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I Passed the PAT

According to Chuck Evans, only 2% of people pass the PAT (Playing Ability Test) the first time they attempt it. Only 50% who ever attempt it eventually pass… ever.

I can now count myself among the 50% who pass. And, I'm pleased to say, among the 2% who pass the first time.

I took my PAT today at Tan Tara Golf Club. We played tees that rated out to 69.7, so the target score was 154 - a pair of 77s. You know how golfers tend to shoot the same score regardless of the tees they play? Yeah, so the course rating being lower doesn't really help.

Also things that didn't help - the weather was up and down all day. We were constantly taking off jackets or putting on jackets. Or sunglasses. Or putting the cart cover down over our golf clubs or lifting it back up. The rough was wet, we had some casual water, etc. Also, there was a Friday Skins game going out. My threesome finished our first round in three hours, but the back nine of our second round took over two hours on its own as we ran up on some slow groups.

I didn't have anything good today. For some reason the swing change (a freer hip turn) that I'd been working on didn't really lock itself in. I hit most of my decent shots a tad thin all day and my aim - which I just discovered Tuesday was WAY off - wasn't great most of the day, and when it was I still wasn't sure if I could trust it.

In the end, I came to the 35th and 36th hole right on the number. On the 35th, I badly heeled a 3W (the tees are domed, and that one's really narrow, so you can't get a flat lie and I was thinking about that instead of my one swing thought for the day - lovely) that landed in the rough and left me 232 to the hole. Gut check time. I hit the best shot of the day to about 25 feet, then nearly holed the putt for birdie.

On the 36th hole, 133 yards to a back left pin you did NOT want to mess with, but a teeny tiny green, I flared on well right... just like I'd done to make bogey two holes before. Crap. It was a safe miss and I knew I might have some adrenaline, but still... that was pretty pathetic. I had a reasonable pitch/chip that didn't release quite as much as I wanted, and it left me ten feet for par and to make the number - 154.

I got the read - it was uphill and straight (could you ask for a better putt you have to make?) - and went through my normal routine. I'd not made much outside of ten feet all day but I hadn't missed anything inside of five and hadn't three putted once. The ball split the cup and I gave a fist pump. I deserved it. I really gutted it out the last two holes.

Are a pair of 77s great? Hell no. But since I'm in the middle of a big change in the way I take the club back, and with whatever pressure they say exists (I felt fine all day but who knows?), and with the aggravations and the new golf course and all that, I'll take it. After all, there's a reason 50% EVER pass and 2% pass their first try. It's not because a bunch of sucky golfers attempt the PAT for fun.

A description of my rounds can be found here on my blog at The Sand Trap.

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