The Ice bowls are behind us and the weather turned really nice, really fast. Just in time for my first two tournaments of the year! I was pretty excited for the warm days and sunshine…maybe a little too excited. I practiced putting, I practiced over-hand shots, I practiced my local courses a bunch. Preparation is key, however the one thing I neglected was rest.
I’ve been told that if you want to play well at tournaments that you should limit your casual rounds. I can tell you that that is true since when my arm is tired I’m less accurate. It’s not just my arm that gets fatigued of course, hiking over three miles each round is a serious workout. Then throw a twenty pound pack on your back, take it off and put it back on every couple hundred feet for four hours. Add in 150 bends to pick up your disc and you’ve got a recipe for pain. That’s just the way it is – and that is what makes the Pros truly professional. When Paul McBeth won his fourth title he finished his last putt, and standing next to the basket he was interviewed and the guy asked, “Paul, you’ve just won your fourth consecutive world title, how do you feel?!!” He took a deep breath and replied, “I’m exhausted…”. Not, top of the world, not walking on sunshine, just exhausted. He was at the end of four days of tournament play and was absolutely honest.
So I started the weeks preparations last Monday with a quickie 9 hole round at lunch, Tuesday was a league night round, Wednesday I played Boulder Woods with my brother, Thursday I went to practice Iron Hill in Delaware, played two rounds there. Friday I played two and a half rounds because the weather was nice, I was off work blah blah blah. By Saturday I’d played five (or more) days in a row and I was pretty worn out. By the time I got to the first tee pad Saturday morning my arm was kinda numb and my knee was kinda aching. The lesson again, and I already knew – rest is as important as practice (so say we all). I should’ve shut down for a day or two somewhere before the weekend. Iron Hill was amazing still, it’s an impressive course. I got to meet Jimi McIlvane who actually helped design the course – he caddied for a guy on my card for a half dozen holes. He was awesome to have around!
Sunday I was back at it with another tournament at South Hills in Lebanon, PA. If I was worn out before Iron Hill, I was pretty much toast at South Hills. I tried to put up a good fight despite being so tired, but my indulging in casual rounds for fun cost me dearly. Oh well, I’m still learning, still an amateur and still having a blast so we’ll see how I do at the next one.