We have all had bad golf holes. I mean really bad holes. Usually a high golf score is the result of poor play and penalty strokes. Through the years, I have had my share of bad holes and fortunately a snow man is the most I shoot. However, I cannot say that this was always the case. Of course we all take a penalty stroke from time to time and depending on the hazard, it can range from 1 to 2 strokes. If we are really unlucky, we would increase that to 3 or 4 strokes. But, that is when we are really unfortunate.
Recently, I was given insight on some of the woes of my fellow golfers. I can relate to tribulations and have experienced them myself. Here is what they had to say:
Some of The Grateful Golfers shared their story and the most amazing was Jake Weaver who once shot a 14 on a par 5 and then an 11 on the next hole; it was a par 4. Both in the same round and unfortunately in a tournament. Thanks Jake for sharing.
Through other discussions, I started to think about my mishaps over the years. Two specific holes come to mind and I thought they would be fun to share…..well fun for you. The first hole was a par 3. I was in a tournament, to make our base team, and it was the second hole of the 54 hole even. The hole was 160 yards long with three bunkers protecting short, left, and right of the green. I selected my 7 iron and lined up my shot.
Unfortunately, I hit my ball fat and landed in the front bunker. After two tries, I hit my ball over the pin and it landed on the green, but rolled into the bunker on the right. I not hitting 4. Well, lucky for me I sculled the ball and the front lip of the right hand bunker and popped high into the air with plenty of top spin. I bet you can guess what happened.
My ball hit the green. bounced a few times and sped towards the bunker across the green. After hitting 5 and 6 from this bunker, I was finally on the green. Unfortunately, I was 25 feet from the pin with no confidence. I tried to talk to myself to cool down, but after the first put, I was still 12 feet short of the hole. Of course, I missed the next putt and tapped in my next shot for a smooth 9. The kicker was I fought my over the next 52 holes to miss making the team by one stroke. Needless to say, this hole is etched in my mind.
The next hole that sticks in my mind happened on a par 5. On this hole, I incurred 6 penalty strokes. It was early in my golfing career and my ego ruled much of my game. This hole was on 525 yards long and reachable with a great drive. There was some risk reward because this dog-leg left hole had out-of-bounds running down the entire left side. All I can remember about this hole was that I was playing well and I thought to press my advantage.
After pulling two balls out-of-bounds off the tee, I finally was able to get my third shot in the fairway. Lying 5, I thought to get my previous two errors back by going for the green. Unfortunately, the green was just a bit outside my range so I had to help my 3-wood a little. After hooking my ball out-of-bounds again, I hitting 8.
Finally, I started to play the hole smart. I grabbed my 5 iron and played my ball to 75 yards from the green. I pulled my wedge and finally hit my ball on the green. After a relatively easy 2 putt, I walked of this par 5 with an 11. Six penalty strokes was the most I have ever taken on one hole.
As I stated earlier, everyone has bad holes. We all take penalty strokes. What I have learned over the years is how to minimize the damage. Accept that mistakes happen, but take steps to ensure I do not compound a poor stroke. I have worked at keeping my ego in check and it has worked. From time to time I get myself into trouble, but it is far less now then in my past.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!