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Can talk the talk, but can't walk the walk

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It sucks to admit, but I can't perform when it comes to tournament play.  I over-estimated my ability by a lot at Sahalee.  Was it my swing, my plan, or simply I haven't had enough tournament experience yet to be comfortable?   I'd say a combination of everything.

Sahalee is not a course you can walk onto the first time and expect to make a great score, which I thought I could do.  Its tree-lined right off the fairway.  But more than that, it forces very specific shots from the tee box.  One could still be in the fairway but have half the green blocked by a big evergreen.  It almost isn't fair, but I like the challenge.  With evergreens that are that thick, it's impossible to hit straight through them.  You have to go around.  My game plan changed almost immediately after I realized this.  

I started my first 5 holes interestingly, had 3 birdies, a double, and a par.  I was happy enough I guess, but those were my only birdies that day.  I couldn't give myself clean shots at the green, but I also didn't feel comfortable in my normal "go right at it" zone (75-100yds).  I had a lot of chunks and just bad shots.  I couldn't get comfortable.  Both rounds were like this, just not being able to make the swing I know I can do.  First day was a 80, second day was a 86 i think.  I don't blame weather, but it was crappy.  Rainy and cold, but manageable.

The next day I went out to a course I enjoy playing, with a friend.  I focused on trying to hit the 150yd stick all day, from the white tees (5800yds), which meant using 4irons and my 3 driving iron the whole day, except for par 5s  which I still used driver.  Shot 66 (-6).  It was so easy to do.  All of a sudden, all my clubs were working properly again.

Thinking back at Sahalee, I would've been fine if I had used 4 iron off the tee most of the time.  I may have had a few trees still block my view to the green from the fairway.  But, it would've given me 160-170yds in most of the time, which I can get close enough to the green, if not on, most of the time.

The other big part here that I'm missing is tournament experience.  In high school, we played matches several times a week.  I was so used to being under the pressure that I loved it! I vividly remember being in my sectional tournament near the end of the season (I had just played well in regionals to help bring my team to sectionals), and I was making the turn and all the coaches are hanging out there talking to their kids.  I wasn't having the best round at this point.  10 is a short par 4, 270yds, but with water right in front of the green.  If you were short of a 255 carry, you're wet.  So option 1, take a 3 wood and wack it.  I didn't want to go over the green with a driver, either.  Option 2, which was my plan, was to use a mid iron and place it in the fairway with a nice easy shot to the green.  I talk with my coach, and he tells me something I thought I would never hear.  He wanted me to go for it.  What?! My coach saying that? Crazy!  I was like, are you sure? He said yup!  Ok, so with all the coaches around, I step up with the 3wood and hit the most perfect shot of the day.  A driving high draw that lands on the green and rolls to 20ft away. Missed the putt, but made birdie.  Whenever my coach was around that season, I had always hit a good shot it seemed. 

It isn't like that anymore.  I start shaking over simple bunker shots or that first tee shot.  I'd like to think that I can regain my confidence in events with a bit more experience. We will see...

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