Winning in Golf - 2022 is a Great Year So Far!
Winning in golf is one of the hardest things to do. Quite honestly, golf is one the hardest sports to play (and play well). Hit a ball that is stationary and put it into a hole! That shouldn’t be a big deal. However, there are too many moving parts for this game and the golf swing.
A quick back-story on how I even picked up golf. I used to play tennis so how hard could golf really be?
I played tennis for 25 years and could hit balls coming at me very fast! Tennis is a very reactive sport so it seemed much easier for me to play. Unfortunately I had to quit playing tennis due to my knees. I was never confident that I’d be able to move laterally and actually prevent myself from falling. So at the age of 35, I quit tennis.
Roy and I went to Hawaii for my brother’s wedding. Of course, golf needs to be in this picture so Roy decided to play. I might as well ride along for the beautiful scenery because I didn’t play yet! I was all in for sunshine, stunning scenery, and picture taking…Oh yea…and to watch Roy play some golf.
Roy got paired up with a couple from Hawaii and the female was very petite. I was intrigued to watch her play. It was extremely windy that day and I thought she might blow away!
She seemed to always put the ball down the middle about 160-180 yards. Nothing fancy, just down the middle. By the time they were finished playing and after watching her play…I was sold I needed to learn how to play golf.
Well, I was a little disappointed to find out how hard golf really can be.
There are plenty of aspects to the game that make this game harder than expected. Your swing, timing, clubhead position, impact, does your head move, do you sway and move your hips, keep your head down, no keep your shoulders down, have your weight centered, no on the front foot, no the back foot, what’s the wind doing, what kind of lie do you have, and the list goes on and on…WOW!
And that’s only 1/2 of it! Oh, and by the way…don’t think! Keep your head out of your way!
Well, I do love a great challenge!
Welcome to golf! The sport you will love to hate, yet keep coming back for more. The golf Gods love to bring you back.
A New Passion Begins
It’s hard to believe I’ve been playing golf for 20 years and that I’d grow to absolutely LOVE this game and definitely love the challenge.
I have an advantage that Roy also plays golf and is very good. He always keeps challenging me to be better. I get to see him hit crazy good shots so I learn from that also! You may have seen other posts of our “Thornton Cup” Match Play tournaments we have. They are always a blast. You can check out last year’s 17 Day vacation. We played 10 rounds in 12 days.
It wasn’t until the last 6-7 years I started playing in tournaments at our club and play in the Club’s Ladies Team Play (a competitive traveling team). Talk about FUN! Our traveling team is Team Matchplay. It’s nice to have a partner to help you out if you having a bad hole. You also get to play some ladies who are really good golfers!
Love the Competition!
Regardless of your handicap, I highly encourage you to play some type of competitive golf. Any type of competition will take your golf game to a new level and FAST. Whether you are betting $1 on the match to playing in different events at your club or around the state or country. There is a ton that is offered.
You will learn the rules better and your mindset during rounds of golf will improve when you play with the right players. You will learn new strategies from others as well.
2nd is First Loser....
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come in 2nd or 3rd place in tournaments. It was becoming quite frustrating. You may have figured out, I don’t like to lose.
Roy and I were members at Ruby Hill in Pleasanton, CA. Each year I’d sign up for the Club Championship. This is a normal golf tournament – stroke play and playing for gross. Each year I got beat by the same person…my friend Michelle. We played all the time during the week and I would beat her plenty on regular rounds. What was the difference?
Mindset! Michelle developed a crazy strong mindset to win these club championship tournaments at Ruby (and she continues to win). I’m not sure I believed I could actually win. And it showed.
2022 - The Year to Win!
Fast forward to us now living in Scottsdale. We are members at Tatum Ranch and I’ve played in 3 Senior Club Championships so far. I didn’t win the first one, or the 2nd one!
The first senior club championship, I remember thinking, “I shouldn’t try to win this…we just joined.”
What a ridiculous mindset. It would have been a great way to meet people immediately!
I’m going to get real for a minute. Most likely I didn’t feel like I deserved to win or that I was good enough to win. I always criticized myself on my ability to play.
Same thing in tennis. I always criticized myself on how I’d play. I remember one mixed doubles match. We were shaking hands at the net and the guy we were playing was complimenting my forehand cross-court. All I could say was…”didn’t you see how many times I dumped the ball into the net?” Roy told me to say “Thank you” and remind me his was giving me a compliment.
I always want to win, however, when you don’t think you deserve it or are worthy of it, criticizing yourself can get in the way.
For some of you, this attitude may be far too familiar. It can be changed!
My second senior club championship at Tatum, I did change my attitude and decided I did want to win.
Unfortunately, I messed up a couple of holes that cost me. And the winner played solid golf both days.
One thing I learned…don’t give up. Keep grinding and do your best. I was down 5 with 9 holes left. As an amateur…sometimes that 5 strokes can easily be made up. I’m not sure I was confident with myself to actually make that happen though.
I also started to get into my head which is a curse for golfers. The harder you try, it seems the harder you fall.
It’s easy to lose focus when you have a few bad holes. Instead of staying in there and knowing you can make birdies and put pressure on someone, you kind of give up. You have to decide how badly you want to win.
My guess is I was too bummed that I had some bad holes and felt it was too hard to make a comeback.
Come into 2022…it’s time for a different mindset of belief that I will be the 2022 Senior Club Champion. I would tell myself that daily. I also told others that I was winning the tournament. Even being down 5 strokes (yes again) after the first day…I was determined to come out on top! I decided to change my story this year and start being the champion.
I developed a mantra for myself which included positive statements I would read out loud to myself. Remember, what you say to yourself (good or bad), your mind believes.
