Golf is a game where an inch here or there makes all the difference. As a golfer, we call these lucky or unlucky bounces. They can bring elation or despair depending on the results. It is impossible for me to count the number of wayward shots that resulted in positive results and, conversely, the same for negative results. Call it karma, divine intervention or a fluke, these bounces are a part of golf. And yesterday on the 9th hole at Osprey Links Golf Course is a perfect example of what I am talking about.
Hitting the course for the 6th time this year, I had very low expectations as to my scores. I did expect to hit the fairway more often than not and with any luck stay on the short grass. During the front 9 yesterday, I was playing okay until the 7th hole (ended with a double) and the 8th (ended with a bogey). After 8 holes I was sitting a lethargic 5 over and wanted to birdie out to end the front with a 40.
Standing on the tee, I lined up as per normal off the left corner of the sand trap about 200 yards down the fairway. If I hit my ball properly, it would result in a slight draw and end up around the 150-yard marker or closer. Well, as it turned out, I hit my best drive of the day, but with strange results.
The tee shot was playing 383 to the green (checked on my GPS). There was no wind, the temperature was about 20º Celsius, and the course was playing longer than normal because it was damp. I was first to hit and went through my pre-shot routine.
After making contact, I realized it was my best of the day. It never deviated from the centre of the fairway, until, wait for it: I hit the 150-yard marker on the fly!!! Yup, it bounced right off that white hazard and shot over to the left. Here are some pictures.
The larger picture (bottom) is what my tee shot looked like. You can see the 150-yard marker on the right, just left of the sand trap. It was a pretty small target if you asked me and, believe it or not, I was aiming for it with no illusion I could hit it.
The top left picture is from 150 yards to the green. If I did not hit this white beacon, I would likely have stopped around the 100-yard marker. The top centre picture is the culprit that caused my ball to veer off course. The top right is from 135 yards where my ball ended up. Any further and it would have finished in the pond. Thank goodness it didn’t as I had a solid shot to the green in regulation.
My tee shot was a good news / bad news scenario. I hit the post, but it stayed in play. Actually, the worst part of the ordeal was listening to Blair, Rick, and Darren laugh at my misfortune. I mean, they roared and did not stop for at least 15 seconds. Then they started laughing again. I went from elation to shock to disbelief in seconds as I watched my ball sail through the air and hit the white post in the middle of the fairway.
I guess I am not the only one to hit yardage markers:
On a more positive note, I parred the 9th hole with a tap-in. I hit my 8-iron about 140 yards out and was left with a 20-foot putt. With a smooth two-putt, I was off to the back 9. After another double on the par 5, 10th hole, I parred out the back 9. I ended with a final score of 78 (7 over par). Not bad considering I had two doubles.
Golf is a game of strange bounces. Some work out in our favour and others, not so much. Yesterday, my wayward bounce did not cost me anything, but I can say for sure that previous bounces have cost me many strokes. I guess it comes down to the luck of the draw!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!