Saturday, July 9, 2016

Round Reflections: The story of how my score swung nine strokes in two weeks

I've had the fortune of playing two weeks in a row and we're overdue for a recap. The original summer plan was to play only every other week to keep costs down (childcare makes a weekly round that much more expensive). But since I'm pregnant now (!), I'm kind of in a rush to golf more, as I don't know if I will wake up one day and just not feel it possible anymore. Pregnancy is like that. So make hay while the sun shines, so to speak.

So last week, fresh off our vacation from the mountains and two weeks from the previous round, and feeling bummed about the way I putted with a suddenly not-broken-but-not-100% putter, I had the BEST ROUND I've had all summer. I felt amazing. I swung with ease and scrambled well, and despite my putting debacle I had only one or two putts per hole. If not for a penalty stroke on the last hole (I lost the tee shot in some native grass, it was a beautiful hit but I was clearly aimed there), it would have been a round of almost all pars and only a few bogeys. I shot only seven over for the day with that triple on the last hole.

The weekly challenge last week was Odds Or Evens. After the round, a member of the clubhouse staff would draw from a hat whether the scores would be calculated from the odd number or even number holes. I waited anxiously all weekend to find out what the result would be, all the while praying they would be evens since I had so many pars on even holes. They drew odds. Of course I only bogeyed and tripled the odds! So that was a bummer. I am SO happy with the way I played though.

Well this past week, things just weren't clicking so consistently. The challenge this time was to play from the back tees. No big deal for me, honestly, as this is a small par three course. I usually take all my woods from the bag to keep things light. I was excited for this challenge, but it turned into a bit of a roller coaster that I'm still mulling over.

I got a par on the first hole (the first time I've ever pared it), and thought, today I will be unstoppable.

I got a bogey on the next hole and thought, well that's to be expected playing from the longer tees.

I took a penalty on the third for a tee shot that went OB. No biggie, I thought. Just keep swimming.

Fourth hole comes along and I crush the drive a little over 200 yards to reach the left edge of the green. It felt and sounded amazing. There was even a longest drive competition that I'm 99% sure I won (they haven't posted it on the site yet). Here I go I think, time for a chip-in!

Then I duffed the chip, and three putt for a double. Drive for show putt for dough, they say. Oh well, I thought, move on and do better, lots of golf to be had.

Fifth hole I think to hit the driver again, but I didn't get comfortable; I topped the shot. Then I over shot the green to the back bunker. Then I got extremely winded climbing up the hill to the green carrying a heavier-than-usual bag with a slightly-more-pregnant-than-previous-week belly. The sand shot shanked right but at least got to the green. Then I SIX PUTT, for a whopping nine.

Slow down and breathe, I thought. Bring that heart rate down. Move on.

Hit the next green but three putted when my second lips around the hole. Still an improvement, I thought, and moved on.

Hit the following green with the most beautiful draw my 3-wood has ever touched, and sink the par putt. Back at it, I think.

Hole 8 was played forward for pace of play reasons since the shot carries water. It was hot but a clear day and things felt like they were flying farther than usual because of the heat, so I went for it with my pitching wedge. It flew right on line. C'mon, I thought, be good! It cleared the water, hit the fringe, took a spin backwards, and trickled down the rocks into the water.

Then I shank my next shot from the drop zone into the water. Finally on the green in 5, I two putt for a seven.

Almost done, I thought, keep your head in it.

A honest bogey on the ninth let me walk off the course on a slightly higher note. Tired and wet from that awkward line of sweat I should now be expecting to only get worse every week between my sports bra and baby bump that is visible through my polo, I welcomed the AC of the clubhouse to add up my nightmare of a 44.

I really didn't play so terribly that I'm feeling bad about it, I am just worried that unless I can repeat the first of these two rounds for the rest of the month, that this one round will edge my handicap out of the A flight. I want to stay there so I can be eligible for the league championship, even though I haven't won any weeks yet so it's not like it's within grasp yet . And I'm also nervous that if I got winded so easily this week, it's only going to get worse from here as the bump continues to grow. They have push carts I can rent but I'm not sure that will be better, and if it does come to it this fall I might be able to argue for use of the motorized carts (this course is walking only with exception of physical handicaps). But I love walking and carrying my clubs.

Oh well. One week, one day, one round, one hole, one shot at a time.

For anyone interested, I'm due in December so I'm just into my second trimester. This is my second kid and this pregnancy has so far been MUCH easier than my first; I'm so thankful for that because it's made golfing easier. I don't intend this to be a pregnancy blog, but since it's a blog about being a mom golfer, and I'm golfing regularly while also growing weekly, it won't be ignored completely. I'd love to hear from any other women who golfed through their pregnancies and what they experienced!

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