Sunday, 23 September 2012

Never give up.

Yesterday was one hell of a day.

I played in a 36 hole matchplay final in one of the last major events of the year at my golf club. Some of you will already know this. My friend Matty Boom Boom was live tweeting from the course during the second round of 18. After going 4 holes down with 5 to go, through sheer grit and determination I pulled it back to all square with only 1 hole remaining. 

I lost on the 18th hole by a single stroke. 

Today I'm deflated, disappointed, reflective but not beaten. I've experienced so many emotions since shaking hands on the 18th green yesterday. First of all it was a sense of shock, I was stunned and emotionless. Perhaps I was putting on a brave face. Disappointment kicked in quickly, sadness ensued. Disbelief and denial linger. It will take some time to accept it, but I will. I think it's important to be disappointed, I don't want to sweep it all under the carpet. I want to learn from this loss.

I've had ample opportunities to learn from defeat. Here's a summary of my notable performances in club majors since I started competing 4 years ago;
  • May 2008, Camden Salver, 18 hole stroke play event - 2nd place (1 behind winner)
  • June 2008, Hewett Goblets, 36 hole stroke play event - 2nd place (1 behind winner)
  • May 2009, Shearline Trophy, 36 hole stroke play event - Joint 3rd place (2 behind winner)
  • October 2011, Kilrymont Trophy (a tournament for players who have won a stroke medal during the year) - Lost in a playoff
  • July 2012, Captains Day, 18 hole stableford event - Joint 3rd (2 behind winner)
  • September 2012, Stanley Cup final - Lost 1 down on 36th hole.
The quest for my first trophy and my name in gold on the club house winners board continues!

As I rested at home yesterday afternoon, completely spent having had no more than 2 hours sleep the night before, I thought about giving up. 'Perhaps I'm just not meant to win a big one', I thought. 'Why do I put so much into my game? Golf needs to be lower in my priority list.'

I was just feeling sorry for myself and I'm entitled to do so for a few days more!

There are MANY positives to take from yesterdays experience. I've come close to winning in the past, but this one is different. I can be proud that I contended so vigourously, with very little sleep. When it seemed all was lost after 31 holes, I dug deep, pulled it back and took it down the last. 

I lost by the tiniest of margins, it was a singular mental error that cost me.

I wasn't nervous at all on the last few holes, I truly believed I was going to win. I'll carry this positivity into future events. Now, more than ever I believe I can win big. There is no reason why I cannot keep on putting myself in contention.

The irony of it all is that as I walked the final 5 holes yesterday, clawing back ground shot by shot, I kept saying to myself  'Never give up'. I believed this mantra was willing me over the line. 

Little did I know that these words were preparing me for defeat.

Onwards we battle into the unknown, we love our defeats, we embrace our defeats for these teach us how to be victorious in the future!



See you around my friends.



Tuesday, 18 September 2012

#lovegolf #laughalot

We all know life is all about balance. Whether or not we choose to live balanced lives is a different issue and one I'll leave to the psychologists, fitness instructors and tightrope walkers, to name a few.

I bleed Golf is about balance too. Just the other day I was talking to fellow bleeder, golf lover and Twitter dude @MattHolbrook86. Oh, actually I probably should call him 'Matty Boom Boom'. If you don't know why, watch the clip below.

Matty Boom Boom and I pondered on whether or not our antics in the video above, on Twitter and my often feeble attempts at humour on this blog were giving out the wrong impression.

Questions such as these were bandied about;
  • Are we making a lame effort at creating the golfing equivalent of  'Jackass'? 
  • Perhaps we're making people think we're advocating the antics of the dreaded MPC (The Mashed Potato Crew)? Dauphinoise, dear boy.
  • Are we really serious about golf at all?
I considered the last option most of all and not because I thought even for a nanosecond it could be true. As I've said before, golf is not a thing I do, it's part of who I am. I wondered if I'd started to inadvertently give off an image of someone whose focus is more on making fun of the game rather than trying to become better at playing it.

And here we are talking about balance.

On Saturday, I'm playing the biggest game of my golfing life. I'm in the final of my club Matchplay Tournament, also known as the Stanley Cup. It's a 36 hole tournament, the winner gets a trophy that's been doing the rounds since 1938 and their name in golden lettering on the club house honours board. Immortalised.

No pressure then.

The right side of my lower back is almost in constant pain from the many thousands of swings I've made in preparation for the event. My bed, if you can call it that, has been reduced to a memory foam matress on a carpeted floor to try alleviate the strain. My left wrist is knackered with tendonitits (I'm currently wearing a support on it). Both knees need a well earned rest. You could say I am literally bleeding golf. Thanks to all the coaching, I have an athletic swing these days but a not very athletic body!

These are not excuses by the way. I'm really looking forward to the final and I'll be doing everything I can to focus on every shot, stay in the present and achieve a life long goal. Whatever the outcome, I know on Saturday night I'll have given it my best.

Why devote so much time and energy to playing golf at club level? Why play through injury, covering it up with good old Ibuprofen and a smile?

The answer is simple, I love golf.

Why the antics? The light-hearted jokes and blog posts about fellow golfers, the funny videos and countless other bouts (to come) of tomfoolery?

You got it, I want to laugh A LOT.

I really hope the new I bleed Golf website we're building appeals to people who have similar goals in life. I would like people to see the funny and the serious side. Everyone working on the project will be striving to achieve and maintain that balance.


Thanks for reading, thanks for your support and thanks for laughing along with us.

See you around,

Steve AKA Eldrick