I was fortunate to get out before the rain. Playing alone, as one is apt to do in November when the temperatures are firmly set in single digits, I checked in and quickly made my may to the first tee. Two balls, why not. No scorecard, no need for one. It was easy to smile and enjoy the day, even on an overcast day with a light drizzle. And in my never-ending quest to get better my project for the afternoon was to begin to establish a pre-shot routine, focusing on a slow backswing and better body rotation. But bundled up in three layers I tended to revert back to just smiling and enjoying the day. I might have played 12 holes or so, I wasn’t counting, before the drizzle gave way to rain. By the time I made it back to the car the rain had intensified and as I placed the clubs in the car I sensed that was it for my 2017 season. And I was ok with that.
It’s been a unique and challenging season for me. My index rose almost 1.5 strokes to 10.6 and I got to late August and found myself struggling with golfer’s elbow. Some time off helped, a bit. I continued with my lessons, working hard (and smart) for greater consistency off the tee (as I have for almost 25 years, truthfully). Better fundamentals – both on the tee and around the greens – are giving me cause for optimism for 2018.
The year was not without its highlights. I am finishing my first year as an associate member of Hidden Lake Golf Club. Living about 10 minutes away makes the convenience of belonging more appreciated that I could have imagined. I was able to play 17 of 21 weeks of Men’s Night and got in with a great group of guys. My regular foursome is stereotypical in that we support good play and don’t miss a chance to needle each other for missed putts and the odd time a fairway hit is not our own. I loved my experience with the club championship and am completely hooked on competitive play. I’m already excited for next year.
I struggled through what I am starting to see as a regular mid-season swoon. This year was a solid 5 or 6 week stretch of inconsistent and poor play in the height of summer. It culminated at one of my low points in the game where my anxiety kicked in early in a round and took hold but two good friends whom I was playing with kept me focused on breathing and simply having fun. Two good rounds at the club championship seemed to get me back and the fall season has been one where bad weather and I have paired up regularly for a quick nine or a very quiet round.
Personally, my fall, like my golf game this year, has not gone according to plan. Within one week my 12 year old dog took sick and we had to put him down. I had two unexpected business trips thrown in too. An early fall vacation (which was fabulous) seems like ages ago. I am not writing all this to lament, but simply to share that life as with golf needs to be played as it lies. But a part of me has welcomed time for reflection.
Looking back, my golf season, like my time on the course this past Saturday, has been fun. I have been quiet of late with my blogging and I suppose my schedule and my life dictated most of that. But I am very happy to be able to re-connect with you and hope your golf season was an enjoyable, long and successful one. I learned a great deal this year and embrace the opportunities for an off season away from the course and to re-charge. It’s only 4+ months until my course is open for the 2018 season!
2018 will also provide me some unique opportunities to chip away at my bucket list, with business trips to Vancouver, Winnipeg and Regina planned…which means time tacked on for golf!