Competitive Golf Again

14 Jun

Over the last two years, with the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging and upending the world, it was not just traveling and routines that got disrupted – sports and golf tournaments everywhere were canceled too.

At the onset, golf was not allowed in my country when the pandemic broke out. But soon, certain outdoor activities were permitted, and golf was on the list. Our golf club had to comply with the strict SOPs outlined by the government for golf.

On top of social distancing, players were not allowed to share the golf buggy. It was a single-player, single-buggy situation. And gatherings for meals before or after games were not permitted at the club, what more holding tournaments which draw a crowd, breaking social distancing rules. All these experiences and situations are now distant memories.

Finally, after a two-year hiatus of none competitive golf, golf tournaments are allowed again. And my golf club’s Annual Golf Championship resumed. Starting over the weekend for three categories – super senior, ladies, and juniors, it will continue for the next two weekends for the seniors and men categories. The thrill of high-level competition again!

I played over the weekend for my category over two days. What a battle it was. The adrenalin and pressure of playing high-level competition are totally unlike social golf. Every shot and mistake counts for your confidence and stress to do well. So how did I fare?

It will always be a what-if, could-have, and should-have situation.

Day One: what if I didn’t put the ball into the water on the approach shot on the first hole? What if I didn’t three-putt throughout the game for seven holes?

Day Two: how could I have dunked two balls into the water and returned with an incredulous ten for the Par 4, Hole 16? And I shouldn’t have four-putted on the relatively easy Hole 15, Par 3. But then, to begin with, I shouldn’t have teed into the water! The list could go on.

Disasters were aplenty, but there were some feel-good moments too. In the end, the bad moments far outweighed the good ones. All these are part and parcel of competitive golf. A little Lady Luck would have been better, and some calm nerves during the two days would have been helpful. Oh well.

I’m not complaining about the outcome of my participation this year; I merely need to build my mental strength to approach competitive golf better. And I need to trust my clubs and their distances more. Being unsure creates doubts, and this leads to disasters.

After all the golfing drama, the after-game camaraderie, drinks, laughter, and friendship with the other lady golfers mattered more than my performance at the Annual Championship. The occasion is now a cherished memory that was fun and challenging, and I certainly look forward to participating again next year.

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