Wow, my sixth post already! Time flies when you’re having fun. This post is about my first Varsity tournament last Monday. My last post was about the worst and weirdest conditions I had ever golfed in. This post is partly a continuation of that and partly about how much harder it is to play when you are panicking.
Monday, April 3, was rainy, cold, and just windy enough to freeze you to the bone without affecting the ball very much. Of course, there was no lightning, so the game never got called. By the end of the first nine holes, I couldn’t feel my hands, ears, and nose. That was actually an improvement over being able to feel them because when you can’t feel something, it can’t sting from the cold. By the eleventh hole, my hands were an interesting shade of red. I am so happy I had a warm, semi-waterproof sweatshirt to wear. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have lived to tell this tale!
This tournament had many firsts for me. The first time I played an entire game from the turquoise tees at Riverview… the first time I have whiffed a ball in over a year (I whiffed it three times!)… the first time I have walked that far during a tournament (it’s way easier to hitchhike during Junior Varsity tournaments)… and the first time I have had to hold back tears at a tournament. Having to hold back tears is very unusual for me–as you may have gathered from my other posts. What happened was that I had been stressing out about this upcoming tournament for a week, and after getting a nine on the second hole (which is a par three) I panicked. I had constantly worried about humiliating myself, and when I messed up I felt that the worst had come to pass. This was not exactly an accurate perception, but the week of over-thinking had taken its toll. Luckily, my coach came by and saved me from myself. She told me that it was normal to not do as well at your first “big” tournament and that she had had me play this game for the experience, not as a test or even as a normal game where the goal is to play your best. I’m so happy to have coaches that know me so well that they know how I feel and how to make me feel better. Sometimes, despite all the mind tricks I have, life is still too much for me to handle. I didn’t get anything below a bogey, but taking the weather and my nerves into account I think I did pretty well!
In the end, the worst part of the tournament was the fact that playing while panicking jacks up my swing. Now, I’m dealing with old habits I fell back into during that tournament!