Monday, October 28, 2013

Recap of Sarasota 2 men better ball and news about injury

So the weekend is over and although it was perfect weather and great golf course conditions , the golf tournament I played was a painful experience. In many ways that is. Physically and mentally. After 2 weeks of rest after hurting myself in a yet different tournament, I was excited to get out and play. Golf is my life and my passion. Something I like to do for a living and as a hobby. So you maybe able to imagine how it feels when I can not go practice or play. It is a test which is hard to pass.
When I did some practice on Friday before the tournament, about an hour, I felt good chipping and putting. As a matter of fact, my chipping was very good. I did not work from the rough or tough lies as I usually do because I did not want to hit into the ground or anything. I only hit very few woods and hybrids and did not use a full swing or turn. So it felt fine, but not all the way healed.
Never the less I was ready on Saturday morning to go out and give it my best and have some fun. My warm up was about 25 min. I did not want to do too much. Just stretching, which felt not that good, and some swings, which worked out great. .A new challenge was my right foot. I am not sure why, but it hurt badly when I moved it and it felt like a few months ago when I overdid my practice and had soar ankles. So walking was no fun. But more important, I had a little challenge with my set up for my drive. While on the course  it only took me 2 holes to figure out that I have very limited ability to turn. This mostly was a result of a mental error. I simply had fear in my mind. Fear to get hurt again or to get the old injury back because it was not healed all the way. This mental state lead to many bad shots. Yes I had good shots as well when I was able to block out things and give 100 % focus to the task and shot on hand. So we played along and did the best we could. I was not able to bring my best game to the table. That had some impact on my partner as well. Surely he brought some confidence in my strong game. After 18 holes I have to say that I was happy to be done. I enjoyed the weather , the company, the nature and the fact that I was outside my four walls. But I was not to excited about the result. So , when we sat down after the round for a beer and some social activity, we set new goals for the next day. Funny how the beer helped to lose some pain and relax the mind. Had a relaxing evening at home and then at a little bar in our town where we had a couple drinks. That really helped to get my mind of my physical condition.
The next day my tee time was 8 10 am. Not a time which I would choose to play golf. That is why it is so important to be in the top 3rd of the field. The better you are the later you start on Sunday. But not this time. I was up at 5 30 am and it was way to early. But I patiently got ready. I felt that my back was a little worse than the day before. But my foot was better. When I got to the course I had about 20 minutes to warm up. My focus was on stretching. So that is what I did . I did hit a few balls and was not too excited about the feel I had, but was not hurting too much. I started out OK with some good tee shots but immediately felt a little pinch in my left side every time I turned or bent down to pick up my ball or tee it up. That was not every enjoyable. I did the best I could to go through the ball when chipping or with my iron shots, but for the most part only made it half through and then got stuck. That resulted in many more bad shots. Approach shots to the right and short , chips which I chunked or left short. My drive was acceptable. So I was able to get it in play, but my second shot often was a disaster. Biggest challenge was my utility club of the fairway. I did not go through the ball and certainly did not turn my hip. On shot in particular was not easy. The fairway bunker. Usually I am not in it. As a matter of fact. The past 2 months at least I hit over 80 % fairways and pretty much never hit any trap. This weekend alone I was in 5 or 6 traps. More then in over a dozen rounds before that. Maybe even more. I easily handled the green side bunker shots. Only had one miss hit from there. But my fairway trap shots both ended up in disaster as well. 1 I tried to play my utility club, which I always do, but pretty much stopped in the back swing. So I came in totally wrong into this ball and hit the lip. My ball never left the trap. I changed clubs and was able to get it out and move it forward. Both shots hurt tremendously. Luckily I only had one more fairway bunker shot and I handled it a little better. Throughout the round my pinch got worse, resulting in my focus from being on the task switching to trying not get hurt or move the part which was hurting. It was a mental fight which I did not handle well and lost all the way. Only a few times I got myself to actually swing through the ball and do what I do. Funny, when I did that I had great golf shots LOL. Honestly. The second 9 I pretty much had my goal set on making it through the round and avoid big disasters. I gave myself a couple opportunities , but could not convert.
When I was done, I was done. On the last hole I played my best drive outdriving my partners by 40 yards. However, this was the shot which hurt most. My approach I put right on the green for a chance to make a birdie in the end. This shot also took a lot of me, but it was nice to show that I can do this easily if I am in shape.
Our round was actually worse then the day before. Not by much, but worse. So for the first time since entering tournaments at Bobby Jones I did not win my flight. Sad, but acceptable because of the circumstances. I do not believe the result would have been possible otherwise.
Because I could not sit or stand too long I took of right away , not spending much time with my friends, which I usually do. I felt my back at home, but was hoping that it will be better in the morning. The exact opposite is the case. I woke up with my entire back hurting yet again. Not as much and in a different matter than 2 weeks ago, but it hurts. More in some positions, less in others.
So , I will be confined to our home again and this time I will go through with it so, that I will be fit for the next tournament in two weeks. I have no doubt that in that time I can get back to where I need to be.
I learned a lot about me, my game and the game itself during this weekends play. There is plenty for me to work on mentally that is for sure. Also I need to learn back up swings for occasions like that. I also learned that I can still have fun, although not playing well. One thing is for sure, in order to play my best golf and be ready to compete , my body needs to be in good shape and my mental state needs to be without doubts and fear in any situation. So there is plenty to work on. We started on the physical part and will continue starting this week. Not stopping until my weight and fitness goal has been reached 100 %. Whatever it takes.
Further I start my mental practice again. Meditation, self help and so on. This will help to get more control of my mind. My swing is good. There is some work to be done, but that will have to wait.

Besides having a good time anyway I also met some great new friends. One of them being a caddy on the LPGA tour. Great guy and more then happy to connect and build a relationship. He also told me that he would caddy for men. You can hire him for a tournament and so on. He offered to help me when the time comes. So that is exciting :). Further I met some old friends. It is a nice feeling when people walk up to you and congratulate you for a win or good result in a different tournament or ask where you have been because they did not see you in 2 weeks and were wondering. There was honest concern about my well being and that is a good feeling.

Well. There we go. That was my weekend. Despite all the things I had a good time with my friends and was thankful to be out in the nature. It was like on vacation. Today I will rest and see how the back develops. I sincerely hope I can get it back in shape soon. But, before I go out again, I need to feel 100 % sure, that all is gone. Biggest challenge is the fact , that this will set me back at least 2 months. So my original time frame is behind now. Further I will not be able to get into the golf school as I was whishing for.

Considering the delay for that and the practice time I would need to implement what I have learned, there is another month. This is not good, but out of my hand at this point. That is the life of a golfer and if you depend on your game to earn your money, this is serious and needs to be handled as such. But even that part I love :). So back to planning, writing, organizing and so on. Oh and if there is suggestions for getting a soar back healed faster, bring it on.


  1. I had a number of pains in my lower back and arms after playing golf last year.

    This year I started a weight lifting plan called stronglifts ( You start out basically with just a bar so you can concentrate on form and work your way up.

    As I progressed it balanced the muscles through my body and all the pains disappeared, I believe through building the muscles in my posterior chain to match the others.

    The increase in strength to my core muscles also helped my swing in terms of a consistent powerful body turn.

    Worth a look

    1. Thank you Stephen. I will take a look at the site as well. I appreciate it and will explore every single options to make it better and to take preventative action.


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