Survival of the Fittest

16 May

The two-day Annual Championship over the weekend was tough mentally. And the weather played its role to the hilt to challenge all those playing. It would rain the night before on both days and this made the course conditions soggy and soft. In turn, this made the game plan a bit awry as club selections became questionable.

Did I survive? It depends on how you look at it. There were ups and downs. I was prepared for the weather, bringing extra shoes and shirt onto the buggy in case the weather worsened. But this did not happen. What we had on game day itself was rather nice temperatures that turned hot only towards the end of the game. Although hot, it was not enough to dry the fairways on time.

Looking back on day one, I think I held up because I did not have any fear and stuck to my game plan to ‘play against myself and not the others’. I also managed the heat well, something I don’t do often. I now see that when you are playing against yourself and not your opponents, ego does not get in the way and the approach becomes more sensible. It stabilises the thoughts and the course management becomes better. So what went wrong? Several club selection mistakes cost me but my good putting saved the day. 

I think overall, the field of players struggled; maybe nerves played a role here besides the soft fairways. Of course the stronger players prevailed better than the rest. It was really survival of the fittest. 

The next day, the course conditions were the same. Play was slightly better but there were still problems like wrong club choice and unfortunately this time, my putting let me down. Sigh…. don’t know why I can’t have it all good all the time. 

My result on the second day was only a stroke better because my putting was not up to it. I think the problem came about when I started having doubts and fear. All the ‘what ifs’ came to mind. What if I was not firm or too firm? It’s a downhill. Hmm. Oh no, I missed, I need to charge back up. How much strength to putt now? All these zipping in the mind, playing mind games. It was not necessary but it happened. Self-inflicted I would say.

Thankfully when it came to crossing all the water challenges on my phobia holes, I did not allow fear to get the better of me. And I conquered all those holes. So what went wrong? It was when I doubted myself at chipping and especially putting that mistakes were made.

Mental strength and confidence are two very important aspect of this game, not just the physical or the course management. I can’t say for everyone who participated but what I learnt the past two days has gained me more insights to how I should play my game better. It was a good experience and made me look at a different perspective on how I have been approaching my game all this while. I do relish in the challenge although at times, the tension was not necessary, the camaraderie was just nice without being irritating and the laughter after the games was a good relief.

Will I participate again next year after all the ups and downs? It’s part and parcel of the game and especially more so when it’s an official tournament. I survived and would like to think I came out stronger from it so yes, definitely, I will participate next year.


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