Every round of golf starts with a fresh slate. The scorecard is a virgin row of boxes to be filled in with digits: birdies, pars, bogies, whatever. It's a brand-new start and anything can happen.
This can be very exciting when you've just spent the previous half hour on the driving range hitting each and every ball pure and straight, landing them right next to the target. As you approach the first hole to tee off, you feel confident and know you will have a good day, I mean a fantastic day. You are pumped up and ready to go.
That's how I felt today at the Slotwedstrijd Heren Senioren, the final Dutch senior tournament of the year. The official announced my name and it was time to go. I wasn't nervous at all because I knew I had a good chance at shooting the course record. Yeah right, who was I kidding this time.
I topped my drive and the ball rolled fifty meters into this area of thick mounds of tundra. Hacked it out somehow into the fairway. To make matters even worse, my next shot ended up out in some meadow. I had opened the caddy book to the wrong page. Showing a par 4 first hole, but the wrong one. Dogleg to the right when in reality it was a dogleg to the left. Somehow managed to find my ball in the middle of nowhere beneath a bush, but ended up with a "lucky" triple-bogie seven.
Bad start, golf is such a very cruel sport. Chops you down when you're feeling high, should have spent my time worshiping the golf gods instead of being selfish and hitting balls on the driving range.
From one extreme to the other. After that I played erratically, had six three putts, left an eagle chip just short of the hole but tapped in the birdie, ended the last three easy holes with bogies.
So at the end of the day my struggle had left me slightly rattled. My score: 43 + 40 = 83. Better luck next year.