Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New Belief

Results-wise, I still don't have anything good to report. After two more tournaments--the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina and The Player's Championship in Florida--I still haven't gotten things to click in competition. I actually did a lot of positive things both weeks, but didn't have the consistency to post good scores. I ended up missing both cuts.

I know this is sounding like the same song on repeat, but I actually do believe that I am close to playing well. Conditions were challenging in North Carolina, and I posted a two-day total of five over par. In a ten-hole stretch on Thursday, I was +7. That means for the other 26 holes on Thursday and Friday, I was two under. That is significant because the leader was only -6 through two rounds in North Carolina. Clearly, I need to play better and clean up that sloppy stretch, but this shows that there is good stuff in there.

In The Player's Championship, I had a similar positive experience despite the disappointing result. I began the tournament with a one-under-par back nine on Thursday, and after a solid par on the first hole and a perfect drive down the reachable par-five second hole, I really felt like I was going to post a good score. I made a mess of the second hole after my great drive, but even after that setback, I executed really well over the last seven holes. Unfortunately, I had a few errors in judgment on the firm and difficult golf course, and my good execution was not rewarded. I actually made bogey on three of the final seven holes without ever hitting a shot that landed more than a couple steps from where I was planning. I posted a 75 (+3) in round one, but it felt really good. I hit a lot of good shots in round two, but I also hit some lousy ones and posted another 75 to miss the cut by four shots.

I am really sick of reporting this news, but I'm not discouraged. If anything, I feel like I'm having a re-awakening of sorts. The frustration of the last 16 months has forced me to do some evaluating, and I had a revelation yesterday morning. My practice for the last two years has been focused largely on becoming a better long-game player. I've worked hard on my golf swing and become a better five iron player. This work has been valuable and necessary, but it has taken me away from my essence and from what makes me great at golf. I want and need to be the best player in the world from inside 150 yards. And the good news is that I can be! And what's more? I haven't been even close. In fact, this year, I've been a below average wedge player and an average-at-best putter. With a renewed focus on the things that make me great, I'm going to get after being the best in the world from 150 yards and in. My long game has improved, and it good enough to allow me to accomplish everything I want in golf, but I must (and will!) be better than good from inside 150 yards.

This revelation and the new practice mindset it is encouraging does not guarantee that things will turn around immediately, but I'm filled with a new belief that I am going to get things turned and going in the right direction. I'm super-excited to get after it.

I'm currently on my way to Dallas for the Byron Nelson Tournament. I'm excited for a great week. Thank you for following and please keep it here for more updates!

15 comments:

  1. Looking forward to seeing you in Dallas!

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  2. You played well and enjoyed seeing you at the Players. Great things are coming.

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  3. Great first two rounds at the Nelson. Finish strong.

    The guy on the flight to DFW Tuesday morning.

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  4. Good luck! When i was golfing in the hotels in italy i learned, that it is important to have a great belief in yourself and your skills.

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