Back in January, when Wisconsin State Golf Association Executive Director Rob Jansen suggested I compete in a WSGA event this year, I hadn’t played in an official tournament since I was on the golf team back in high school. But, as I wrote in my inaugural article, “The idea was so frightening that I agreed to it.”
And, if you’ve been keeping up with my journey, here, you know that I have spent the past 8 months working toward that goal. I hope you have enjoyed learning along with me as I worked hard to improve all aspects of my game, create greater consistency and establish my first official handicap.
The day finally arrived last week as I participated in the WSGA Member Series 2-Person Scramble at Hidden Glen at Bentdale Farms in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, with my dad. The scramble format was a great choice for my first tournament; having a partner made it a fun team event and alleviated some of the pressure and nerves. We were paired with a husband and wife team and had a very enjoyable day on the course.
It was a fantastic experience all around and the only thing I regret (other than maybe a few club selections) is not doing this sooner.
Although I knew that anyone could have a handicap, for some reason I had it in my head that only really good golfers established them. That’s not true. In fact, the reason handicaps exist at all is to allow players of all levels to enjoy the game and compete against one another if they so choose. And, to establish a handicap index, you only have to play three rounds of golf and submit those scores.
So, although I wish my game had improved more this year and that my handicap was lower, it turns out I had no reason to be intimidated. Because of the system, the couple we were paired with seemed to be on par with our playing abilities. We all hit some really great shots but we also topped a couple, too.
We didn’t win, but I wasn’t expecting to. I learned a lot from the experience and have some new things to work on moving forward. For example, I am going to make practicing my putting an even bigger priority.
Dad and I could’ve also really benefited from having played the course before. We ran into the biggest trouble of the day around the 18th green, which is severely sloped from back to front and hard to hold. Let’s just say there was negative yardage involved and I had the song “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from Frozen running through my head. Afterward, the head pro there, Kevin Kramp, told us that there have been member tournaments that have resulted in play-offs with 10s on that hole. He may have just been trying to make us feel better, but nonetheless, had we played there before, we may have been more prepared.
I have signed up to do a golf marathon, or 100 holes of golf, in support of the First Tee in September and ironically, that event is also held at Hidden Glen. Too bad it wasn’t held before the scramble! Next month, I’ll report back on if I got my revenge.
Afterward, as we enjoyed our lunch, dad and I agreed that the day had more than exceeded our expectations and that we wanted to play in a tournament again, soon. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are any others that we’ll be able to play in this year; however I know that when that schedule comes out in January, we’ll definitely want to sign up for a few of the 80+ events that Wisconsin has to offer.
Caitlin Moyer has been hacking and hoping since she was 10. Over the course of her career in the sports industry, she's had the chance to play the game with LPGA, MLB and NBA players, as well as NASCAR drivers and celebrities, but her favorite playing partner is her dad (even though he is a stick). Inventor and sole practitioner of the one-flap™ golf swing (patent pending).
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