The wind was brutal. Everyone was hitting it really short. There were some 140 mph club head speeds hitting only 330 yard drives.
I missed advancing by 5 yards.
Here is who finished ahead of me.
7th-Tom Peppard who finished 8th in the open division in 2012 as a 44 year old.
6th-Richard Smith who made the match play last year.
5th-George Slupski who is a former champion and this year’s 50 and over champion.
4th-Brian Pavlet who is a former champion and hall of famer.
3rd-Jeff Gavin who won last year and made top 16 of open division.
2nd-Scott Smith who finished in the top 4 last year.
1st-Jason Zuback who is the greatest long driver of all time.
Nothing to be ashamed of, finishing behind that group.
Sounds all Fine and dandy, but a pretty pathetic effort on my part preparing. I am the heaviest I have been in my life (nearly 230) and I probably hit less than 100 balls total with my long club practicing for this.
This is not an excuse or taking anything away from the other competitors, who were great. I am making a point in public about myself as a motivating factor.
If I have any illusions (some will say dilusions) about making The Champions Tour, I can’t just show up and think I will make it because my swing is pure and I can give great short game shot demonstrations.
I am publicly calling myself out. Anyone who has seen me swing, pitch, wedge and play will say all that is standing in the way of achieving this, is getting off my fat, lazy ass.
For those that think this is the same delusional attitude that a 48 year old, two handicap attorney who thinks he can take a year off and make The Champions Tour…
Let me say this. Two things kept me off the PGA Tour.
1. Inability to access why I mishit shots and correct it.
2. Inability to take distance and spin off wedges.
Those two issues are no longer a problem.
The two issues facing aging golfers are lost distance and touch with the short clubs. Distance is obviously not an issue and my short game is better than it was 20 years ago.
So I have no excuse not to make it and I am left with making an effort. Learning how to score again. Being comfortable on the course. Doing things automatically, instead of having to think.
So this is the challenge I set for myself. It is almost 1 year to the day when I can go to Champions Tour Q-School.
Here are the parameters I am setting. I will keep track and be honest.
1. Be under 200 pounds on this day in 2016
2. Spend at least 15-20 hours a week working on my game
3. Be on the course for at least 9, preferably 18 holes, at least 2-3 days a week.
4. Play as many meaningful rounds of golf as possible. Tournaments, money games, etc.
For those that wonder how a full time instructor and single dad half the week will find time for all this. Well, it’s going to cut into my lounge chair time…and that’s about it.
Non PGA tour players with fewer physical skills than me have made it.
There is no excuse.
I crunched the numbers and I can realistically do all of that.
It’s certainly better than the 2 rounds a month (none of which I am focusing on my game) and less than 5 hours a month of practice I do now.