I Played with Myself All Afternoon
And it was a good time
Today I was supposed to golf with a friend, but they got held up at work, so I went out by myself. There was nobody before or after me to join up with, so I went out as a single. I decided to do an experiment for fun. I played a two-ball scramble to see what I could potentially shoot.
I went out and shot two over on the front and one under on the back for a 73.
What does this mean? Does this mean I have the potential to shoot in the 70s? Does this mean I have a potential scratch golfer hiding under the piles of strokes that make up my game? Who knows, but I did learn some valuable lessons.
Here is what I learned from it.
Driving: Today was flat out the best I have been off the tee. Ever. I had four drives today that would be in my top five best drives ever on those holes. I also stuck two tee shots within five feet on two par threes. It wasn’t “player b” sticking these shots either. Nor was it me hitting a safe shot on the first drive and trying to rip the second one.
So, what do I attribute the change to?
I was freed up to swing without any concern about shoving the ball OB because I had another ball to hit. There was only one first-ball tee shot that went OB on me all day and that was on the third hole. I’m not sure I have ever felt so relaxed standing over the ball on the tee.
Approach: I had two memorable approach shots on 6 and 17 when I stuck it pretty close to the pin on both but otherwise, this was the area where I probably left some strokes out there in this format. Also, this was the area where I was probably the most stubborn, staying with the same club after the first hit and trying the same shot aimed at the same place and getting the same result. I ended up in the sand on 13 and 18 with two shots because of it.
In both of those situations, I took aggressive lines towards the pin where there were safe options available. It cost me a stroke on 13, and on 18, I got up and down, so I'm not sure it cost me there.
Putting: I dropped a lot of my first putts tonight. I only had two significant putts where I learned from my first and buried my second. Other than those two I think having more information actually hurt me. I missed the second putt worse than the first multiple times because I way overcorrected from the first roll. This boosted my confidence in my general green reading.
General Mentality: I bogeyed the first two holes and didn’t hit either tee ball on three well. However, I stuck my approach shot and didn’t look back on the front, shooting even par from then on out. The shot gave me confidence and allowed me to relax, and I was just off to the races at that point.
I didn’t feel an ounce of pressure and was present for the round after that shot. It was enjoyable as nobody was in front of me until the 18th hole, and nobody was behind me. I knew that my score didn’t matter due to the format, so I played fairly loose.
I NEED to carry this over to my other rounds.
Confidence: Look, I know this doesn’t matter ultimately. Anyone reading this blog, if they were able to take two shots, they would score low. However, I feel like I hit the ball well and I left a good score out there if I played a single ball. I’m playing tomorrow and hope to translate my mentality to that round. If I can do that, I think I can play well.
Have you ever played a scramble with yourself?