I originally wasn’t planning on playing in the Golf Channel Am Tour’s National Championship this year. One of my goals for the year was play better in Majors. My first major at Blackwolf Run was a failure as I finished DFL. I played another at Grayhawk in Scotsdale, AZ. In this one I played better, finishing T8 out of 14,though still not as well I should have.
I did start playing better as the season wore on. In July and August I put up some good scores, and managed to win twice and come in second three times. My work with my instructor started to sink in and show in my play. At the KC tour championship I played very well, putting up a 10 stroke lead on the first day, and managing to win by 12 in the end. I also won the Jones flight for the year.
In the last few weeks I have been considering playing Nationals. My reasoning is I have never been better prepared for that level of competition. I didn’t want to go back to Nationals until I felt like I could compete. Another reason is next year I won’t be playing Nationals at all as I already have a big golf trip planned to Bandon Dunes.
On the other hand, not competing at the majors makes me think I should do that before tackling Nationals. The course this year is Innisbrook and the courses are tree lined, tight with plenty of water. Which is worth considering as they aren’t easy courses.
In the end I decided to go play. I have been preparing by playing courses that will provide similar challenges. The courses my friends and I came up with aren’t courses I have played very well at in the past. In fact, I have never broken 90 on these. I started this weekend with Ironhorse, which is a course I like, but never manage to score very well. I didn’t play my best, but I managed an 85, which is 7 strokes better than my previous best. Next was Dub’s Dread, a long and tight course. My previous best was a 96. Even though it was a very hot day and I walked the course, I put up an 85 with only one lost ball. These rounds are building my confidence. I am meeting with my instructor this weekend for a playing lesson, then a round at Deer Creek.
I’m not too concerned about where I place at Nationals, but how I score. I have a game plan and if I can retain my focus, I will do fine.