Today was one of my most challenging days as a golfer. Yesterday was day 1 of a 2 day event. I was hitting the ball well, and even though the putts were not falling I felt good about my game. Having been in competitive golf now for around 2 years, I have come to realize that it can be challenging for me to finish well in my events. The challenge comes from a lack of focus on staying in the moment, trusting my own ability and really believing in myself.
So, back to today; I started off shaky, but I managed to play the first 8 holes in 1 under par and I had a total of a 9 shot lead. My playing competitor went 3 under from holes 9 through 14, and I went 6 over in the meantime. So, now we go to 15 dead even for the tournament. At this point, all of the momentum that I had was gone, and I felt uncertain in my own ability. Meanwhile, my competitor was playing with confidence, and I think he could sense that he was going to pull off a great victory. Then, on the 15th we both make par and on the 16th hole he made a solid par. I had about an 18 footer for birdie and got it to go in. By now, I felt as you might in a fight where you had been badly beaten up and I was faced with two choices – lie down and quit, or get up and fight. Being a martial artist, I chose the latter, and I told myself that if I was going to lose this tournament, I was going to go out fighting.
The next hole was a short par 4, and since my swing did not feel good all day, I hit a 5 iron to get it into play. My competitor had been hitting the ball far and straight for most of the day. His ball landed pin high but found the water. He got up and down for par. I just missed the green and also got up and down for par. Now, it came down to the final hole, Par 5, and I had a one shot advantage. I hit a poor drive left (as I had done most of the day), but since I did not hit the ball that far and was aimed down the right center of the fairway, the ball found the fairway. My playing partner hit a poor drive OB and hit his next drive within striking distance of going for the green for his fourth shot. He hit a good shot just off the green and chipped up for a good 6. I laid up with an 8 Iron to within 115 yards of the pin, and I finally made a good swing and hit the shot to about 12 feet.
Since he was in for 6 at this point, I just wanted to funnel the putt down there to tap-in position. I hit the putt solidly, and it fell in for a birdie. This was a great victory for me in many ways. It was a victory for me that I did not lie down and quit when things got tough for me. This was a classic Black Belt Golf Victory because even though I was down and out, I followed the Black Belt Golf methodology of doing my best to keep up the good attitude and high spirits. Believe me, every single bit of my being wanted it to be over after the 14th hole. But the mentality of a Black Belt Golfer is you just never know what is going to happen, and you must persevere. I believe things happen for a reason. Because I had a 9 shot lead over the person I was playing with, if he had not cranked up the pressure a bit things might not have ended the way they did, even though I fell asleep at the wheel for 4 holes going 6 over. It was very challenging for me to see my lead go from 9 to 0. However, I practice what I preach, and I hung in there when I was down, and I was able to get it back on the last 4 holes.
Because you just never know how things will turn out, always take the positive choice, even though your body or mind may be telling you otherwise. The more I play competitive golf, the more I find that believing, trusting, and hanging in there is the game changer. If you feed your mind with positive thoughts, and your body with nutritious food, then over time they will both serve you well.
I was very happy to win today, but I was even happier that I did not give up or beat myself up after losing a 9 shot lead. Of course, there are aspects of my game that I still need to improve, and I need to look closely at why I allowed myself to slip when I had that big of a lead. But like I have said, golf is a continually evolving journey. It has taken me a long time, and I am still working on getting comfortable with playing in tournaments. My next big challenge is working on my confidence in taking the lead in tournaments, and being able to hold that lead. I believe the best way to achieve this is simply to play more tournaments.
If you would like to find out more about how I can help you achieve your best possible mental and physical performance using the unique Black Belt Golf system, then why not enquire now about a free consultation.