Golf is a game made up lucky and unlucky bounces. A fraction of inch one way or another determines if your emotions are joyful or not. Regardless, it is always interesting to watch players react to a lucky bounce and if you wear your heart on your sleeve, things can be even more dramatic. However, it is what we do after the lucky bounce that really counts; a positive reaction can lead to low golf scores. And this is the real key for my golf game.
Earlier in the golf season, we were playing from the blue tee box on the 13th hole of Osprey Links Golf Course. The tee boxes were not in their normal positions because of the course condition and on this day the 13th hole was playing as long as it could.
As you can see, the landing area is fairly narrow, but if we drive our ball past the rock on the right, the hole opens up a fair bit. The rock, on this day, was 240 yards from the tee. On most days, I could get it over the rock on the fly if I hit my ball well, but any miss hit and I would land directly on the rock. And if you have not guessed it, that is exactly what happened on this day.
I hit the rock on the left side on the fly. My ball careened off the rock and shot directly sideways to the left. It only bounced twice going across the fairway and into the woods. I thought I that I received an unlucky bounce and it was going to cost me on the scorecard. Disappointed, I stared to trudge up the fairway.
Well, as it turned out, my unlucky bounce turned into a lucky bounce.
You can see the rock I hit on the other side of the fairway. My ball came to rest just inside a hazard, but definitely playable. This was a lucky break because I did not have to take a drop. Although I could not see the green, I had a play. My disappointment turned to elation in a moment.
I grabbed my 7-iron and played a punch shot on the fairway to approximately 80 yards from the green. After taking my medicine and playing the smart shot, I was setting myself up for a par, which after my drive would be a great par. I hit my sand wedge to about 15 feet. Things were looking very good and I was beaming with confidence.
After surveying the putt, I stood over the ball and I lost my line. I had to back away because when I stood over the ball, my line looked different from what I originally thought. I do not back away from putts often, but I wanted to save this par. After another look, I stepped up and lipped out!
Not the storybook ending I was hoping for, but I was happy to walk away with a bogey considering all the crazy events that happened off the tee. My unlucky bounce turned into a lucky bounce and I almost saved par.
I will say that walking off the green with a bogey did not hurt my round. I accept bogies when I play, but avoiding the big numbers is key to low golf scores.
Lucky or unlucky bounces – do you have a story? If so, we would like to hear it!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!