This post is dedicated to Ryan Young, aka @Front9Back9. Ryan was an active member of the golf blogosphere and was a regular contributor to the Twitter group known as #GolfChat. Sadly, Ryan passed away a few days ago. He leaves behind a wife, a 3 year-old, and a child on the way. I was only a few days older than Ryan and I have two children of my own under 5 years old. I can’t possibly imagine or understand what his family is going through right now.
One of Ryan’s big goals in golf was to break 80. I managed that feat earlier this year; albeit it from the forward tees, with a score of 78. The following is a short-tale of that goal, how I came about it, my thoughts during the round and my goals for the rest of the golf season.
Shake off any ego.
Step up to the forwards; do your thing; ignore any weird glances from on-lookers. You may even get heckled for playing from the “girl” tees. So be it.
You still have to play well
I drove the ball incredibly well that night. That helps put me in positions to use wedges or other short clubs. This, in theory, should give me better birdie/par opportunities.
Short game is still important
If you miss the green, you may feel more discouraged if you are hitting shorter clubs into the green. No matter the tee set, if you miss the green, getting up and down is essential to scoring well.
Minimize the damage
If you bogey a hole here and there, so what. If you double bogey a hole, or worse, that’s when the score can get away from you. In my round, I hit a club too far off the tee and found water. What could have been a big number was minimized to a bogey.
You should be having more fun
If all is going well, you should be playing from places you’ve never played from before. Mid-length Par 4s can become drivable par 4s. Par 5s can be reasonably reached in two. This is what playing like a professional must be like.
I mapped out the round on Game Golf, and you can see the results here: http://www.gamegolf.com/player/crissb/round/942798
As I’ve said before, I’m not out to shoot a certain number. My goals are centered around various parts of my game, physical and mental. By focusing on improving all areas of my game, the score will take care of itself.