Competitive Golf – Call Me Addicted
A two-day provincial public player tournament in late August was only my second foray into formal competitive play. Member-guest experiences (mine anyway), while competitive, are a little more casual in their structure and feel. My first competitive golf experience was in 2011, similar event as this. Golf Ontario is my provincial association and is formally affiliated with Golf Canada. The event has all the formality of any event you’d expect; there is formal communications, a draw based on flights determined by the skill of the entrants, registration, a scorer’s tent, even a hand written score board and a starter who calls each player by name and city to the first tee. I loved it.
Playing of a 10.6 index at the time of registration I was in the C Flight, which meant I was in the lowest third of the almost 99 entries and were able to play from a course about 6300 yards and in a format that is Gross scoring (which is my score minus my index which is factored according to the slope rating of the course). For me, this meant I got 12 strokes deducted a round. I hadn’t exactly been lighting it up this summer; in fact, my game has regressed from June until now where I simply had not been able to score well. I was getting loose off the tee and a mid-August lesson with CPGA professional Brian McCann from Brampton GCC set me on track and unleashed a new confidence I had not felt in some time.
A late summer move from Mississauga to Burlington had derailed my plans for regular summer play and practice so I entered the event with modest expectation (meaning none). My only three goals were to have fun, focus on each and every shot, and accept the fact that over 36 holes there will be some loose shots. After all, there’s a reason I am in C flight. The event was hosted at DiamondBack Golf Club in Richmond Hill, Ontario. The course in managed by ClubLink which is the same course conglomerate which controls Glen Abbey (home of the RBC Canadian Open). Conditions were ideal and with a late morning tee time on the first day I felt prepared and had a quiet calm, dare I say confidence.
With a game plan off the tee, I started strong and carded a respectable 87 on round one which netted me at +3 and T-9 in my flight of 30. With inverted tee times on Day 2, our flight was off first and my play afforded me a humane tee time. Again, I played to a deliberate plan focusing on putting the ball in play off the tee. I putted much better and scored an 82. Overall, I finished T-5 with a two day net total of +1.
Golf Ontario ran a first class event. The staff and volunteers were amazing and very helpful and supportive to all the players. I’m already flagging the time in my calendar for next year. Yes, after a fun two days of competitive play I am completely hooked.
In closing, I have never played golf with such a deliberate cadence. From pre shot thinking, to attempted execution and complete acceptance I have no regrets about my approach. Much advice I received from people I know focused on fun and purposeful routine. Mission accomplished. I’d love to hear about your competitive golf experiences and how you managed your play. From my first event in 2011, I was able to mature on the course and play better, smarter and more fun golf. After all, this does not affect my tour earnings of world golf rankings, but I did try my best, smile a lot and savour each second.
I wish I could do this more regularly. I know there are options through the GolfChannel AM Tour and the GTA AM Golf Tour. But my combination of being loyal and value conscious, I think I’ll wait to 2017 for the Golf Ontario Public Players. I can’t wait!