Today was Round Two of match play at my ladies club. I won last week so today I faced a new opponent. At the last minute, my opponent changed because of a golfer dropping out so instead of playing a golfer who is better than I am, I played a golfer who is worse. She got a “pop” – an extra stroke on a hole to make up for the one stroke difference in our handicaps.
Well, it wasn’t pretty but I won. I missed a lot of shots, made poor contact and generally just didn’t feel like myself out there, but based on the fact that I won six of nine holes, I guess things went worse for my opponent.
Even though we did match play we still scored for handicap. My score was nothing to be proud of, but I still beat her by seven strokes. It wasn’t close. She did win two holes outright though, to her credit.
Technically I am in the “A: flight of our club but I have the absolute highest handicap one can have and still make this flight, so as the tournament organizers were trying to figure out if it was even feasible to pair the remaining four golfers up, given a wide spread of handicaps, I volunteered to be the “B” flight’s winner and that way we had one winner in each flight. I had beaten a “B” flight golfer today so it made sense.
End of tournament.
So I won the “B” flight. Yay! I will win some cash. This wasn’t a super exciting win, but a win is a win. And considering I almost didn’t participate, on account of being a ‘fraidy cat – I’m happy.
Working On Chipping
After club play this morning, the pro, Pete Black, was offering a chipping clinic over on the practice green in early afternoon, so I signed up. There were seven of us and he hardly spent any time with me, which didn’t surprise me because there were others who needed help with basics like grip and such. After pointing at my hands on the club and remarking “excellent grip” to the group, I felt at ease and like maybe I knew a little bit about golf, finally. He kept saying my stroke was “smooth” and when I jokingly asked him if I could count on a chip-in this week he seemed positive. A good sign. It’s not easy to get an ‘atta boy’ out of Pete Black, even in jest.
I played the back nine later in the evening with my husband. It was a relaxed, scoreless outing with many balls – mostly a trial of the refined chipping techniques I had learned in the afternoon. I have always chipped with my pitching wedge and varied the length of the backswing. Well, Pete Black showed the group how to keep the stroke the same – hands move pocket to pocket – but vary the club as needed. This was a new concept for me but I was willing to give it a try. What clicked was his admonition to “expend as little effort as possible” – or in other words, be efficient. So I tried different chipping clubs and was amazed at the consistency!
Now, to transfer that smoothness from practice to play – when it really counts – is still my goal.