I now have two rounds in the books for 2017 after a four-plus month break from playing. I did not hit a shot. After finishing last year’s handicap rounds with several scores in a row in the 70’s, and a final even-par 72, my handicap stopped at a 3. Here in northern Utah they turn the handicapping off from November to April. So my handicap has been a steady 3 since November!
My long time buddy/partner and I teamed up today in a match against two higher handicap players. We agreed to give them eight shots on the round, and promptly got our asses kicked. They haven’t played much golf either and that’s when it dawned on me. Net matches this early in the year favor higher handicap players. Hear me out.
As a rusty 3, this early in the season I’d consider breaking 80 an achievement. Shooting 75 this early in the year is not likely. I won’t be shooting mid or low 70’s for a while, until I get my my game back. So my handicap may be a 3, but I certainly will not be playing to a 3 for months. In fact, each spring my handicap usually blows up from low single digits to around a 6. Then as I card some lower rounds in the summer it goes back down.
As I witnessed today, at least in the case of the guys I played with, a higher handicap doesn’t seem to have the problem of shooting their handicap. They’re going to shoot high anyway. Odds are much higher IMO that an 18 will shoot 90 after not playing for months, than a 3 shooting 75.
So the “net” result is losing net matches early in the season until I can shoot my handicap. I don’t suppose I’ll be able to talk them into gross matches? LOL.
Struggled today. Then I realized I ate this on the 1st tee.
I’m looking forward to being out in the warm sunshine today. Forecast is 74 degrees. Just a few weeks ago I was neck deep in powder skiing. Welcome to Utah. I have my season golf pass and I’m now 37 rounds away from breaking even on it, hehe.
First round a week ago was an 80 after a plugged lie in the 17th bunker. I was playing a new ball and with winter rust and muscle atrophy from not swinging a club in months, I’d lost some distance. Today I don’t expect to light it up, except perhaps making more putts.
I’ll be going through the giant pile of stuff in my office before I take off for the course to see if there’s anything I can start testing for upcoming reviews.
Mostly, I hope to look as good as the golfer stud pictured in the stock photo to the right. He’s got carrying a stand bag full of 4 clubs nailed.
I just played my first round of golf for 2017. I played okay, considering I haven’t played since November. Four months. I did prove one theory I had, which is I can basically shoot 80 or break 80 will little to no practice or even not playing for months, simply relying on basic ability. I shot 80, including a double on the 17th after a plugged lie under the lip of the green side bunker. What does that mean? Not much. Many golfers strive to break 80. There have been dozens of books and training videos out there with the title “Breaking 80,” but it’s not interesting to me.
What Makes Golf Interesting, or Not Interesting to Me?
So what is interesting then about golf to me if breaking 80 isn’t? Breaking say, 76? 75? 72? Shooting in the 60’s? The fact is I’m going to probably do those things this year, even several times. While it’s nice to shoot a low number, I think feeling solid shots and being in control of what I’m doing is what makes golf interesting and fun for me. Or perhaps attempting difficult shots and having the ability to pull them off. Sometimes those things don’t equate to low numbers.
What of 2017?
So what am I doing? At the end of last season I had burned out on golf. I’d become frustrated about how stagnant it had become, and how the game itself is infinitely more difficult the better one becomes. Unlike other things that challenge me, like computer programming or building drones, golf is something that can’t be mastered. I can write a program and eventually get it to do what it is supposed to do. I can build a drone and make it fly. On rare occasion, I can put together all facets, or perhaps 3/4 of the facets of my game. Perhaps once or twice a year. Sometimes not even once in a year or two. When that happens is a mystery. One day it happens, the next day is a disaster. Unlike programming or building drones, which have incremental and tangible milestones, golf is fleeting.
I’m going to change some things for 2017. Shake it up. I went from thinking about quitting to buying a season pass to the Salt Lake City courses. I can golf any day, anytime now, even holidays on that pass. Also, I will not be renewing my membership in a club that I used to be president of for seven years, River Oaks. Things have changed there management wise, and I’m no longer able to contribute my services to the league and course in exchange for golf privileges. And probably most relevant, I burned out there.
A group I play with at my other home course is sort of dissolving. That group soured a bit, though I still enjoy playing with them once in a while, like today. I plan to try and hook up with a different group of golfers who are all very good. Loose your wallet if you don’t play well good. I also plan to use that city pass to spread my rounds across the seven courses, even the ones that
suck are lower end. I played one of them last year and it was short, quirky, and kind of ghetto for lack of a better word. It was actually fun.
Change of scenery I suppose is one of the primary focuses for 17. Changing clubs, groups, courses… and maybe it will all add up to a change in attitude.
If not, then I just dumped a bunch of money into a pass which will be a waste. I don’t like wasting things, especially money.
Bonneville Golf Course Aerial Photo by Tony Korologos
3-4 Month Break
I’ve had quite a long winter break from playing (and paying for) golf. The last round I played was a rained out 9-holes in Morocco back in November of 2016. Honestly I haven’t missed playing at all. That has been a strange experience. I haven’t missed paying for it either, but the 10 times I went skiing this winter (so far) have more than made up for the cost of golf. People think golf is an elitist sport. Skiing is easy 2-3x as expensive and even more time consuming.
Anyway, my regular Sunday group has a 9:22am tee time today, two hours from now. It’s daylight saving time now, so it will be like starting at 8:22, cold. I’m not going into this round expecting much. The only thing I’m counting on is having a cigar at the halfway point. Haven’t had a cigar since about November as well.
While I’m thinking about how I haven’t missed golf, I’m considering buying a season pass. Yes, it makes no sense. I’m sort of assuming I’ll play this year just like I have every year. So if I’m going to do that, might as well get a season pass, right? The city of Salt Lake has a pass which covers seven courses. All I have to do is play 38 times in a year to break even. That’s less than once per week, though we don’t get to golf much in the winter. Even if I just play 2x a week at Bonneville like I have for years, the pass will break even after 19 weeks.