Some statements I used:
- I am the 2022 Tatum Ranch Senior Club Champion
- I am confident with my swing
- I am confident and believe in my driver to hit down the fairway.
- I consistently hit quality shots
- I can birdie and par every hole at Tatum (yes, this is true).
- I deserve to win the 2022 Ladies Senior Club Championship.
Both days of the tournament, I was telling everybody I was going to win. Especially Day 2! Down 5 from the leader…I knew I could make that up if I focused on hitting quality shots, staying calm and picturing each shot. I made that happen.
Roy helped me Day 2 and was my caddie. I truly think he helped me save a few strokes on the putting green as he is such a great green reader and he helps me stay calm.
One great trait I have is I have no idea where I am score-wise when I have a good round happening. Good or bad, that means I really don’t know where I stand in a tournament either. It keeps the pressure off me to make birdies and pars. I guess this allows me to just play golf and make the best score I can for that day.
After 9 holes, I knew I was doing well. I made up the 5 strokes after 3 holes. I was playing well, the leader was not. I took the lead after 4 holes.
I did have to keep my eye on a couple of other ladies because I knew they were hanging in there. Around Hole 16, I finally asked Roy…”where am I?” He told me to just keep playing the way I am playing…and I’d be fine.
Smart caddy…don’t tell your wife how big her lead is…just keep playing golf. There were 3 holes left.
I did finish strong!
It’s fun to say…yes I am the 2022 Tatum Ranch Senior Club Champion!
Buddy Match Play Champions
One great thing about living in Arizona are the winters. Yes, we get to play great golf year round and the winter is the best time! At Tatum Ranch, we have Buddy Matchplay. You have your partner and it’s best ball matchplay against another team. Depending on how many teams are in your bracket, obviously determines how many matches you have.
I will say, it’s easy to play hard when you have a teammate. You don’t want to let your partner down. It’s nice to have someone help read putts also. I can easily say, Brigitta and I make great golf partners! What’s more fun is both of us are from Wisconsin and didn’t know each other before Tatum Ranch!
We pulled off the win this season and won our Buddy MatchPlay Tournament!
Season Long MatchPlay
Besides having our Buddy MatchPlay, we also have MatchPlay within our different brackets. I love to play matchplay. One great thing is if you have a bad hole, you can put it behind you and just keep moving forward. It doesn’t matter if your opponent wins that hole by 1 stroke or 5 strokes…they just win the hole and you move on. It’s easy for me to let go of a bad hole. You can’t change what happened, so why not keep moving forward?
My first round was challenging, however, more so because I was playing one of my great friends who I play tons of golf with, Sal. I did have to put my nose to the grindstone and get it done!
My 2nd round was a bit more challenging mentally for me as my challenger was the current Senior Club Champion…who I lost to last year. Yes, I really wanted to win! This match was being played right before the Senior Club Championship and I wanted a win going into the Club Championship.
In the 2nd match, I had to give stokes and two of them were on hole 14 and 15. My goal was to walk away from those holes – even. We were all square going into 14. Having to give these 2 strokes, I went down 2 with 3 to play.
I told myself, I am winning this match. There is no way I was going to lose. I KNOW I would par each hole.
16…I hit a great tee shot to 2 putt. My opponent…bogey. OK, let’s win the next hole.
17…Par 5: I par the hole. My opponent…bogeys again.
SWEET! Now is the time to Par 18! I LOVE 18!! I have an advantage…mentally and physically…I can hit longer shots and get on in 2. Par for Janis, Bogey for Chantal. What a great win! Round 2 complete.
Round 3: I have to play my Buddy MatchPlay partner, Brigitta.
We decided to have our husbands caddy for each of us.
Fun day for Janis…I played well and Brigitta didn’t have her best day.
Matchplay is fun to play! Especially when you have great friends to play with. Our friends Olly and Dena play with us as markers. You can see Dena’s beautiful finish on her tee shot on the 8th hole, Par 3 at Tatum.
What Makes a Great Mindset?
- Stay patient
- Trust…trust your shot, trust your club, trust yourself.
- Commit! Commit to your shot, commit to your line, commit to yourself.
- Keep yourself centered and balanced. This helps with your swing.
- Hit a bad shot? You MUST forget it. You can’t change it so move on.
- Visualize your shots. How do you want this shot to look. Watch your ball heading to the green or watching the ball roll into the hole.
- Take deep breaths to calm yourself
- Walking? Check your walking pace. Are you walking too quickly which in turn affects how quickly you are swinging?
- Must read book! “7 Days in Utopia.”
Believing In You!
If you’ve read this far…congratulations! I will say this…it has taken me A LONG time to finally be proud of myself and believing in me to be a winner. Today I look back at my 25 years of tennis. I was a GREAT player, however, never felt that way. I’ve been working on my golf game and myself to stop thinking that way.
Needless to say, I know I’m a great golfer! And am proud to say that. I love working with others to bring out their brilliance in themselves!
Taking Your Golf Game to New Levels
Besides having the right mindset, making sure your body is up to par as well will take your golf game to new levels.
Some simple ways to empower your body:
- Strength Train
- Mobility and Flexibility Training
- Pilates and Yoga Training
Check out the JT Fitness and Golf 90 Day Golf Fitness Program! It will change your golf game!
Other programs you may like:
Body Challenge or Golf Fitness
✅Over 100+ follow along videos
✅HIIT Workouts to improve your cardio
✅Circuits, AMRAP’s, and Tabata to increase your metabolism and strength
✅Mobility Training to keep your joints healthy and mobile
✅Yoga and Pilates to improve flexibility and core strength
✅Over 100 recipes of all types
✅High End Training App (additional cost)
Golf Mobility Classes
For EVERYBODY! We all need mobility!