If you've been following my blog, you're probably tired of reading about how the key for me is staying in the present. Well sorry, but I'm not done talking about it yet. Those close to me know that the thought apparently has to be beaten into me like a drum. Golf wouldn't be a 4-letter word if it was easy to do what you know you're supposed to do to play better.
My goal heading down to the tournament in Orlando was to absolutely stay in the present and keep it simple...Eureka. I know. You've never heard that before. I noticed again recently how many of my poor decisions or bad holes on the golf course are due to thinking about outcome and especially about score. Entering the tournament at the Disney Osprey Ridge golf course, I simply wanted to make 18 pars in each round. That does not mean I didn't want to make any birdies. It means that when my course strategy is geared towards playing for par, I generally end up making more birdies because I play smarter. Believe it or not, I don't think I ever learned this concept during my college golf career from my coaches or understood it well enough to apply it from anything I might've read. I play some of my best golf this way because it lowers any anxiety that might arise in me when I feel that I'm failing to meet expectations of score. When trying to make pars as easily as possible, I play freely and athletically.
My alignment was off a bit in the 1st round so I felt uncomfortable before I hit many shots but I worked on it on the range afterwards. My setup improved in the 2nd and 3rd rounds so I hit the ball better, and staying mostly in the present which allowed myself the opportunities to make lots of birdies. It was fun to tear up the Par 5's and I had a blast playing with my high school teammate that I had not played with since I started playing golf in my Sophomore year of high school. It was also fun to see my mom and I was proud of myself for adhering to my game plan. I made aggressive swings at conservative targets and made smart club decisions for better course management. I'm glad I took advantage of the opportunity to play last week and will use it as another great learning experience to prepare for my upcoming events. I can make a great game plan for my next tournaments and not change it based on how I feel or how I want to score. I will continue trying to make pars and let birdies happen. I am staying excited about the process and I'm having fun improving. I really appreciate everyone's support and help with my golf game.
Next, I leave for the dry heat in the desert. I'm playing a 72 hole event, followed by 5 days of practice, and then the 1st Stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament, all at Mission Hills golf resort in Rancho Mirage, CA. I'll be competing on the Palmer course and the Dinah Shore course at Mission Hills. You've probably heard of the Dinah Shore course because the LPGA's Kraft Nabisco major championship is played there every year and the victor jumps into Poppy's Pond next to the 18th green after winning. While I might want to jump into the pond from the impending scorching temperatures, I'll surely have my focus on 1 thing; finding a way to make par as simply as possible and having fun while enjoying the process. Par is still my friend and there is no better time than the present. I'm excited for the opportunities ahead!
Thanks for following me and stay cool out there! Posts from SoCal coming soon.