Eye On The Birdie – Post #8 Hitting New Lows

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Hi! Sorry that I missed a week, but my mom got sick on a trip to Albuquerque and couldn’t drive back to Farmington. Now I have a lot of material to write about. For instance, the high school golf season has ended with the shortest tournament I’ve ever played!

So, the shortest tournament ever—all three holes of it! There were a lot of firsts involved. It was the first time I’ve had to pick up my ball because I had gone over double par, the first time a game has been cancelled for weather conditions other than lightning, and the first time I can remember when the creases of my bag filled with ice. Can you guess why the game was cancelled? If you guessed heavy hail, you’d be correct! However, the game was still a success because my friend and I found out which name came first—orange (the fruit) or orange (the color). The answer really surprised me. Orange the fruit predates orange the color by about three hundred years! I wonder what we called the color orange before the 1600s?

I’m now going to elaborate on picking up my ball at the last tournament. In most Junior Varsity games, if you exceed double par (six on a par three, eight on a par four, etc.) you pick up your ball and your final score is double par. I think this rule is designed to improve pace of play and decrease huge scores. I have hit over double par during tournaments before, but not when the double par rule was being used. The last tournament was at Hidden Valley in Aztec, and on hole nine (a par four) I was on the edge of the green and lying nine.

In previous posts I believe I have mentioned that I am a perfectionist. One would think that having to pick up because I “failed to do well enough” would be very upsetting for me. I thought so too, but, strangely, I didn’t care. I think this was at least partly due to the fact that I had hit a very bad tee shot that I didn’t think I could recover from (therefore preparing me to take the “blow”), and the fact that I couldn’t feel any body part that wasn’t covered in at least two layers of fabric. Therefore, I didn’t care about anything but indoor heating. So, obviously, these were not normal circumstances.

I have slowly been getting better about maintaining my optimism when reaching new personal lows in my game. There was a First Tee lesson last summer in which I played three holes which were a par three, par four, and par five. I got a nine on the first hole, a twelve on the second hole, and a thirteen on the third hole. There was the high school lesson I mentioned in a previous post where I got a fifteen on a par three. There was the first time I touched the bottom of the deep end of the swimming pool. (Different kind of low!)

In summary, I have slowly been improving my mental game using mind tricks I mentioned in previous posts. This post is proof that all the mental tactics I use actually work! Last fall, it would have been unthinkable for me to happily pick up my ball during a tournament—whatever the conditions.

-Birdie

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