Since my handicap index has continued to decline, I have actually progressed from “B” flight to “A” flight in my club. While the “B” flight members expressed some relief, the “A” flighters are gunning for me. After last month’s rainout, we had our first tournament of the season on Saturday. Last year, they had the A flight playing from the blue tees and B flight from the whites. This year, they’re having everyone play from the same tees and they’re going to switch ‘em up so that each month we might play the blues, whites, even reds, depending on the course. Unfortunately, this month they chose the blue tees and this particular course didn’t have a rating from the blues for women so I had to be singled out again and play the whites. It’s only 275 yards total difference, but still. Anyway, I haven’t been playing as much as I’d like and I’ve been absolutely exhausted from my work schedule lately. Excuses, excuses... everyone’s probably a little rusty. We’re all looking forward to daylight savings time when we can squeeze in twilight rounds after work. Personally, I’m also looking forward to warmer weather in other areas so I can play out of town on travel days.
So how did I do?
I started off horribly, with a double on the first hole and a snowman on the second and really got down on myself. I let it get to me, so it didn’t get much better on the rest of the front nine, and I put up a string of sixes and only one par for a disappointing 52. Somehow, I managed to pull it together somewhat on the back nine with three pars, five bogeys and one triple on a par 3 (ugh) for a pretty solid 44.
My 15.7 index translated to a course handicap of 18, plus 4 strokes for the difference in course ratings (69.9 vs. 74.6). That netted me a 74, which I thought was terrible considering all those strokes, but it was enough to get into a card off for 3rd place, which I won because I par’d the #2 handicap hole.
The value of warming up?
Usually I like to hit at least 30 balls as a warm up before a tournament. I needed every last ounce of sleep that morning and couldn’t get my ass out of bed earlier than I did to leave the house at so I only had the time to take a few putts on the practice green before we tee'd off. My first 30 strokes on the course were a struggle, but I wonder how much difference it would have made if I took them on the range instead. Next time, right?
So, in the first tournament of the season and my first tournament in A flight, I took home 20 whopping smackers for 3rd place. This was also a qualifying tournament for match play, but they told me the club champ gets in automatically. There are only 32 slots for match play (that’s the 5 tournament route to the club championship I won last year). At least I don’t need to worry about that. I'm not sure, but I don’t think I’ve ever not won something in all my tournament experiences. However, I have yet to win a closest to the pin (but I intend to) or long drive (and I don’t plan on it until we get enough women to have a women’s flight). Plus, now I need a second and a first place in "A" flight and of course I'd like to be A flight champ. So it was a decent start, but there's much more on which to set my sights.
Onward and upward - or downward
I’m looking forward to playing more and having more time to practice so I can try to keep lowering my scores. My index only went down by 0.6 this month and I’ve got some low differentials that are pretty old and going to drop off so I need to start putting up some lower numbers. I got my half hour of putting in this week just under the wire (yesterday afternoon) but I need so much more work. Time to get busy!