Sunday, October 14, 2012

Taking a (Needed?) Break

I don't need a break. I'm not tired, and I'm certainly not "burned out" as I hear some people say, but when I look back over my calendar, I have played a multi-day event each of the last eight weeks and, if you count Monday Qualifiers as a tournament round, have not had a full week away from tournament golf since early in the year. I absolutely love what I do and really never get sick of it, but perhaps it is good timing that I will finally be taking an entire week off right now. I am coming off my worst tournament performance of the year this past week, and though I still feel very confident about my game, I can definitely use a little time to regroup and refocus.

My journey to the PGA Tour hits the most exciting time of the year starting just more than a week from now. The First Stage of the PGA Tour's annual Qualifying Tournament (Q-school) begins for me on Wednesday, October 24, at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. I have spent a lot of time at Callaway Gardens over the past three years and am really looking forward to getting back there.

My game is going to be in good shape for Q-school. In this past week's eGolf event at Northstone Country Club, I was not good at all. Ball-striking woes that have been plaguing me for the past five or six weeks really reared their head, and I compounded them by making a lot of mental mistakes, too. I was just sloppy, and that is the antithesis of the way that I play golf. The day after missing the cut, I went to a course called Irish Creek to have a match with some other good players who had missed the cut at Northstone. Despite hitting the ball just as poorly as I had during the event, I played a bogey-free round of 68 on a very good golf course. I made no mental mistakes and was solid with the putter. If I do those two things, I will post a lot of good scores just like I have all year. My round on Thursday was very encouraging because it was good to see that I do still have the ability to shoot good scores when I'm not playing my best.

I feel like I'm on the verge of getting things back in working order. I have been having some of my very best short game and putting practice the last couple weeks, and I feel great about those areas of my game. In addition to that, I got a very simple tip from Bobbo over the phone after my debacle at Northstone this week, and I am seeing some improvement with my full shots. I am pumped about the weekend of work that I just completed. In addition to finishing all of my process goals with great sessions for my putting, short game, and fitness, I spent a lot more time than usual hitting range balls. I typically try to do most of my full-shot practice on the golf course, but I am excited to say that I feel like I had some productive driving range sessions on Friday and Saturday. I played a few holes on Sunday, and, though I didn't test a lot of the shots in my bag, I seemed to be hitting the ball much better. I don't need to be playing great to have great tournament results, but it sure does make things much more stress-free if I can feel good about the way that I am hitting the ball.

I love tournament golf, but I am excited to have this next week fully away from it. I will get all of my process goals done and will have a great week of practice. I feel like I'm ready for Q-school right now, but I will really be ready for it in a week! It's an exciting time of year, and I am feeling great. Thank you for keeping up with me. Keep it here for updates as I continue to improve.

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