Larry Gavrich is a fellow golf-lover and blogger with the very informative GolfCommunityReviews.com (be sure and check it out if you have any interest at all in golf community lifestyles and what they have to offer). He has graciously offered to fill in while I’m mending, and his quest fits perfectly with the Shooting Your Age objectives.
Enjoy the read below!
As I approach my 71st birthday in April, it stands to reason –- all things being equal –- that I am getting closer to shooting my age on the golf course. One time within the last year, I came as close as three pars and a birdie from doing it. I made the mistake while standing on the 15th tee at Keney Park in Hartford, CT, and thinking about the possibility. Then I went three over par on those final holes.
Although none of us need an excuse to play a lot of golf, I am going to play as much as humanly possible this coming year in the hopes that, just once, I will be so unconscious that muscle memory alone will guide me to a 71; that is, as long as I don’t use the muscle that sits atop my neck.
A score of 71 is par or one less than par on most courses I will play this year. I have shot par once in my golfing career, so the odds are not with me. Besides not thinking on the course more than is necessary, my other main strategy to shoot my age is to move up a tee box, or two. Some may see this as cheating but a) I am not talking about the ladies tees and b) if you are under the age of, say, 65, you have no firm idea of the effects age has on distance. I am down from my peak (in my 30s) by about 25% in tee shot distance, which means a 200-yard drive in the fairway these days is cause for celebration. That 25% loss of distance translates from the 6,600-yard course distances I once played to barely a 5,000-yard course, which is ladies tee distances at many courses. I choose to play courses in the 5,800- to 6,000-yard range, certainly not wimpy given my current physical standards (although I am starting to tire of all those hybrids and fairway woods from fairways on par 4s).
Like my fellow golfers, I know when I am playing well, “in the zone” as it were. It is a great feeling that is only interrupted by the internal acknowledgement you make to yourself that goes something like, “Boy, am I in the zone today.” And that, of course, is when things tend to go south. So my final strategy for shooting my age this year is to not have that conversation with myself about being in the zone until the 19th hole, when I can brag about it with everyone in the clubhouse. And they will listen because I will be buying the drinks.
By Larry Gavrich