Tag Archives: golf tournament

The Perfect Ball

25 Apr

Last week, a golfing friend scored a Hole-in-One. We were thrilled for him when we heard the news. It got me thinking, when will my turn come for this elusive Hole-in-One? I have yet to achieve this feat despite playing golf for so long.

Perhaps it is the choice of the ball used? I have to admit ball choice was never a priority for me before. I used to play all sorts of brands to find the perfect ball for my game. New balls, used balls, hard balls to soft balls, the Hole-in-One is never within sight.

When I did commit, TaylorMade Distance+ was my preferred choice. But over time, I found the characteristics of the ball not suitable for my ball striking. The TaylorMade Distance+ Soft is no better. So I decided to stop using this brand.

The leading brand Titleist, favored by the pros, is too expensive for a social golfer like me. Although Titleist has a range of balls with different characteristics, it is not my go-to choice. Price aside, it does not suit me because my swing speed does not maximize the ball’s capabilities. In the end, it would only create frustration more than pleasure when playing.

So these days, I play with three brands mostly that are soft in characteristic – Srixon Soft Feel, Bridgestone Extra Soft, and Wilson Duo Soft+, as these soft balls suit my game better. However, I wouldn’t try the different ranges in each brand because, as I have mentioned earlier, my swing speed does not maximize the ball’s capabilities.

Often, social golfers neglect the choice of balls used, like me in the past. The focus is usually on the clubs, especially the driver, to tee off further. Next is the putter, but never the balls for the game. A golfer should understand their swing speed to make the right ball choices, but let’s not get into this. It can be endless and subjective, not to mention very technical too.

When I started to limit my ball choice to the three brands, my game improved by leaps and bounds, and it was gratifying. I have won some side money a fair bit during friendly matches but no Hole-in-One. Yet.

Since my friend struck his Hole-in-One using a Srixon ball, perhaps I should eliminate the other brands and stick to just Srixon, to increase my chances at this elusive achievement? Hmm. It’s a good thought, and hopefully, my turn at this feat will happen soon. And if indeed this happens, I have found my perfect ball for my golf game.

Lady Luck Strikes Again

1 Apr

Sometimes when we join golf tournaments, it is not just the will to want to play well but to gain competition experience to be a better player. How to manage our emotions on the golf course, have good course management, know our ability and hit shots sensibly, yet at the same time, play without fear. To win a club-organized tournament is icing on the cake and a booster to our confidence.

But being social golfers, our competitive drive is not quite at that level to win tournaments. So we aim for the next thing, which is to win the lucky draw during the prize presentation after the game.

Last Sunday, after returning from Forest City a day earlier, I participated in the Greensome tournament organized by my golf club. My partner and I started well but faded midway. It was a case of could-have and what-if. Our combined handicap was 15, and we returned with a three-over for our net score, far below other pairs that played better and scored well under their combined handicaps. Oh well, it was a good experience.

But all is not lost as there’s the lucky draw after the prize presentation! There is still hope to win something. And win we did, woohoo! Lady luck has been kind to me, this being my second time in three months winning something at the lucky draw during competitions. The first time was iron covers; this time, a golf travel bag.

And now that borders are opening for most countries and traveling abroad is picking up, the travel bag will come in handy, not that I don’t have one already, for a golfing trip abroad. But my recent experience at Forest City Golf Resort has superseded any travel ideas abroad for golf. Then again, we’ll keep our options open. Thailand?

Phenomenal Putting

14 Mar

Lately, I have been alternating my putters for my golf games. This routine started right after a club medal game in October last year when I three-putted five holes, and I was so disgusted by it. The Scotty Cameron Squareback was put aside immediately for the Peanut Putter for subsequent games.

Things worked out fine at the beginning. But when the Peanut was not performing to my dismay, making too many three-putts, I had to retire it to make way for Scotty again. So I found myself alternating my putter choice now and then, and this pattern has been ongoing since. One putter can work like magic, but when it falters with time, it makes way for the other. Putting is not just a skill by itself but also a recalibration process periodically.

