I teed it up Sunday in the “Stonetree Masters,” a local individual stroke play tournament which attracted about 50 members of the Stonetree Players Club. Bottom line, I came in 3rd in the Net Division with a 91, net 70.

What was most encouraging to me was that I played exceptionally well on the first 13 holes that we played (my group started on #18 in the shotgun start). I was able to par the tough #18 with a nice little up and down, managed to par #1 and birdie #2. I played about as well as I’ve ever played in my life feeling well-connected to my target all the way down to my feet and including my new shoulder turn, scoring a 41 on the par 35 front 9.

Unfortunately, I wilted in awareness and score coming in with a 9 on the par 5 #16 and two triples, one of which was due in part to the tough #13 green with three shots rolling just off the top level all the way down off the front of the green. If I had played those three holes in five over instead of ten over, I would have won. Just the same, I am taking a lot of encouragement in shooting 2 under my “personal par” under tournament conditions with no gimmes and taking the full strokes on #16 with no adjustment.

Even more so, I’m pleased with the quality of the way I played most of the round. In other words, I think I can do what I was doing again; and perhaps most importantly, I’m learning how to do that for longer periods of time. Rather than losing my focus after a few or even half a dozen good holes, I maintained it longer. With practice, I’m confident I’ll learn how to do that for a whole round. I feel on track and–rather than beating myself up for the blow-up holes–I’m enjoying the process of learning to play better golf.

Thus, I am planning to continue my practices which I learned at the Extraordinary Golf playing school (and I’ll share about those in more detail soon). I’m feeling much more connected to the target in general. I am consistently hitting the ball more solidly and further than before thanks to my improved shoulder turn and take away. And, I am aware of my “tension-free swing of enjoyment” and I am presencing that intention quite often to good effect. The playing school was just the perfect thing for me at the right time and I’m truly pleased with the progress. I feel on the “right track” and looking forward to continuing down this path.