A Major Disaster

17 Dec

At the end of July, I signed up for my golf club’s Annual Championship tournament which was held for two days over a weekend in August. Looking back, pairing determination with pain was not a good combination to manage. In this context for me, it was dealing with my endometriosis pain with work deadline and playing in a tournament. It proved to be a major disaster resulting in a mental breakdown of sorts. A first for me.

As time drew close to the tournament, I had another painful bout of endometriosis attack. So bad I almost wanted to pull out but I didn’t because I thought I could manage. I thought wrong.

On the first day of the tournament at the Hills course, I was on painkillers to deal with the pain and discomfort to stay focused. I came back with the most varied score ever, being a stroke-play format. It ranged from a two (birdie on a Par 3) all the way through to an 11 on the Index 1, Par 5 (because of two balls in the water). In other words, I had every number (and several repeated) on my scorecard… except an eight though. Strange.

On the second day, the tournament was delayed because of rain and we teed off at the Lakes course after a 45-minute wait. I started off fairly well and held up okay for the first seven holes. But disaster struck by the eight hole, Hole 17 (we started on the back nine).

The humidity in the air suddenly became very thick and I had an unnecessary urge to tee-off harder to pass the pond. Never do that. When you try harder, the harder you fail. I ended up with three balls in the water!

It was a disaster unfolding before me and I was the star of the drama. That morning on that Par 4, I came back with an eye-popping 14! A 14 on a Par 4, worse than the 11 on the Par 5 on the first day. I told myself to calm down and don’t get too emotional by it.

However the next hole, the Par 5 being another fearful hole, my doubts doubled in my ability to overcome the water factor. Remember, this is the feared Pacific Ocean water hole that I crumbled during the 2018 Iron Challenge tournament.

Thankfully, only one ball went into the water. But a silly pull to the left cost me and I ended up with another double digit. Hmm… not good. But I was thinking the worst was over and I can still recover because the front nine is actually more manageable to play. I thought wrong again.

I suspect the four balls into the water rattled me but somehow I didn’t acknowledged this and when I teed off on Hole 1, I put another two balls into the water! By now I was like, WTF?! The legs were jellied and the confidence zilch beyond comprehension and in a blur, another double digit on the Par 4.

When we got to the second hole, a Par 3, I was so sapped of life and when I put yet another ball into the water, I told myself, that’s it. I’m going to withdraw. I’m not a quitter but with disaster after disaster piling up with every hole, the event was becoming a catastrophe of epic proportions and too much for me to shoulder. There’s no point to go on playing. What recovery would there be at that point, mentally especially? I’m just killing myself out there and if I continued, I would end up detesting the game so much and just chuck away all my clubs.

With my mind made up, I took a drop for the third shot for formality but was convinced I couldn’t launch it across the water and indeed proved myself right. A classic case of a negative thought attracting a negative action! The ball dived into the water. Ahhhh…… speechless. The mental state of mind was just oh-so-cruel.

I could not go on, having a major breakdown dealing with playing golf in a championship tournament; I simply couldn’t golf anymore. Immediately after that, I drove the buggy to see the referee who happened to be nearby and I informed him of my intention and decision.

Looking back, I really can’t comprehend what unraveled that morning. The endometriosis pain was suppressed that second morning and wasn’t the reason yet I crumbled so badly. This outing takes the cake over the Iron Challenge experience I must say. I simply don’t have words for it. I sat through the remaining holes with my flight mates and came back with an ‘NR’ for my attempt at this year’s Annual Championship.

Lesson learnt: if and when there’s pain lurking before and during any important golf tournaments, do not try to be a heroine to pair them. It’s a proven recipe for a major disaster because not only the body cannot withstand but the mind simply cannot cope.

So after that last game of the year, I’m glad I am stepping away from golf and will be resting to heal both the physical and the mental to recoup. When the new year comes around, I hope to find love again for this crazy game called golf and be able to enjoy playing it without issues or disasters of epic proportions.

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