I think it is time to talk a little bit about our three-week stretch in Florida. This is the first time I have played three tournaments in a row, it has been so much fun. Right now I am enjoying a week off before we are back at it in South Carolina. With this being my rookie year on tour I expect to learn a lot about my game and myself. I really had no expectations when I knew I was going to play on the Symetra Tour. My goal for this whole year is to figure out what I need to do to play my best golf and find a balance between getting the work done and having fun. It is definitely challenging out there to do all the things that I had time to do in the off-season. I am taking some time to sit down after these first three events and look at what I have done; what works, does not work, what I need to keep doing and what I need to start doing.
The courses we have played have all been different and have challenged different parts of my game. The first week in Lake Wales was pretty straight forward from tee to green. It was about hitting it close and giving yourself a chance to make birdies. The second week we played in Fort Myers where some tee shots were demanding and with a small miss you could end up in the water. The greens were also a lot faster than in Lake Wales so that was something we had to adjust for. The most challenging thing about that week was definitely the wind during the weekend. A small miss result in the ball going out-of-bounds or go in the water so it got a lot more challenging when the wind picked up. The last day it was really hard to score so it was about who could maintain their composure and not get frustrated. Then we got to Sarasota, this is definitely the most challenging course we have played this year so far. This week my focus was to find the safe spots on the greens and around the greens and from the to play as aggressive as we could. It was all about missing it in the right places, if you did not there was a great chance to have a high score. This was very difficult for me since I like to play very aggressively and attack all the pins. It was a great week for me to learn how to strategize my game much more.
This is what I have learned during these three weeks:
- Roadtripping is fun, you just need good music and podcasts.
- If you plan to not have a caddie do not forget your push card at home.
- Renting a house with good friends is a lot of fun and a great way to feel at home while you are traveling.
- It is possible to hit a good tee shot on the first hole when your not allowed to hit drivers or 3 woods on the driving range.
- How important it is to be flexible in your warm up routine. Some weeks the range is too short, sometimes it is 10 minutes away and sometimes you have to hit drivers in a net.
- Take time to work on speed on the greens and short game when you get to a new place. It changes a lot!
- Practice rounds and Pro AM’s might change. Have a good plan of what you want to do during the week but flexibility is key. You never know what is going to happen.
- Playing Bean Boozled and Heads Up is a fun way to stay in the present and forget that you are in the lead of the tournament going in to the final round (happy I did not get any nasty flavors though)
- Is important to figure out what makes you relax and take your mind off golf (spending time on the beach was great)
- Staying in host families is a great experience and an awesome way to get to know new people (Thank you once again to Pam and Ken for last week!!)
- Every week and course will be different so it is important to figure out what you want out of the week and what is important to do.
- Winning is great but nothing you want to do alone. Make sure you have people you care about around you and winning will be the most amazing feeling.
- Do not be afraid to try new things and meet new people. It might turn out really great, if not you will learn from it.
- Make sure to enjoy every place you stop and be nice to everyone you meet. You never know who will be important in life.
- HAVE FUN!