I got a chance to play a brand new course last week and I was quite excited prior to the round. The anticipation of playing a new challenging course always gets me fired up, but I was playing with my boss and I really wanted to impress him. Prior to the round I decided to pull up the scorecard off of the course’s website and figure out exactly what clubs I would hit off of each tee to give me the best approach shot to fit my game. I wrote it all out, hole by hole and put it in my golf bag so I would be ready to execute once I stepped on the first tee. That’s about as long as my plan lasted.
My first tee shot was on a relatively short par 5 and I pulled my driver out, not taking into account how small the landing area for my driver distance really was. I quickly pulled my tee shot left into the tall grass and never saw it again. I had to re-tee with my 3 wood and almost got to the green on my next shot with a 4 iron. That was my first wasted shot of the day. The next hole was a long par 4 and I felt the need to make up for my first bad tee shot. Again, I pulled my driver left, and my approach shot.
That was it. I abandoned my plan. Two holes of nervous pulls was enough for me. I quickly realized I didn’t have control of my golf ball and I needed to find it quick. I stuffed the driver in the bag and went to my 3 wood. Since I had been pulling the ball I went to an exaggerated cut shot. Instantly I felt like I could control my ball much better on a tight course. I also knew I wasn’t going to be hitting the ball as far so I clubbed up on most of my shots which actually led to a less stressful swing.
In the end, I didn’t score the way I wanted to, but put up a respectable round. The course was much tighter than advertised and I paid the price on a few holes. The moral of my round was definitely finding a shot I felt I could control. As soon as the ball started going left on me I knew I was in trouble and had to find a way to dial it back. Once I found that control it was back to just playing golf. The game is much more fun that way.