Hey everyone, I just want to say thank you so much to everyone that followed along and/or reached out to me during my qualifying tournament last week. Yall's support really means a lot to me, and knowing that I have so many people rooting for my success definitely makes it easier to stay positive and motivated, which is very difficult with this game.
Unfortunately the week did not go as well as I would've liked, and I did not earn any guaranteed starts for the upcoming PGA Tour Canada season. While I did earn conditional status, it was an extremely frustrating week scoring wise knowing that my ball striking was good enough to win, or to at least finish in the top nine and earn guaranteed starts.
Immediately following the event, my summary of the week was that I shot 3 mediocre scores and had one fluke round feeling unwell. Three scores in the 60's looks good on paper, but I felt the golf course was playing very easy. Extremely generous landing areas, soft greens, and while there were plenty of weather delays that did not necessarily make things ideal, I was gifted with basically perfect weather during all four of my rounds. The only benefits that I thought I would take from the week were understanding what I need to figure out health wise and golf wise. However, after giving myself more time to digest everything, I have a much more productive analysis. As I stated before, my ball striking for 63 of the 72 holes was good enough to win the dang tournament. I hit my last 23 greens in regulation, gained close to 3.5 strokes gained approaching the green the final round, but because I had 15 wedges or less into my last 18 greens, I viewed my play and score as poor. What an idiot I am to not look at those things as positive haha. I don't give myself enough credit for how I was driving the ball. I was bombing it into great positions all event. That's another positive. I made all of my putts within 6 feet for the week, but struggled to convert many of the mid-range looks I gave myself as well as 3 putted a few too many times. Despite being frustrating, it reiterates that I need to practice and improve that area of my game. Look at that, more positives. I played with Jacob who won the event and is an incredible player, but the only differences I noticed in our games were that his short game is slightly better, and more so that his mid-range and lag putting were significantly better.
Overall, I realized that I did not give myself enough credit for the things I did well last week, and learned what facets of my game I need to work on:
-Wedge play was streaky and can definitely be improved, more comfortable hitting high wedges
-More confident chipping, especially with soft, grainy lies
-Improving my mid-range and long-range putting, ball is skidding early on and that is throwing off my speed control
-Continuing to build trust with my new swing changes which will allow me to swing more confidently on more aggressive lines
-My mind in relation to golf is the best it's ever been, fewest negative thoughts ever, but still need to continue to learn to care less, accepting that I won't be perfect and don't have to be to produce quality results (here's a good listen from this week on this topic: https://www.pgatour.com/video/2022/03/18/matthew-nesmith-interview-after-round-2-at-valspar.html )
-Really my only anxiety related to golf right now is about equipment, I am the furthest thing from an expert but know that my current putter and old wedges are not giving me the best chance to succeed any more, but obviously in the middle of playing a lot of tournaments it's difficult to commit to a switch
These things will all result from hard work in practice on and off the course, improving my equipment, and with more reps under the gun. I am confident that if I do these things I will only continue to see improvement.
And since Q-School last week I have already made progress on my list. On Thursday I spent a few hours working with putting expert Rick Whitfield in his studio in Hobe Sound and learned A LOT. I learned that the reason for the skidding in my mid and long range putts was a result of too much acceleration at impact, and not from a lack of loft like I originally thought. He also addressed some set up flaws I had as well as, shoulders slightly open resulting in my putter face to not be square at address, too much weight on my toes causing my eyes to be too far over the ball. By the end of the session I was rolling the ball with tour caliber numbers. It will take a lot of work to perfect my set up and a longer more fluid putting stroke, but I already started to see some good results in my round yesterday. Rick is the man and I would highly reccomend him to anyone that is looking to improve/learn more about their putting stroke. His Quintic set up is so cool, check it out for yourself: https://www.whitfieldgolf.com
As for the things that I need to improve health wise, I believe that I will be able to resolve these issues when I return home to Michigan in a month. I have had an issue since October that has lingered, and I think that the issue has consequentially hurt my sleep. Golf is such a physically and mentally draining game, and when you don't even have close to a full tank your not giving yourself a fair fight. I haven't been sleeping well in general, and last week I struggled to sleep my first 3 nights in Alabama, and eventually laying in bed for 9+ hours each night and only getting 3-4 hours of sleep according to my WHOOP after such long mentally draining days caught up to me and did not allow my body to perform optimally.
Like I have said at the end of several of my posts, I cannot express how much I appreciate those that have taken the time to read my rants, follow my tournaments, and support me and my dreams unconditionally. Ya'll are invaluable to me, and I truly mean that.
Talk again soon.