Old Fold Manor/ PRinces

After a great couple of weeks of prep I was ready to go for a block of two tournaments in a week, both on the Clutch tour. The first one was at Old Fold Manor followed by a trip to Kent to play at Princes. I started off at the London Club with a session with Nick from Mindset Caddy. Following a quick dash around the M25 I was ready for my practice round. I have played Old Fold plenty of times before so did 9 holes getting a feel for the course trying to preserve energy in the heat. I felt good and ready to go for the next day. I started my tournament at the ENAHGY gym going through my pre round activation and headed to the course to warm up and start my round. I felt great and raring to go on the first tee. A pulled tee shot into a bush and I am sad to say my head went down straight away. It’s amazing how, despite feeling so good, one poor shot can change my demeanour. The front 9 didn’t go well and it took me a few holes to get my head back on. This led to a much stronger back nine and eventually carding a round of 8 over.
Retiring to the hotel with a banging headache because I hadn’t hydrated and fuelled enough, an absolute schoolboy error and I should have known better. I managed to get some rest and get hydrated before the final round the next day. Same positive vibes on the first tee and made the easiest of pars to get the round off to a good start. My second hole, the 11th, somehow I managed to make triple bogey and from nowhere. I ended up carding a round of plus 6 for a 14 over total leaving me nowhere.
The next day I headed down to Princes and was super excited for the round. Unfortunately, I had to withdraw from this event which left me frustrated and unable to rationalise what had happened.
So, what have I learnt from this experience? Well firstly I know I have the game to be competitive and hold my own. I think I have often made excuses for myself such as, I am much older than the others, I work full time so how can I compete. Writing this down makes me realise quite how stupid it is to think like that. I am good enough but I am my own man, I need to focus on the game that got me to be an elite amateur and take that to tournament play. I have done a load of work since the events about my brand and what makes me unique and how I can use all of my experience to be more competitive. Think “Richard Bland” he doesn’t try and be anything he isn’t and competes with golfers 20 years his junior because he knows what works for him and does it well. Well that’s the spirit I am channelling going into my next tournament at Royal Norwich in June. I have made a commitment to myself to stop making excuses, I am doing all the right work and destroying it with my mindset and my self deprecation. I am good enough and playing my game will demonstrate that. I am not a 20 year old golfer with a bendy back who can smash it 350 yards. However, I don’t miss many fairways and I hit my irons from the optimal place more often than not. Focussing on my iron play and short game will put me in position to shoot the kind of scores I am capable of shooting. Onwards and upwards, “if you aren’t earning, you are learning” and I am learning so much in my first pro season.

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