Living the Dream

Back In The Grind

   Last week I finally got back to tournament play. The anticipation was making me a little crazy. The main difference was, even though I didn't play well, I expected to play well. To be honest, I tanked. I put some unrealistic expectations on myself and it eventually was my demise on that day. So, let's get into it.

   I arrived at the course a little over an hour before my tee time. I checked in, grabbed some snacks, got some range balls and headed straight to the putting green. As the range began to clear, I was in the last group out, I walked over and started my routine. Everything was clicking and I was feeling more confident by the swing. I finished the warm up with a couple of 2 irons, because that would be the club I would hit off the first tee. I went back to the putting green for a few minutes and then went to the first tee. The first hole was a really short par 5(450 yd par 5, dogleg right with OB on the right). I hit 2 iron off the tee and had roughly 200 to the pin. I hit 5 iron to the right of the green and had a relatively simple chip to set up a birdie putt. Well, 4 strokes later I walk off the green with a bogey. The next hole, another 2 iron off the tee followed by a 6 iron in the bunker. I hit a patch of clay underneath my ball and flew the green into the hazard. the end result was a triple bogey. I never recovered. The end result was an 89 with 2 triples, 2 doubles and 3 3-putts. What the hell is going on?

   Well, a few days ago I found out. I have some anxiety issues. Apparently it runs rampant in my family but it was never talked about. I experienced it before last year, but just thought I had overheated. After the first two holes, my mind began to develop different scenarios. I stopped my pre-shot routine, abandoned my strategy and started free wheeling. My heart felt like it was coming out of my chest and I couldn't catch my breath. This isn't what you want during a tournament round. Now that I know what is going on, I can attack the problem. I childhood friend of mine sent me a DVD on rest and relaxation that some of her airmen use. It has different techniques for breathing. I also need to back off the amount of caffeine I intake. It's a work in progress, but nothing that can't be overcome.  I just need to stay in the moment and play each shot. I look forward to playing in tournaments next week and taking things to the next level. Have a great week!!