Tin Cup is a great golf movie. I watch it from time to time, but generally at the beginning of the golf season and this year is no different. While watching Roy MacAvoy manage his demons, I was reminded of my one of my ‘Tin Cup’ shot several years ago.
I have had a few’Tin Cup’ shots over the years, but none that cost me the US Open. I remember trying to qualify for the Petawawa Base Golf Team back in the late 90s. My exciting moment happened on the third hole on the second day. This par 5 serpentine hole had to be navigated carefully or else very bad things could happen.
With red stakes down both sides of the fairway, the smart play was always to take a drop and your medicine on errand shots. I suspect you have guessed where this story is going, but it needs to be told. After my first shot, I was sitting in the middle of the fairway 235 yards from the pin on this difficult par 5.
I felt that I needed to press my score because of my poor first day. Sitting in 7th place (an unusual position for me) I thought that a quick start would put pressure on the leaders (not that they would know anyway because there are not scoreboards at the level I play – a Duh moment on my part)
I pulled my 3-wood instead of hitting a 7 iron just short of the narrowing fairway that protected the green at 75 yards out. I felt that my club selection should easily get me to my goal, but I was not thinking smart and overlooked the slight breeze in my face and that the green was uphill from my current position. After hitting my first shot into the hazard, I dropped another ball without thinking. I should have walked up to where the ball went into the hazard and took my medicine, but oh no, it was too late. I had already dropped my ball.
Keeping the 3-wood in my hand, I thought it prudent to press an already bad situation. Hitting my second shot into the hazard, I was fuming now! I could not believe I was consistently short and felt that something was amiss. After dropping my second ball (and lying 5, hitting 6) the realization that I was being extremely foolish hit me. But, my ego kicked in and prepare to hit my 3-wood again.
This time, I made perfect contact. My ball flew on my intended line and landed as expected. After a couple of bounces, my ball came to rest on the green about 15 feet from the pin. After a routine 2-putt, I walked off the green with away with a smooth snowman. Shaking my head as I walked to the next tee, I could not believe the mental error I just committed.
On a side note, I missed making the team by 1 stroke. It was the only time in 20 years of trying that I did not make the base team. I was very disappointed! However, I have never forgotten this ‘Tin Cup’ moment and fortunately I have learned from my mistake.
As it turns out, I am not the only golfer who experienced a ‘Tin Cup’ moment on the golf course. See what I mean:
‘Tin Cup’ moments can be fun. They are exciting and provide a change from our normal play. But, choose the right moment to repeatedly go for it should be saved for none competitive days. Regardless, ‘Tin Cup’ moments are apart of golf.
Have you ever had a ‘Tin Cup’ moment?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!