First Tournament Back
by Dusty Schmidt | Published: Jan 05, '12
Today I played my first tournament of the year at Temecula Creek golf club on the Golden State tour. It was great to be back playing. It felt “right” being out there. The weather was fantastic as was the condition of the course. Unfortunately my golf game left something to be desired as a struggled to a 74 to finish in the middle of the pack.
I had a lot of things working against me today. First off, I haven’t even played a single round of golf in over 2 months. I have hit less than 500 balls the last 2 months as well. I also am not used to waking up as early as I have to for golf, so I need to adjust my body clock. It was also hard for me to achieve the laser focus I often have on the golf course. It has been awhile since I have played of course, so I guess this is all to be expected.
It felt very weird playing a golf tournament having not played golf in awhile. Normally when I am playing golf tournaments, I play and practice every day and so when I go out there, I have a good idea what to expect and I am in the groove of playing, and more importantly, in the groove of getting the ball in the hole. One of my best attributes in golf is the ability to turn a 74 into a 70 or 69. And turn a 69 into a 65. Today I turned a 69 into a 74. I didn’t strike the ball great, but I didn’t hit any foul balls and the course was easy enough where I should be able to shoot in the 60s nearly every time I tee it up when I am in the groove of playing. But it’s just going to take some time, no question.
I had a choice between taking a month to prepare to compete and just throwing myself in with the wolves right off the bat, even though I knew I wasn’t playing a lot. I chose to just go for it and play golf tournaments A. because I am anxious to play and B. because I really think if you are not someone who is afraid to play with less than your best stuff, it is optimal to just play and compete right away because it will just help you get better quicker. For example, if I am working on things on the range and putting and chipping greens for a month, then I also need to test it out in competition and get comfortable with things. That process can take awhile. But if I just work on things while I compete, then I don’t have to worry about seeing if the changes will make their way to the course. I think it is best to go out there and do what Nike tells you to do and “Just do it!” Heck, I am a 30 year old who hasn’t competed in 7 years on a regular basis. There is no time to waste anymore. It is now or never! :) That might mean I struggle at the outset, but I am not afraid to post some bad rounds if it means it makes me better quicker.
The next few days I am going to work with some students in the morning on poker and then work on my golf game in the afternoons. I may play a few hands at night if I get bored as well. My next event is a Golden State Tour event at Arrowood and it is a 3 day event. The event is on the 10-12 of January and I am really excited about that because that means I can prepare for a few days and also get 3 more tournament rounds under my belt which should be very helpful. Prior to this summer, I hadn’t played much in years and this summer I found a pretty good groove after about 20 rounds and was able to play some good rounds after about 6-7 rounds actually. I hope things come back that soon this time. That would be pretty cool and should set up some good opportunities to grab a win in February. I definitely want my game to be sound by then because the first week of February I play in a 3 day event at Pebble Beach. You definitely need your A game out there because obviously that is a US open course and it will expose you pretty hard if you aren’t up to the challenge. God I love that place. I am already getting anxious to get out there and play. An argument can be made that there is no other place I would rather be on this earth than Pebble Beach.