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I am playing in the US Mid-AM qualifier, but I need your help.


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10 minutes ago, iacas said:

A swing thought is fine. Even encouraged. Find it on the range before you play. Trust it all day.

I agree, and stick to one or two thoughts only.  Also tell your caddy what the swing thought is and what its doing to help the motions.  

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Well, I will not be qualifying, however I had fun and it was a good learning experience. I had a few 3 putts as the greens were really slick, and two blow up holes where I could have benefited form sl

I started this Blog Post a few months back, and well, have achieved my goal with 2 weeks to spare. As of Friday I will be a 2.7 handicap index (down from an 8.6 on May 1st) and I can officially submit

Fair. That's all I can say, since you are making this post on speculation, and the fact that a lot of guys do post low scores to play top tier courses that they normally wouldn't get to play. As

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Looking forward to a big recap of the entire round/experience.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Let's hope it's mostly good!

I may have missed it, but when is the qualifier?  What course?

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5 hours ago, David in FL said:

Looking forward to a big recap of the entire round/experience.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Let's hope it's mostly good!

I may have missed it, but when is the qualifier?  What course?

It will be Monday August 8th at The Blessings in Fayetteville, AR. 37 days to go

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So as you can imagine, as my index dropped in such dramatic form, it will be an incredible amount of work to maintain and play good golf. 

Saturday I went out and was a mess on the course. Was hitting solid shots but had no control of where they were going. That with news that the greens were cut short and rolled from the previous night had my putting distance control off. Putting is my biggest weakness. When I roll 28-31 putts, I usually shoot in the 70's. When I have over 31 putts its low 80's or worse. Im hitting 8-9 greens on average the last month so its crucial I putt well. I decided to film my swing and was a bit bummed at what I saw. It felt a lot better than it looked. One range session and I felt like my game was way off and I was in over my head for this tournament. 

After uploading my swing to Evolvr my coach Brian (who is awesome) told me I was coming in a bit steep and not extending my left knee early enough.swing.jpg

Brian said overall I can be too hard on myself considering how much my swing has improved this year. I love not only the swing coaching but mental aspect my Evolvr coach provides me. 

We had a very stormy July 4th weekend so instead of getting in 4 rounds I got in one Saturday (88 where I didnt know what happened) and then this morning we walked the saturated course. I got around in 80 with a bogey, bogey, bogey finish making dumb 3 putts. and a missed up and down. Felt a lot better today so this week I'm going to continue to work a few mins a day on my lower body and hitting a ball off a very high tee. This will help shallow me out a bit more. I know I can get back into the swing of things here as we are just over 4 weeks out.

Another tournament prep area will be walking every morning before work. It was 75* and what felt like 100% humidity and since it was cart path only I decided to use a push cart. I was beat by the end of the round. Need to get my body used to walking again since I have been using a cart since March. Among the tough course conditions, mental drain, and making calm and collected decisions I do not need my legs to get tired walking the hilly Blessings course. I already told my caddy we needed to walk a bit beforehand carrying my clubs because I dont want him getting pooped out in 90*+ August Arkansas summer heat. 

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Me and a buddy played in a US AM qualifier a few years ago when I was playing good. My advice just echoes many others in saying, play your game and stay calm. I got caught up in my own stupid thoughts and really tanked it. I had a bad hole and got super worried about my score. Add that with a down pour and I ended up shooting 10 strokes worse than my normal. And the sad part is, had I played my normal game and had my normal score, I would have continued on. It was a good lesson learned though.

So my advice is (1) play your game, (2) forget what your playing partner is scoring, and (3) just have fun and enjoy the experience. And GOOD LUCK!!

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On July 4, 2016 at 7:37 PM, TN94z said:

Me and a buddy played in a US AM qualifier a few years ago when I was playing good. My advice just echoes many others in saying, play your game and stay calm. I got caught up in my own stupid thoughts and really tanked it. I had a bad hole and got super worried about my score. Add that with a down pour and I ended up shooting 10 strokes worse than my normal. And the sad part is, had I played my normal game and had my normal score, I would have continued on. It was a good lesson learned though.

So my advice is (1) play your game, (2) forget what your playing partner is scoring, and (3) just have fun and enjoy the experience. And GOOD LUCK!!

When you played, did you know where you stood vs the field? Did you want to know? 

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8 hours ago, kpaulhus said:

When you played, did you know where you stood vs the field? Did you want to know? 

It's difficult to find that out even if you did want to know. A lot of the time, they have you hand in 9 hole score cards at the turn, but there's no leaderboards or live scoring for the am qaulis. Since you or caddy can't use phones, finding out the 9 hole scores is pretty much impossible unless you have somebody following you.  

I for one don't care. I worry about what the field did after I'm done playing. If I shot under 75, I stuck around to see the scores come in.  If I shot 75 plus, I literally just walked to my car after I handed in my card.  For USGA qaulis, 2-3 over is about all you can beg for as far as moving on.

 But I enjoy being out there competing the most, so a lot of the time I don't even care if I move on if I enjoyed the round.  Plus, you get to play a lot of great courses through the things. 

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10 hours ago, kpaulhus said:

When you played, did you know where you stood vs the field? Did you want to know? 

