The Nordic League season began in full at the end of April at Green Eagle Golf’s venue in Germany. I had entered into three consecutive events, with the next two events being held in Denmark. I also had recently completed my military service and had decided to take my clubs with me to Portugal to practice and prepare for the season that was about to begin in Germany. I was excited to finally play tournament golf again. Actually, scratch that – I was excited to play what I thought was aesthetic golf. The challenge I always have seemed to face in spending winters in Finland has been that I get too caught up in how my swing looks like. As a consequence, I end up trying to play “pretty” golf. I end up caring too much.
Three missed cuts in a row goes to show how far “pretty” golf got me. It wasn’t very pretty. That’s at least what the leaderboards showed, and that’s what everyone sees.
What people don’t see is what happens in between the tournaments and behind the scenes. Missing the cut in Germany by several shots was a wake up call that hit home hard. I’m glad it did. I began to change my mindset.
Although I missed both cuts the following weeks in Denmark, I played a practice round of -11 at one of the tournament courses. This was great for confidence, but in golf things often take a little time to transfer over to the tournament rounds.
I took one week off from the tour and spent some time at home with my close ones. Did I practice? A little, yes, but not as much as I normally would. Instead, I chose to caddie for my brother and girlfriend in a Finnish Tour event. It was the best thing I could have done.
My brother had returned home for the summer from university in the U.S., and it was really nice to spend time with him and see how his game had progressed the past year.
Watching my girlfriend play was perhaps even better for my own game. She has a very calm demeanor and really seemed to enjoy the time she spent on the course during the tournament. Coming down the last few holes she made some crucial par saves from unbelievable places to make the cut on the mark. The thing is, I doubt she even knew what the cut was at. She just played her golf. And I was very proud of her for what she did.
It was a very different kind of preparation for my upcoming tournaments, but a good one and a much needed one. In it’s own way it helped me remember how golf is really played. It made it easier for me to enjoy golf shots in the next few tournaments – my own shots, and those of the players I had been paired with.
I finished eighth and third in the events following my caddie experience.