What Good Can Come From A Bad Round?

Today was my opening day for the 2014 golf season.  🙂 John DalyI was going to write a post on the entertainment value  John Daly provides to golf, and about how ridiculous the 90 he shot in the second round of the Valspar Championship was, and how that included an octuple-bogey 12 on the 16th hole, and how that was the 16th time that he’s carded at least a 10 on a hole in his PGA Tour career. . . that was until I carded a 92 today in my season opener.  I did not get the number of the truck that just ran over me but I am still reeling.

We played in brilliant sunshine with heavy wind, and my game was just horrible.  The score was my worst since a 98 on November 23, 2011 and my first time above 88 in two years.  So who’s worse off, Big John or me?  I don’t have the fame, fortune, two majors, and all the notoriety that he does, but he’s clearly worse off.  Golf his his day job and just a hobby here.

Can you find a nugget or two in bad rounds?  Absolutely.  The company of my friends was great and just getting out of the house was wonderful.  With the golf, I only took 28 putts. . . even if it was an artifact of only hitting two greens.  And I managed to shape/place about five or six tee shots using the ball flights I’ve been practicing from the Nine-Shot drill, but that was it.  The irons and wedge game were putrid and I made several rookie mistakes like trying to curve balls playing directly into a strong headwind.

I kind of saw this coming because we moved opening day up from tomorrow when D.C. is supposed to get another round of snow and ice.  Saturday is usually practice day with Sunday being game day and I felt completely unprepared out there.  In fact, past rounds moved to Saturday without the benefit of a prior day’s practice have yielded similar results.  At least J.D. gets to practice before game day.

I’m not too worried about the bad start because it was the first round after a four month layoff imposed by a particularly brutal winter, and it was played in very difficult conditions.  The good news is that there’s nowhere to go but up and we’ll be back at it next weekend!

BTW:  I’m keeping 2014 season stats off a new page on the blog’s main menu.  Check back anytime to see my latest metrics.

So I’ll probably head out in the cold tomorrow before the snow starts to try and correct some of the short game problems experienced today.  They will be hard to live with all week if I don’t fix them.  Finally, I can take some encouragement from past history because back in 2011, I followed up that 98 with a 70 in the very next round.  Weird, but here’s hoping history repeats itself.  How was your opening day?

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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11 Responses to What Good Can Come From A Bad Round?

  1. Brian –
    Don’t be discouraged, we’ve all been there. I’m sure all the work you’ve already put in over the winter will eventually pay off. I wouldn’t put too much stock in the first time out under those conditions.

    Of all the variable conditions a round can present (i.e., temperature, moisture, wind, etc.), I find it hardest to play well in really windy conditions. I can pick it clean if I have to if it’s very wet or very dry. I don’t mind playing in multiple layers of clothes if it’s cold.

    But I struggle in a strong wind. Even though I know better, I still swing too hard into the wind and don’t curve the ball enough (on purpose, anyway) to negate it on approach and short shots.

    Just know there will be better days.

    Dave

    • Brian Penn says:

      Dave, you make some great points about playing in wind. I looked up my scores over the last five years and inevitably the worst rounds were all played in heavy wind. It is truly the toughest of adverse conditions. Thanks! Brian

  2. Brian

    Breath deep! I agree with Dave, we have all been there.

    I will give you one of Jim’s rules of golf. Never start counting anything before 15 April unless it is an eagle or a hole-in-one. Because we have to take so much time off due to weather (winter), I recommend a 2 week break in period at the beginning of every season. It helps prevent frustration and will make your metrics more realistic. Good Luck tomorrow.

    Cheers
    Jim

    • Brian Penn says:

      Jim, the big shocker was that most of my opening day rounds have been good ones because the head has been clear of mental baggage and I could just go play. That being said, none of the openers in the past have been played in heavy wind so I’m giving myself a pass per your suggestion. Was just a little bit of a shocker but I’ve moved on. BTW, how soon until you see the ground and can get out? Thanks! Brian

      • Brian

        I completely understand what you are saying. Each year is a fresh start with new hopes and goals. We are still under 2 feet of snow and it is minus 12 Celsius right now. So I would say July….haha….no, probably mid April. Snow melts pretty quickly when we are consistently above zero.

        Hit them straight and putt true!

        Cheers
        Jim

  3. My opening day was much better: 1. It was in San Diego. 2. Thanks to some great putting and short game, shot 76, with borrowed clubs. Will tell more about it in tomorrow’s blog.

  4. Any day above ground is a good day.

  5. Brian –
    I had your same experience when I opened the “home” season in Lexington this week. Stubbornly wanting to get out, we headed out on the course in a 25 mph sustained wind with 40 mph gusts. You could probably write he rest of it for me….there’s always next time.

    • Brian Penn says:

      You know recreational golf isn’t Green Bay vs. Dallas in 1967. We should be getting enjoyment out of the game and playing in adverse conditions should be more of a necessity than a desire. Today is going to be around 70 in DC and I am heading out for an extended practice, but I cancelled my tee time for tomorrow. Just don’t think 45 degrees and 20mph winds will be that enjoyable. We should be in it for the fun. Thanks! Brian

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