Here comes fall, perhaps my favorite season. I suppose it’s time to reflect on what went right and wrong during the season. Looking back 2020 was a hot mess for all of us and 2021 was a mostly good attempt at a return to normal. This year I played 16 sanctioned events in the MP50 division (age protected pro) and a handful of charity events. It was a bit of a roller coaster for me. I started out with one of my worst performances at a tournament at South Hills (Lebanon, PA). Then a string of good finishes, then a huge let-down at the Pittsburgh flying disc open followed by a strong finish at the Twin Grove Open. I didn’t win a single sanctioned event although I had five 2nd place and seven 3rd place finishes so I definitely hung in there. Along the way I got to play with a number of really great players in my division. These guys are fuckin’ ballers! My main observation with the MP50 division is that the really good players have skills and experience that guys like myself – playing less than 10 years just don’t quite have. The first thing is being super comfortable in tournament situations. The mental game is huge – at least for me. I admittedly felt rather nervous playing with some of these guys because it was my first year mixing it up with the pro’s. I suspect I’ll get more used to it but I get anxious and that’s something I’m working on. The main thing with the better players though is putting. Also putting. Did I mention putting? When you’re moving through the divisions in tournaments there is a big difference in putting ability between Intermediate players and Advanced, Advanced players and Open (pro). So it is with moving up to MP50. The good players rarely miss from inside the circle (33 ft). I had good days and bad days. They will also fairly often drain big putts from 50+ feet. I didn’t have many big putts this year. So my goal going into 2022 is to improve my putting consistency and confidence. I got some nice compliments this year from the seasoned vets and that really helped. I feel like I’m fitting in well in the division. If I had doubts at the beginning of the season I don’t now. Putting consistency is a matter of practice – that part will suffer if I don’t find a place to do it this winter. Cold hands and frosty putters don’t inspire me to practice for an hour a day like I should. Oh well – we’ll see what happens. At least I’ve got goals.
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