I did not. As @Groucho Valentine said, there was no live scoring at the tournament. I only knew what my playing partner was shooting. In the few tournaments that I have played in, I did not want to know the scores in fear it might make me play outside my game. But I will say, in this particular Mid-Am, it had started raining heavily and I had a few bad holes coming in. After those holes, I had the feeling that it was over for me and I somewhat gave up the last couple of holes (terrible mistake). After sticking around for the final scores, I was only a few shots out of moving on. So in hindsight, I wish there would have been a leaderboard that would have pushed me to not give in. So whatever you do, focus and play hard until the end. You never know how the others are playing...

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14 minutes ago, TN94z said:

I did not. As @Groucho Valentine said, there was no live scoring at the tournament. I only knew what my playing partner was shooting. In the few tournaments that I have played in, I did not want to know the scores in fear it might make me play outside my game. But I will say, in this particular Mid-Am, it had started raining heavily and I had a few bad holes coming in. After those holes, I had the feeling that it was over for me and I somewhat gave up the last couple of holes (terrible mistake). After sticking around for the final scores, I was only a few shots out of moving on. So in hindsight, I wish there would have been a leaderboard that would have pushed me to not give in. So whatever you do, focus and play hard until the end. You never know how the others are playing...

In other words, keep grinding...

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2 hours ago, Valleygolfer said:

In other words, keep grinding...

Exactly!!  Something I did not do and it cost me...

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13 hours ago, kpaulhus said:

When you played, did you know where you stood vs the field? Did you want to know? 

The qualifiers I've played in (SCGA, not USGA) have been fairly consistent.  You could check the qualifying scores of all of the sites from August 1 and 2 and 3 to see if there is a general consensus.  I'm going to bet that if a half dozen or so qualified, then the score is going to be par plus or minus one.

Also, you mentioned that last year only one guy got through but you also mentioned that there were only 20-something contestants in Arkansas.  I see that there is room for 78 this year and there are already 47 spots full - I wouldn't be surprised if a few people go through this time.

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On 7/2/2016 at 6:25 PM, kpaulhus said:

It will be Monday August 8th at The Blessings in Fayetteville, AR. 37 days to go

Good luck, sir!!

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My view is don't know what the others are scoring at.  Unless you thrive off the pressure and find that it makes you a better player, it will most likely force you to play shots you shouldn't.  My suggestion is play the best game you can and don't focus on the opposition.  Maybe on the 18th hole you can check to see so that you know if a par will do or a birdie is a necessity, but my suggestion is just focus on playing the best you can and don't worry about the field.  What will you do if you have a score and say after 9 holes find yourself in the lead.  Will you then try to play safe

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8 hours ago, pganapathy said:

 Will you then try to play safe

No, I'm a very aggressive player. There no shot I won't try if I have any confidence in it. 

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7 minutes ago, kpaulhus said:

No, I'm a very aggressive player. There no shot I won't try if I have any confidence in it. 

#17 Moonvalley ;) 

Though at the time I don't think you were able to hit a cut shot. 

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Just be yourself and play your own game. Easy words to say. Sometimes not so easy to do. I'm reminded of something I read in George Plimpton's old classic, "The Bogey Man". Plimpton asked several pros about their routines the night before a big round, and the answers were consistent. Stick to your routine.

Don't go to bed at 9 if that's not your normal routine. If it's normally movie night, go see a movie. Like to hit the drive in for a burger and a shake? Do that. Have a beer or two and watch the tube? Do that.

Above all, keep the morning of your round as routine as possible. If you usually show up an hour before tee time and engage in a particular warm up process, do that. Do NOT show up 2-3 hours ahead of time if that's not you. You'll wind up with time heavy on your hands. By the time you're ready to hit the course you'll be so anxious to get going you're liable to get "quick". As you well know, quick can kill!

Good luck, and I wish you the best!

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10 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Don't go to bed at 9 if that's not your normal routine. If it's normally movie night, go see a movie. Like to hit the drive in for a burger and a shake? Do that. Have a beer or two and watch the tube? Do that.

Above all, keep the morning of your round as routine as possible. If you usually show up an hour before tee time and engage in a particular warm up process, do that. Do NOT show up 2-3 hours ahead of time if that's not you. You'll wind up with time heavy on your hands. By the time you're ready to hit the course you'll be so anxious to get going you're liable to get "quick". As you well know, quick can kill!

I have a pretty set routine, if my round is in the morning. If it is after lunch, it will be a little different and kind of go with the flow. It looks like the field size has doubled already vs last year, so who knows how many people will advance. 

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On 7.7.2016 at 4:30 AM, kpaulhus said:

No, I'm a very aggressive player. There no shot I won't try if I have any confidence in it. 

To be honest, my advice would be - especially since it's your first big tourney - to play a lot more conservatively. My number one advice is to keep the ball in play and to avoid attacking pins unless you only have a short iron/wedge. We had a big tourney a few weeks back at my home course which - when it is wet, which it was - plays rather long for me. Still, I hot mostly 3 wood of the tee. As a result I had to hit a couple of 5 or 4 iron or even hybrid into the green. But if you play these shots smartly and avoid attacking pins, you will either have an easy chip or a 2-putt for par. I shot par that day (even though my putter was really cold) which was the second best round, simply by avoiding danger.

Another thing: Personally, if I play in important tourneys, I am always a little bit stiff, especially at the beginning of the round. My grip gets to tight and my backswing might become too fast. The grip sometimes leads to pure chipping and the backswing can lead to all kinds of problems. But I've learned to deal with it and now it's not a big thing for me anymore. Of course, just because it happens to me, doesn't mean it'll happen to you. Therefore, my advice is rather simple: Just be prepared that it MIGHT happen. Don't expect that you will be able to show your best golf in your first big tourney.

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