Lipouts… Compounding mistakes

We make mistakes in golf and in life. The key to being successful at either is to limit those mistakes and to avoid compounding them. A bogey by itself will not wreck your scorecard, however, turning that bogey into a snowman can send the round spiraling into disaster. There were plenty of examples of pros compounding mistakes this weekend.

Dustin Johnson was tied for the lead at the Byron before this snowman:

Rickie Fowler was in the mix before he made a pair of 8’s to finish his day in Ireland on Saturday.

Compounding mistakes. There is nothing more frustrating than writing a squiggly number on the scorecard and knowing that it was self inflicted. I’ve battled compounding mistakes a lot this year. Exhibit A. However, this post is not about how I compound mistakes on a golf course. This is a post about how I compounded mistakes outside of golf on Sunday to lead to a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day…

A good friend of mine got married this weekend, which meant Friday and Saturday were full of wedding activities. A round of golf on Friday followed by the rehearsal dinner. Saturday was a full day of wedding prep / celebration. I was scheduled to play in a GCAT tournament on Sunday.

After spending Saturday night partying at the wedding, I woke up on Sunday feeling less than my best, but excited that we finally had a day of sun in Texas. I was determined to put together a solid tournament round and to redeem my last showing. I had my morning coffee and left my wife behind to start the hour drive from my parents house to my side of town where the tournament would be. As I sat at the table getting myself mentally prepared for the round (ie. wait for the Tylenol to go to work), I decided to double check my tee time. To my surprise, the tournament was no longer listed on the schedule.

What?!?! I’m supposed to play today! What happened?

I’m looking through the schedule for May 31st and Heritage Ranch is no longer there. Finally, I find it listed for July 26th. This seems like late notice for a tournament cancellation. So I pull up my email inbox and start scanning my emails. Surely they had to send out a notification. And they did… On Friday morning. I should have known two days ago that this tournament was canceled due to the horrible weather that the DFW area has been experiencing. In all of the wedding activities, the email slipped through the cracks. I missed it. That is disappointing, but I’m an optimist so I decided to make the best of it. Now I had an opportunity to go check out Sunday at the Byron Nelson.

So I call the wife, arrange for the parents to watch the kiddo, and I rush out the door. I have to make the hour drive back to my parents house to pick up my wife so that we can head to Las Colinas and ride the shuttle. It’s roughly 11am. The leaders of the Byron tee off around noon. If I hurry, it will take an hour to get to my parents, roughly 30 more minutes to park and ride the shuttle to the golf course. I do the math in my head and figure we should be able to make it before the leaders have finished the second hole. I stop and get gas down the street before realizing that I forgot to grab our chairs. I quickly go back home, grab the chairs, and leave for second time. I wasted 10 minutes, but no problem We will still get to see lots of golf. It’s a beautiful day. An hour later, I pick up the wife, plug in the address of the general parking into Google Maps and we head towards the Byron.

When you feel rushed on the golf course, you tend to make mistakes. The same is true outside of golf. In my hurry to get to the tournament I neglected to check the route selected by the GPS. In this case, the route chose to take me north on Loop 12. This is what Loop 12 looked like on Friday:

Now, I knew that Loop 12 was a disaster because I had gotten stuck in the chaos trying to get to the rehearsal dinner on Friday. So here I am, two days later, stuck at the same place. Made the same mistake. Okay… mistakes happen. A minor setback. Except missing this turn is more like hitting my tee shot OB than it is like hitting it into a lateral hazard. In other words, this is more like a stroke and distance penalty. It is more painful than a simple wrong turn as there is no convenient detour. One option is to backtrack to another highway and loop around the mess, likely adding 30 minutes to my drive. Remember, I’m still rushing. The leaders are now on the golf course and my friends are waiting for us to arrive. This is where things start compounding. I decide that I am smarter than my wife (I wasn’t) and that her detour directions are not adequate (they were). I think I can take the access road around the mess and maybe just take a 10 minutes setback. That route is also closed. No way through. Mistakes are compounding. I basically just tried to hit a hooded 7 iron through a 2 yard gap in the woods. But this time I can’t thread the needle and the ball is rattling around in the trees. Congrats! You’ve taken another stroke and failed to advance the ball.

I decide to give in to my wife’s pleas and take the route she suggested as I should have in the first place. We are making progress again, albeit slowly. We get stuck behind a train. Another 10 minutes wasted waiting for it to pass. At this point I am laughing to myself. Things are going sideways, just gotta smile and make the best of it. We pass the railroad tracks and now MacArthur gets shut down to a single lane with construction. When it rains it pours… And it’s been pouring a lot in Dallas. Keep smiling. We are going to make it.

We get on 183 and I see signs for golf parking that I fail to read. We are getting close, but I still have my GPS on my phone and it is telling me to hop on Loop 12 South to turn into the parking lot. That seems weird, but okay. Against my intuition, I follow the GPS. We don’t go but a mile or two and I realize we are headed in the wrong direction. It is taking us right back to the heart of the Loop 12 mess. I turn around again. We’ve wasted another 10 minutes, but eventually we find our way to the parking lot.

What should have been a 25 minute drive from my parent’s house took us an hour and 20 minutes. But we’re going to make it. A thirty minute shuttle ride and we are walking into TPC Four Seasons.

The tournament was great. Besides the walking areas being a muddy catastrophe, the weather couldn’t have been better. We got there just after the leaders had made the turn. We posted up under a tree by 17 green and watched the groups roll through. We saw Jordan Spieth dunk one in the water and then make a great up and down for bogey. We then headed to 18 and watched the last couple groups go through before getting in line for the shuttle back to the parking lot.

Byron

The shuttle line moves quick, which is good because we are tired, the sun is hot, and we are ready to be home. Leaving the parking lot runs us into a couple more flooded roads, but detours are quick. We take a different route back to my parent’s house to avoid Loop 12. Things are looking up. My mom has dinner waiting for us. She is a saint. We eat and chat before taking the 1 hour drive home. Maybe I’m going to make it through Sunday with just a double bogey. It’s been an exhausting weekend and it’s almost over.

But then we get home. This is not just going to be a double bogey. We are headed for snowman territory. My wife goes into the house first to open the door and put my son in bed. I am unloading the back of the car when I hear,

“Babe, there is diarrhea everywhere! What did they eat?!”

Not my favorite home greeting. In my rush to get to the Byron this morning after finding out my tournament had been canceled, I forgot to open the dog door. Meaning my dog has been locked in the house for the entire day with no way outside to relieve himself. So he relieved himself on my son’s playmat and on the carpet by the couch. Gross. To make it worse, since we had been staying at my parents over the weekend, his usual dry dog food diet had been replaced by specialty food they feed their diabetic pup. It didn’t treat his stomach kindly. I couldn’t help but laugh as I scrubbed poo from the floor. I try to take the frustration in stride, both on and off the golf course.

Compounding mistakes. I did plenty of it on Sunday. Rushing through the weekend cost me. Had I seen that my tournament was canceled when I received the email on Friday, I could have avoided 2 hours of driving back and forth to my house. I probably wouldn’t have rushed to the Byron Nelson and gotten stuck in Loop 12 traffic for over an hour. I certainly wouldn’t have locked my dog indoors to paint the floor with feces. Instead of spending the entire day Monday as an exhausted zombie, I probably would have gotten more rest.

Sometimes its best to just take your medicine.

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