This comes from a 16 year old soon-to-be professional golfer. It's his detailed visual of a tournament he'll be playing in the near future. He's learned that in order for something to become real, physically, it must first become real, mentally.....
I’m in the third round of my winter training camp at Atalaya Golf club in Spain. My targets for the week have been to shoot 5 rounds of level par or better without a 3 putt. So far I am on track to meet these targets after a first round 71 (E) and a good second round 70 (-2).
The 16th hole is my chance to regain momentum from a round which has forced me to grind and I am actually very confident as my short game is hot so I feel if I hit the green I am making birdie. I have just been on the wrong side of luck which sees me standing at +2 with 3 to play. My swing feels very neutral and square which is perfect for the straightforward par 3 measuring at 162 yards. I choose to hit a soft 6 iron with a small fade into a pin tucked on the right which is guarded by a bunker. I start the ball about 12 feet left of the pin and the ball just creeps right on line and is right at it. The ball finishes 5 feet short and leaves me with a putt with about 6 inches of break. I am so confident with my putting I see the line straight away get over the ball and tell myself ‘perfect line, perfect pace’ I hit the putt with exactly these two things and it falls straight into the middle of the hole. I have got one back I need one more birdie and a par to maintain the path to meeting my target. I feel completely in control and am trusting the birdie will come with patience.
The next hole is a 475 yard par 4 that is steeply downhill and the ‘safe option’ is to take a 3 wood and hit a fade down the left leaving a 5 iron into the green. I am stood on the tee pumped! I hit a driver on a very aggressive line over the trees and out of bounds on the right with a 20 yard draw and I absolutely flush it and I have hit this ball with everything I have got to give. I can’t see from the tee where it has landed or how far I have left in but I know it’s perfect. I find my ball in the centre of the fairway with about 140 left in. This is a perfect 9 iron down the hill for me and I know it I hit the ball with a soft fade into the centre of the green to 15 feet and have not hit a perfect shot at the flag but I am not complaining I have my chance to get back to even right there. I get down to the green to see the putt and it is a fairly flat putt with about an inch of break outside the right I decide to take my chances and hit it inside right and firm, this is not a time to leave a putt short. I get over the putt and the only thing I think is ‘firm, inside right’ I hit that exact putt and it holds its line perfectly and slams into the centre of the hole and I have my birdie. Boom!
I finish with 3 birdies and finish with a 70 (-1) I am happy with the way I finished but I feel like I need to go back to the range and work on a few things to make tomorrow even better!