abk Golf: Getting Closer

Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to leave rounds in the 80s behind forever…

In my last 35 rounds, I have shot three 80s on the number and 32 rounds in the 70s. I can confidently say now that I consistently shoot in the 70s, so it’s time to dig deeper. It’s time to go lower.

I started the week off on Sunday afternoon shooting a ho-hum 75. I was +1 standing on 18 tee, and like a clown, I decided to go for it. You know…IT. Even par. Of course, I hit it halfway off the earth and double bogeyed the hole. Try again later. Hope you learned something.

Later was Tuesday, when I woke up at 10:45am to a text from the local golfing powers: Golf today? I was sore, super sore, from a Monday night grind on the course. Of course there would be golf today, but a competition only 2 hours after I woke up? I have a personal rule though. I don’t turn these particular gentlemen down unless I absolutely have to, so I quickly got my mind and body going.

As soon as I arrived, I told them how sore I was and that it may take a few holes for me to get into a rhythm today. But that turned out to be complete nonsense, as I fired a 74 in serious wind conditions that immediately ranked as a Top 5 round in the short life of abk Golf. I finished birdie, birdie, par, par, which afforded me a mere one stroke improvement over Sunday’s performance, but left me feeling more like a king than a clown.

It rained on Wednesday, and so I took a much needed day off. Everything hurt. Old things. New things. Everything. And so I did nothing. Nothing.

Enter Thursday. Thursday at the golf course is a cluster. There are weekly Thursday specials that draw everyone and their drunk uncle. It’s nearing the weekend. And if the weather is perfect, the effect is exponential. And it was.

Banks and I arrived late afternoon, but it became clear that we weren’t going anywhere for a while, so we just putzed about. We warmed up, had some giggles, and looked for some animals until the coast was clear. At about 6:15pm, 1 tee was open, so off we went.

When I was putting from inside 8 feet for eagle on 3, I knew it was on. When I saved par from 20 feet on 8, my only stressor of the day, I knew it was on. If only I had hit my birdie putt a tad harder on 9, my 33 (-3) would have been a 32. If only the sun went down about an hour later, this could have been the night. But you know what they say…If ifs and buts were candies and nuts…

On Saturday, we indoctrinated our new jet ski early in the afternoon (more on this next week). But I had to get to the course. I spent Friday doing the necessary jet ski paperwork instead of playing golf, so I was jonesing.

I met my friends a few holes in, shortly after draining a ridiculous (lucky) birdie putt on 4. I hit my rhythm somewhat immediately, and before I knew it, I was -2 and in the middle of 15 fairway. A 3-putt and then a lost drive on 16 brought me in at 73, kind of annoyed, kind of excited, kind of hungry, as usual.

It had been a great week of work. 75, 74, 33 (9), and 73 easily qualified as my best week of golf ever. EVER. I’m getting closer. My handicap dropped to 2.7 briefly and finished the week at 2.9. I’m getting closer.

Most importantly, I shared each of these rounds with others, the 33 on Thursday with Banks taking the cake.

For 276 days, I’ve grinded through the 90s, and they eventually left. I’ve grinded through the 80s, and I’m hoping I never see them again either. I’ve grinded through the high 70s, and I know they will rear their head now and again, but I’m ready to focus on 73-75 and what it entails to take that next tiny little step. This week was very important, mark my word. This is exactly what I signed up for, and as I always say…Back at it tomorrow.

Have a great week, and stay safe.-Benj

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