Despite switching now and then, my putting has improved, and it shows. In my latest game yesterday, I was phenomenal putting from all distances, making ten one-putts! My flight mates were left speechless many a time, witnessing my clutch putting. I was, of course, elated at my ability. Not often enough do I perform so well. I hope this streak can continue.

Challenge Deferred

21 May

Earlier in April, I talked about the Iron Challenge in my golf club and was excited about the tournament. For a couple of games, I even resorted to using only my irons to practice and kept the driver, wood, and utility clubs out of the bag. It was going well, and the mind frame was ready until the recent lockdown.

This morning, I looked at my calendar and realized the tournament would have been tomorrow if it wasn’t for the lockdown. Somehow, I overlooked removing the event from my calendar. And how unfortunate that it has been postponed again for the second time.

I hope when the pandemic situation becomes more manageable and the lockdown lifted, we can go back to playing golf. And hopefully, the Iron Challenge tournament will be reinstated. Is this wishful thinking as cases are soaring beyond control?

Iron Challenge 2021

19 Apr

Last year, when the Covid-19 pandemic burst onto the scene, it caused a lot of disruption to daily routines, schedules, and plans. And it was a mess as far as my golf club was concerned with their golf calendar for the year.

Many club competitions had to cancel to uphold the social distancing to curb the pandemic. And being at the club to play golf was also prohibited for the first month of total lockdown.

Luckily, the Iron Challenge, a tournament I participate in every year, was held right before the lockdown implementation. This year, the golf calendar is slightly better, and the club has held several tournaments already, but in strict adherence to the SOP outlined.

The Iron Challenge, initially slated for early March, has been rescheduled to be held on 22 May, and I am excited to sign up for the tournament again.

With a month to go, it looks like I have to change my playing strategy to prepare myself. So all the wood and utility clubs have to make way for the long irons. The long irons being the 6-, 5-, and 4-irons. We shall see how my preparation goes. Stay tuned on this.

A Rescue, Part 2

6 Apr

Just when we thought the situation was going well for the little birdie we rescued, things went awry. We had our usual weekend golf game, and as always, I would check with the halfway hut attendant who adopted our feathered rescue on its well-being.

Initially, little birdie was cared for by him, but he gave it to his brother because the brother wanted the bird. And since brother dearest had a birdcage, he agreed.

But he questioned the decision of leaving the birdcage outside the house. Brother dearest explained that it was too hot inside the house for the little bird. And if hung outside, it’s not so warm and more comfortable.

Unfortunately, this proved to be a terrible decision as the birdcage went missing the next day! The little birdie was bird-napped! Dear, oh dear.

While I am mildly upset, I’m just appalled at the fate that has befallen our feathered friend. I hope whoever swiped the birdcage is a true bird lover and would provide for the little birdie with just as much love as the attendant and his brother.

A New Bag

6 Nov

After six years of using the TaylorMade stand-bag, it is time to say goodbye to the bag. The bag was part of the goodie bag gift when I entered the National Finals of the BMW Golf Cup International Tournament in 2014.

Used and worn out until the BMW marque has disappeared

Although I also have a cart bag from winning in the qualifying round that same year, the BMW cart bag is rather chunky and heavy. So it has been underutilized. With the current situation with the pandemic, and especially during the CMCO phases, I have been walking and carrying my golf bag more than ever on days when I don’t use the golf buggy. And a stand-bag is a better choice, being lighter, over the cart bag.

My new bag, a Japanese brand, Fidra, is super light-weight. I am sure it will serve me well as the TaylorMade bag did.

My new bag!

Soldiering On

17 Feb

This year the Iron Challenge Tournament was held early, just over the weekend! And I was the only lady golfer amongst the men in the club soldiering on by myself in the event. I was unperturbed by this fact and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, held on the less intimidating Hills course.

I should stand proud because I held up well in the field of all men, 16 flights in total and tied for 11th placing with a nett score of two over my handicap! A very good achievement.

