Have you played Golf? It’s a lot of fun, and quite stressful all at the same time. Unless your name is posted on one of the leader boards at major golf tournaments, that is. It’s called “golf” because all of the other four-letter words were taken. I started playing the game when Tiger Woods started making a name for himself. A man I worked with at the time was a semi-pro, and “loaned” me one of his old drivers. The next weekend, I went to the local driving range. My first drive was what my uncle would have called a “joenailer.” The ball went straight toward the 300-yard fence. That was the best shot I have ever made.
I made a hole-in-one on a local course two years later. I had birdied number five and was set up in the number six tee-box. Six was a par four dog-leg left. I knew I could get close to the green with my “Big Bertha,” so I stepped up to the ball. Something went wrong on my back swing, and when I hit the ball, it took off directly in front of me, toward number five green. It was one of those shots you hope nobody is around to see. The power of the driver sent the ball well past the five green, but it hit a pine tree dead center and headed back at me. It hit the green, bounced high into the air, landed three inches from the cup and rolled in. A hole-in-one. I know…from six tee-box to five cup is not how the game is played, but hey…I hit the ball and it went into the cup. Nobody was watching, and nobody got hurt.
On the back-nine the same day, my ball landed to the right of the fairway in pine tags after a fairly good drive off the number twelve tee-box. The tree responsible for those pine tags was directly between the ball and the green, 60 yards away. I took out my five-iron and decided to just try to get back on the fairway. Something went wrong on my back swing, (You can’t blame the caddy when you play alone.) and I sliced the ball directly toward the green. After three bounces, the ball came to rest ten feet away from the cup. Number twelve was a par four, and I was on the green in two. An Eagle was very possible. Have you ever had the “yips?” It’s a nervous affliction similar to buck fever. I sunk the ball for a bogey.
I am obviously not a very good golfer. But there is always one shot that keeps my hopes up. I think it must be that way with most players. That one shot out of a regulation par 72 gives us hope that one day we will hit two such shots.
So why do I play Golf if I’m basically wasting green fees? It’s the competition. I’m competing against myself and the course. Even in a foursome, every golfer is on his or her own. It’s a group sport played individually. And I’m still trying to beat my last score. (My lowest score was a 59…on the back nine.)
I did find a good way to reduce my score, though. After the fourth lie, I pick up the ball and move to the next tee-box. See ya at the nineteenth hole.