I played a round of golf today—-bad golf. Believe it or not golf is probably my favorite sport next to football. I grew up caddying at a country club and have been hooked ever since. I watch golf every weekend on TV. My favorite channel is Golf Channel. My wife still can’t understand how I am capable of remembering what Jack Nicklaus hit into the 15th green in the final round of the 1986 Masters (4-iron) but I am incapable of remembering to take the garbage out on Wednesday mornings. I read golf books and magazines. I have a golf library at the house adorned with bag tags from great golf courses from all over the world.
Despite all of my passion for golf, my golf game continues to deteriorate year after year. Every spring my faith is renewed with the hope that this will be the year I finally figure it out. Alas it all falls apart. This year I committed to make a concerted effort at improving my game. I have taken several lessons, spent hours on the practice range hitting balls until my hands bleed (like legendary golfer Ben Hogan was known to do), and played more rounds of golf than any year prior. Believe it or not, after all this effort, instruction, and practice, I have actually gotten worse.
Back to today—-I had spent all week looking forward to playing, to getting the chance to see if the worm might finally turn. Suffice it to say I shot about 1,000,000 on the front nine. It was so bad, I strongly considered leaving after the ninth hole. Fortunately my playing partner was a great guy so I decided to press on and hope for a fresh start on the back nine. On the tenth hole, I made a 10—first time I have ever made a 10 on the tenth hole. I staggered to the par-4 11th tee and proceeded to hit a quick hook into the trees. My shot out of the trees hit another tree. My third shot hit another tree and settled into the rough about 15 yards from the green. As I waited for the other guys to play their shots, I concluded that I was done with this game. After this round I quit golf. I don’t need the frustration. I would have much more fun at home playing with my kids, watching a movie, going for a run, or taking a nap. Golf is an expensive, time consuming sport and I stink. By the time it was my turn to hit, my decision was made. I would finish out this catastrophe and then shut it down for the year. I was actually totally relaxed as I hunkered down to hack it onto the green. To my surprise the ball came out of the rough beautifully, landed softly on the green and rolled 35 feet directly into the hole for a par 4.
All I could do was laugh to myself and briefly look up into the sky with a smile. I wish I could say that I went on to ace the back nine, but that didn’t happen. Pretty much a replica of the front nine with the exception of the miracle shot. Fortunately we finished in time for me to get home in time to see Ted Potter Jr outlast Troy Kelly in a thrilling playoff finish at the The Greenbrier Classic. I guess I won’t be shocked if the memory of the miracle shot at 11 brings me back next weekend.