I was very focused and basically played my own game without any external distraction. With my red tee box way up front, ahead of the field for all the Par 5s, some of the Par 4s and a couple of the Par 3s, it was certainly advantageous for me. One of my flight mates, however, jokingly lamented that it was unfair because their tee-offs would be just slightly ahead of my tee box and I have yet to tee off.

But hey… how can it be advantageous when the men’s tee boxes are also moved up? Also, it’s not like suddenly, I tee off with a driver. I’m also subjected to using just irons for the competition like the rest of the field. Nonetheless, I brushed his comments aside and focused on my game.

Initially I wasn’t prepared in the weeks running up to the competition, having had problems with my long irons and short game, but I managed to resolve these when it mattered most. And this year, no major blow ups or bunker disasters. And not even a loss ball, a big confidence booster indeed. The only big let down was a sudden loss of focus and I four-putted an easy hole. Hrmph.

The elbow pain was hardly felt because I took a painkiller to suppress it. It worked and helped, but today, it’s throbbing to high heaven, I don’t know why. Sigh… a constant battle with this problem.

So now that the tournament is completed and out of my golfing schedule, I will return to using my driver and woods for all my upcoming golf games.

What a Good Start

21 Jan

I played my third golf game of the year on Sunday and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I have always said golf is a funny game and Sunday’s result takes the cake. It’d always catch you unaware no matter how prepared or unprepared you are.

Prior to Sunday’s game, both of us played our first game of 2020 a week ago and it was nice to get back to our usual weekend routine. However, my flight did not complete the round despite the weather being so good and the company pleasant. Instead we did only 15 holes because everyone felt tired for all sorts of reasons.

And I was no different, having laid off for so long when M1 was back, and played golf like a 9-hole player. In short, I held up well only for the first nine and then was out of sorts when we crossed over. So I was really glad we stopped with three holes left to play.

The second game a few days later was weird because I felt unprepared, having only five hours of sleep and my tennis elbow flared up again. In spite of the circumstances, I played one of my better games. But Sunday’s game was a totally different ball game altogether.

Hubby and I were ‘extras’ in our Club’s Interclub game as there were more home club players than opponents. So in this essence we would not be contributing any points for our team because we were playing amongst ourselves. But as the format was Best Ball Stableford, taking the better score of all partnerships would be tabulated to award the best pairs of both respective clubs.

I started out decent. But things fell apart quickly by the third hole–we started on Hole 9–coming back with zero points on the dreaded Hole 11 and unexpectedly on the next hole after that too. I steadied myself and managed a par at the next hole to salvage the situation, and was doing okay until Hole 18, my phobia hole. No surprise when I dunked two balls into the water. Oh well, as it was Stableford points, I did not attempt any further on that hole. When we completed the back nine, I scored only 11 points. Meagre…

I was like oh well, I’d just enjoy the front nine. Then things exploded! To cut a long play-by-play short, I played the front nine with two pars and two birdies! A rarity for me with not one but two birdies in a game. The Scotty putter was red hot, converting a lot of single putts from all distances, thus saving strokes and scoring a whole lot of Stableford points.

The two birdies came on the Par 3s, one off a crazy long putt from the front of the green to the back pin and another off the fringe of the green to the front pin. It was mind boggling! I seriously don’t know what happened because never before had I played to such levels, competition or otherwise, given that I have been constantly in pain with my injuries here and there. But it felt good and I’m certainly not complaining.

That morning, I scored a whopping 28 points on the front nine alone to cover the back nine and return with 39 points in total for my individual attempt. Unbelievable!!!

And to our surprise, both hubby and I were awarded the best runner-up pair for our Club with 45 points for our best ball effort! We couldn’t believe our ears when the announcement was made. And mind you, my golfer’s elbow was giving me problems all this time but somehow I managed and obviously the results showed. What a good and pleasant start to the year for golf. Let’s hope I can keep this up and not let this be a one-game wonder!

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Feels good to be awarded for our effort!

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.