February 17th 2019
Today I made my return to golf after a month off. I usually play golf at least every Sunday morning, but for the last month I’ve been too hungover on Sunday mornings to even consider getting out of bed on time. Sometimes I don’t even make it home in time. (That makes it sound like I’m on all-night benders, when in reality I just tend to end up staying overnight in places like Bath or Oxford or Bristol and not making it back to Swindon on time)
Somehow, a month off golf made me a better golfer. I had the best round I’ve had in a long time, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I got two birdies in a round — both on the back nine. Satisfyingly, one was on a par three, and one was on a par four. I also missed 3 easily makeable birdie putts on the front nine, but let’s prefer to talk about the ones I made rather than the ones I didn’t make.
I played so well. My iron play was stronger than it’s ever been, my putting was solid as usual, and my short game wasn’t as terrible as it normally is. Weirdly, the thing that let me down was my driving, and that’s usually the strongest part of my game.
It felt very good to be back playing again, and it felt even better to be playing so well. As there’s four of us, we usually play doubles and pair up in teams, but today we decided to play individual stableford. I won, naturally.
I think somehow the decision to play individually rather than as a team, and to score stableford rather than match play (apologies if you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, by the way) contributed to my improved performance. There was less pressure, and that made me play better. I was less focused on the scoring, and more focused on just striking the ball well. And in doing so, my score improved.
It’s a funny old game, golf.
Until tomorrow, I’m happy with my two birdies.