Andy and I played a round yesterday at Ocean Resorts Golf Club near Ocean Pines, Maryland.
Our two families planned to meet in the afternoon in North Bethany for beach, dinner and fireworks with my parents and several of my siblings, so the two of us planned a mid-morning tee-time that would have us on the beach sometime after lunch.
Like the roads around here on summer holiday week-ends, the course was crowded with tourists -- an unfortunate number of them non-golfers. We made the mistake of not starting off ahead of a foursome who had an earlier tee time, but who had offered to let us go. A mistake of southern courtliness, I expect.
This group was also behind other slow groups, so I can't fault them. And, we eventually played through on the back nine. But the slow pace of play gave us too much time to think between shots, which can be a bad thing.
I lost my fight to break 100 on the front nine, which featured some poorly played holes. On the second, I got cocky and tried to force a driver shot of the tee. On the fourth, which is a devilish hole that fools you, I tried to be too perfect and splashed my second, wasting a decent tee shot. And I tried to get too cute coming out of the sand a penalty and a drop later; I rocketed the ball instead clear across the green and into two-foot tall wasteland grass. That's another and another one-stroke penalty.
On the other hand, I managed a par on the seventh hole. It turns out that a decent, straight drive, and clean approach shot, and careful putting will pay off.
The back nine was somewhat better. I had a birdie on the sixteenth; not my first-ever, but the first in a long time. Otherwise, I settled into a steady mediocrity, which is better than careening between bad and worse, as I have done in the past.
I believe in looking for positives and the positive that I take away from this game is this. In the past, I've noted that, while over-all I play poorly, I would have one or two shots the felt right and flew true and those were "the shots that keep you coming back." yesterday, I had a few holes that I played right and gave myself a chance to do well. Now I have "the holes that keep me coming back."