It's been a busy beginning of the year for me, but it also included a few rounds of golf and a tournament, which is the first tournament I've played in years. I've still been working hard on my priority piece, which was to square my club face throughout the swing and I have a few good days and bad days, but I can say that it has gotten better. I've also really been pushing myself to stop working on my priority pieces on full speed swings and really just try and slow things down on the range. I always think to myself that I can't hit it well at full speed if I can't even do it at half speed.
Anyway, for the tournament, I played the SF City Golf Championship, which is a match play tournament. During the qualifying, I didn't play so well and shot an 87 on a par 68 course so that placed me in a middle-tiered bracket. I shot my irons decently, but my drives off the tee, chipping, and putting were atrocious. So I decided to work on that all week. The day before my first match, I went to an indoor range since they had a GC2 launch monitor to get my exact carry distances for each iron (this was probably the best thing I've done for the tournament) and the pro there actually gave me a quick lesson on chipping and get a good feel of squaring the club face on my full swings.
On my first match, I won 2&1. The next week, I won the second match 3&2. The third match was the toughest since I went 2 down after the first two holes, won the third, and then was one down for the rest of the front. I lost the 10th hole and was two down. Then I won the next hole with 25-foot birdie putt. We played even the next three holes even, and then won the next three holes to win the match 2&1. The hole where I went 1up was through a 20-foot par save. On our 17th hole, my opponent hooked his drive left into a construction area, couldn't find his ball, and he called the conceded the hole after. Being down throughout the entire match to come back like that I still can't believe but was relieved to move into the semifinals. My next opponent had a family emergency and couldn't make his match and that put me into the finals. It's not the way I would have wanted to advance, but I nothing I could do about that.
My final match was somewhat up and down. I went two up after two holes, and bad chipping gave up that lead on the next three holes. I won the 7th and 8th but lost the 9th and 10th to give up the lead again. Won the 11th, lost the 12th, halved the 13th, won the 14th and 15th, halved 16th and won the 17th to win the match 3&1 and my bracket. It felt good to win and also felt lucky since I haven't played much golf leading up to the tournament.
After getting my carry distances measured, I was able to play a lot more strategically with my irons. Choosing a club became much easier even given tough lies and weather conditions.
Now I might take a week or two off from golf to rest my back.