The Week of Golf Firsts (Part 1)

The first of the golf firsts was finally getting my official handicap of 18.0. Now I realise that for the majority of golfers a first handicap of 18.0 is amazing and they would be incredibly happy with that. However, my initial reactions were shock and then panic. The shock went something like this: “Are you sure? How can I be an 18 handicap golfer when I haven’t shot less than 20 since last summer?” The panic went something like this: “I can’t play in competitions with 18!” “I’m going to come last in everything.”

I have waited a long time before I handed in my cards for a handicap. At the start of each year for about 3 years I always said, “This is handicap year” and it never happened. I am a perfectionist in many areas of my life and for me I felt it was important to get my game to a good enough position with a handicap I was happy with and reflected my game. Most importantly, I wanted to feel confident generally with golf.

After messaging my coach and the competitions manager at the club to understand how my handicap had come about (the system looks at trends in the cards that have been handed in, takes the best card and deducts a shot or two as a handicap you could play to) I started to calm down and realise that although it may be difficult to maintain 18.0 it is a handicap I can play to. One of the main reasons I play golf is because it challenges me (and plays with my emotions!) so although I may not play to 18 consistently, at least I have a starting point to work with.

The response to my Instagram post announcing my handicap was fantastic and I really appreciate all the support. I was conscious of not sounding really ungrateful about my handicap but hearing similar stories of people achieving a handicap they thought was too low for them and feeling the same as me was reassuring. Comments such as now knowing I’ve got one shot a hole to help make tracking the score easier and being able to plan my round better were also great advice!

To everyone who has pushed me to get to this point - thank you!

I can finally say 2019 was handicap year!

In the next post I will share the second golf first - golf competitions...