Jon Leland on #18 tee, Pasatiempo, 2007

Jon Leland on #18 tee, Pasatiempo, 2007

I’m not trying to brag, but rather, I’m trying to celebrate my success so that I can (as a caddie once advised), “keep ‘er goin’… just keep ‘er goin’.”

I shot another 88 from the black tees at Stonetree on Wednesday, two below my new personal par. My new handicap index is 15.2, my lowest ever; and what’s really exciting is that I’m starting to feel like (by doing things like forgetting about the score, staying connected to the target, etc as discussed previously), I’m actually on the road to playing better golf and keeping the scores coming down. The contrast in experience that I think is worth noting is that my renewed confidence is so much different than all of the self-doubt that used to consistently cloud my mind. Now, there’s something–now that I think about it–that was CONSISTENT about my golf game… pervasive self-doubt.

No more! Finally (at least for now), I’m learning to practice what I’ve been preaching. It has taken some time. And, I share this with you, dear readers, with the awareness that thinking (even for a moment) that you’ve got it together on the golf course can be the curse of death. I know that. But, it also helps me to share with you here on this blog so that, somehow, it becomes more real for me.

On top of the fortuitous tournament win discussed a couple of weeks ago, my play Wednesday even received an kind of informal endorsement from my playing partner, Gary Marsh of Marsh Marketing. Gary wrote a light-hearted email “warning” to others that made me smile, big time: “Beware Mr. Leland has game. He reached #18 at Stonetree last evening in a cool headwind; driver, four-wood to the left front of the green. I said to myself, ’15 handicappers don’t do that too often!’ I had already handed the cash over on our bet. He was too much for me yesterday!” Thanks, Gary.

I’m trying to accept that I’m good enough now to have played the first seven holes in only four over “real” par. And, after a triple bogie on #8, I bounced back to par the number one handicap hole, #9. My commitment is not to let it get to my head, to keep my focus on having fun, letting it go, and just hitting the ball. Yet, as I’m fond of saying, “It’s always more fun when you win.” In this case, “keeping ‘er goin'” means letting the scores take care of themselves, but celebrating just the same. In fact, I’m planning to keep on celebrating… one stroke at a time. Yea, that’s the ticket!

Thanks for reading. (And, oh yeah, the photo of yours truly above is courtesy of The Shivas Irons Society.)