This last week I revisited the golf course in playing two rounds of golf. The first, at Windsor Park, just outside of Bangkok. Even though the rain clouds were low in Bangkok, we traveled out to find a break in the clouds and partly sunny skies over the golf course. On the drive out, many puddles of standing water made it apparent that the course would also be quite wet. And it was. Breaking in my new golf bag and shoes, my first drive quickly found the right rough and edge of the hazard. My new golf shoes were quickly no longer new. As I played through out the round, I felt pretty good overall. Unable to find a par in that round, I ended up with ‘roughly’ around 100. A far cry from my typical 84 when I played regularly.
The second course, Green Valley in Bangkok, was much drier, longer, and more challenging for different reasons. Perhaps simply because I had ‘one’ previous round under my belt and had great plans to ‘fix’ a lot of little things, namely playing ‘smart’ golf for my current skill level. Off to a consistent start of several bogies, the greens were quite difficult for me in successfully rolling many balls off the green. Hoping to make up some recoveries on the back, my hopes quickly faded with double after double, then a Leo beer, and several more mis-hits and a sculling of a sand wedge. It was then I started to lose confidence in the most basic of my ‘good’ confident parts of my game. On 17, a mid-iron into the green led to my chunking of a 7-iron, followed by a walk-off and did not finish the hole. It was then I started to think about what was the ‘max’ score I would allow myself on the course that day. A par 3 walk off… do I get a double, triple, max score, etc? Not really sure, I realized the antics of picking up the ball was more to ‘cool-down’ and not completely lose it. And perhaps, I could recover with a good, last hole of the day.
In reflection, I recall the stories of John Daly’s infamous 18 on a Par-5… and the birdie recovery on the very next whole. Or Phil Mickelson’s 18th hole at Winged Foot. Golf is a strange game.
As of lately, I have come across Golf Sidekick on YouTube (link here). The first video, series, and theme that focuses not on hitting the ball better, fixing the swing, or how to sink more putts, but how to manage the course better. Wow! It has been completely refreshing and revealing. And perhaps the most promising for me has been when Matt (the Golf Sidekick) plays along side the Asian tour Lady Pros, namely Genevieve Ling, showing how these professionals (who hit the ball a closer distance to most amateurs, including me), manage themselves around a course.
As much as I thought I should be watching the Breaking 80 videos, after this week have realized I need the breaking 100 video, focusing on playing Smart Golf. Who knew!