Going for gold
Thanks to my wife's idea I used her Stratejoy outline to help me with planning my 2017 goals. After weeks of thoughts and notes I came up with the below plan.
My theme for the year was “Bringing Home The Gold!!!” And yes the 3 exclamation points were part of it the plan.
My 5 Ways of Being were:
Strong + Tough
Creative + experimental
I narrowed everything down to my Big 3 with sub categories to be more specific.
Physical Mobility and Toughness (Flexibility + Strength)
Win a golf tournament
Use my strengths
Brew an award winning beer
Read, Listen and Learn
Try something new!
Two months into the year a made a few changes and decided to skip Brewing an award winning beer. I still brewed quite a few batches of beer but I did not have the time to enter any contests.
With gold on my mind I pressed forward with the year and in March I won the President's Award at my job. This was a prestigious award I have had my eye on for years and I finally was able to bring it home. I won a great crystal trophy and a very nice monetary bonus! The bonus money helped me buy my Audi convertible later in the summer. This was amazing and something I will never forget.
But my favorite part of 2017 was later in the year when I decided to sign up and play in the Community Club Championship tournament. I have played in many tournaments in the past 25 years of my golfing career but I have never been able to win. I had a few good rounds here or there but never was able to win a prize. This year that all changed. After losing in the first round of my Monday golf league tournament bracket. Which was totally my fault due to a very poor performance. I entered this tournament with a new attitude looking to bring home the gold. I learned from my last loss that my mental game was not up to par and when the game was on the line I would get nervous and perform poorly. It was strange how different I felt once the pressure was on. I knew I needed this to change.
My preparation for the tournament was basically all mental. I didn't even play a practice round and only stopped out 2 days before to practice chipping and putting for about an hour. I knew the courses well and my game was in ok shape. So my confidence was high but I needed an edge.
My wife suggested I listened to 10 minutes of meditation before each round to get me head right. This was super helpful. Something that stood out on the meditation track was “look for the unexpected miracles”. I repeated this to myself during each round and felt like luck was on my side. The greens had been aerated a few days before and were in abysmal shape. Instead of complaining I adopted an attitude of “I can either make excuses or make putts”.
Using this new mental game on day one I found myself 4 strokes behind the leader. He shot 73 and I shot 77. The next closest competitor shot 80 so this was shaping up to be a 2 man race.
The front nine on day 2 was back and forth with me gaining a few strokes only to lose them a hole or two later. It was quite the grind. When I made the turn we were tied for the day which put me right where I started. 4 strokes back. I kept telling myself to be patient, look for miracles and play my game. The goal was to not beat myself and play the best shot I could at every chance I had. If I could keep my mental game sharp maybe I could outlast the competition.
The round was taking longer than normal with some really slow play a few holes ahead of us. Instead of getting upset with this I remained unfazed. This was not true of the competition. The more the leader complained the more I smiled and played my game. My plan was to wear him out and finish strong.
My putting was solid all day and this was becoming my advantage. I made a great 5 foot putt on 15 for bogie then watched my playing competitor 4 putt for a triple. I had finally won a few holes in a row and was now just 2 back. This was a turning point and I could feel the momentum shifting. He was getting upset and I remained calm and cool.
I hit 2 great shots on the par 5 16th hole and was just a short chip off the green. The other guy was having a bunch of trouble, in the rough, in the sand, putting past the hole. I wanted to make a statement and now was the time. I chipped up to 5 feet and made the putt for a birdie. So with 2 holes to play I had eliminated the 4 stroke deficit and tied the match.
With out of bounds and water left I played a safe but mediocre drive to the right. Fueled by his anger my partner hit his best drive of the day long and straight leaving a short approach shot to this elevated green. Knowing the game was on the line I hit my best 8 iron shot of the year. It looked good but with an elevated green I could not tell how good until I approached the green. When I walked up I was amazed to find my ball only 4 feet below the cup. I couldn't believe how clutch that shot was. When I needed to dig deep I hit one of the best shots of my life. My playing competitor was visibly annoyed which only made me focus more. His first putt cruised way past and his next one just missed. He was so upset when he missed the tap in that he picked his ball up and stormed off the green muttering something like “well you got me”. With him walking off fuming in the background I took a deep breath and drained the putt for back to back birdies and took a commanding lead!!!
My playing partner was so miffed he ended up walking off without finishing for a final score of WD (withdraw).
I was so excited I almost messed up the 18th hole when I hit it close to the parking lot. Dropping a 5 footer for bogie to seal the deal.
My final round 78 was one of the lower rounds I have had on the tough Community Hills Course. One to be proud of.
It is still hard to believe how that day panned out. I had played to my strengths and used my mental toughness to finally win a golf tournament!!!
Lifting the trophy I headed home.
Looking back I know that would have never happened if I had not taken the time and effort to write down my goals for 2017. Instead I was truly Bringing Home The Gold!!!
Have you ever written goals?
Where you able to achieve them?