks. If you ended up above the hole, forget it and I was above the hole all day long. I shot 93 and turned my card in and took my medicine like a man. A man who's tournament days are over. I do play in tournaments but they are flighted and I've won 2nd and 3rd flights before with solid scores of 71 and 73 but I'll never forget that 93.

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#5 Reb58

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 08:19 AM

Similar story to the OP, but an tied for first after 9 with a 41 with the guy I'm playing with in an AmTour event.

Crush the drive on 10 which is too long, through the fairway into hazard. Par 5 so I scramble for bogey.

13 and 14 come around, two shorter par 4's, hazard twice on 13, two topped strikes on 14 and a buried green side bunker shot and I have two snowmen and end up finishing 5th.  Playing partner wins in a playoff. Blah.


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#6 Matchplay10033

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 12:08 PM

When I was younger played in a ton of tournaments and matches.    I never really felt the pressure of tournament golf because I was so used to it.  I had not played in a tournament since 2002. Since then I let my game deteriorate to the point I was a bogey golfer.   Last June I decided I would try and get near scratch again.  I worked my tail off and decided to enter my first tournament this June.    On the first tee I watched  as everyone I was playing with fit their drives right down the tight fairway.   I get up and blast one OB right... it started.. pure panic set it.   3 off the Tee... OB left.... I then pull out an iron and chunk my 5th shot off the tee about 130 yards.  6th shot was hit horrible... still had 230 yards in on my 7th shot.   Short of green I chipped up and was above the hole.  Putting for a 9 and I missed... standing over my tap in I was petrified I would whiff !   I took a 10  on the next hole OB again and took a 7 but it was an improvement.    During that first round back I had moments of pure terror where I felt like I couldn't even hit the ball !    This was after a practice round of 75 on the same course the day before.    Ended up shooting a 94 !!!!! Next day I set 2 goals for myself,  no OB on the first hole,  Nothing higher than a 7 .  First hole I blew it... Went OB again and took an 8.... then a 7 on the second hole again and then just sort of gave up and miraculously had a stretch of 13 pars.    Ended up shooting a 80 on the second day.    Since that first tournament I have played in 4 others this summer and actually had fun and scored well.    I came close to completely walking off the course that first day back and am very grateful I didn't.  I have become a much better golfer since adapting to that pure panic.

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#7 Yuck

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 04:27 PM

City Am many years ago.  My teenage son was my caddy.  74 day one, 71 day two with 2 OB's.  I am in the top ten going into the final round and pretty excited since my competitive days were 20 years behind me.  On the 3rd hole I double hit a chip & something just snapped (in my brain).  The next 90 minutes were a fog and the next thing I know I am putting out on the 9th green for a 52 with my last golf ball.  I did finish the round and did not lose that last ball.  Although I shot a 38 on the back, it was a big fat 90.  It was so bad my friends were afraid to make fun of me.  At times in my life I could play some decent golf, but an unexpected collapse was always a possibility.

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#8 psunate08

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 09:09 PM

So I just started playing in May 2016. This year I thought I was ready to play in local tournaments after consistently shooting in the 70’s at my home course. I have worked very hard on my swing and was ready to compete. Well, of the 3 tournaments I’ve entered this year, I haven’t shot lower than 89! When I’m playing casually with friends and I shout in the 70’s, I always putt out and take no gimmies so that I’m ready for tournaments. That didn’t help at all. I get soooo nervous playing in these tournaments and can’t shake it. I really feel the nerves on the tee and spray my driver everywhere. Same goes for putting. I’m just going to have to keep playing in them to get over it and I know that’ll happen. My hopes and dreams live on haha

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#9 finleysg

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 07:01 AM

View Postpsunate08, on 25 September 2017 - 09:09 PM, said:

So I just started playing in May 2016. This year I thought I was ready to play in local tournaments after consistently shooting in the 70’s at my home course. I have worked very hard on my swing and was ready to compete. Well, of the 3 tournaments I’ve entered this year, I haven’t shot lower than 89! When I’m playing casually with friends and I shout in the 70’s, I always putt out and take no gimmies so that I’m ready for tournaments. That didn’t help at all. I get soooo nervous playing in these tournaments and can’t shake it. I really feel the nerves on the tee and spray my driver everywhere. Same goes for putting. I’m just going to have to keep playing in them to get over it and I know that’ll happen. My hopes and dreams live on haha

Ha! It really does take some time to get past those nerves. Not necessarily getting rid of them, but learning to hit the shots when you're feeling nervy.

I got hooked on tournament golf about 7 years ago, and my only real regret is that I didn't discover how much fun it is until relatively late in life.
D: Callaway XR Pro - Ozik Red Tie
3W: Exotics E8 Beta - Aldila Rogue 110
3 - Ping Crossover
Wrenches: Ping S55 - P thru 4 - Project X Rifle 6.0
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM5 - 50, 56 (F), 60 (M)
Putter: OWorks 2-ball

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