During any round of golf, strange bounces are expected and are part of the game. However, bounces that are completely unexpected can and do happen. However, if it happens several times during a round of golf, most golfers will think that the golf course is being mean. I know I have had several rounds like that, but understand that not all the bounces can go my way.
One of the harshest bounces I ever received happened about 20 years ago. I was playing golf at Borden Golf Club (Circled Pine) in Borden, Ontario, when the strangest thing happened, well more disheartening than strange I guess.
I was playing the 150 yard, par 3, 11th hole when a fantastic round turned into a disaster. This hole is an all carry par 3 that features an elevated green, deep bunkers, a gully, and no bail out area. If you are off the green on your tee shot, then a bogey or higher is likely in your future.
On that faithful day, I was sitting 1 under walking onto the 11th tee box. I was swinging the clubs very well and my game was firing on all cylinders. I selected and 8 iron because it would reach the center of the green without any problems. There was little if no wind, so I decided to aim directly at the pin.
I laid a smooth stroke on the ball and watched, which seem to be in slow motion, my ball fly directly at the pin. I was feeling more excited as the ball lasered in on my target; then the unthinkable happened!
I hit the pin about two inches above the hole! Now, normally this would be a fantastic thing, except for some reason my ball ricochet to the left, over the edge of the green, between two bunkers and down into the cabbage of the gully. I have hit balls there before and knew I was in trouble. So, I teed up a provisional ball and feeling a bit down-hearted, I hit my second ball into the deep bunker on the front right!
Then disaster struck again. After 5 minutes of searching, I could not find my first ball. I declared it lost and headed over to my ball in the bunker. As I looked at my ball looking like a fried egg and only 4 feet from the high front lip, I steadied myself to try and save a double bogey!
I was fortune enough to get my ball out of the sand trap and on the green. Happy to get the ball out, I was dismayed with my 45 foot putt I had left. Again, not to dwell on my misfortune, I lined up this monster of a putt and let it rip at the hole. After hitting a small rock about 15 feet from the pin (yes I missed seeing it on my line), my ball veered to the right and stopped about 8 feet away. Now, the pressure was really mounting.
I lined up my triple bogey putt and started to walk towards because it was heading straight for the heart. That is until about 6 inches from the cup and my ball moved to the left. My ball caught the left edge, started to fall, but decided to perform a 360 trip around the cup. My ball stayed out on the lip. You can imagine my shock!
I tapped in my 7th shot for a smooth quadruple bogey. Fuming, I walked to the 12th tee sitting 3 over for the day. I do not remember exactly what happened after that, but I think I finished somewhere around 6 over for the day. What a complete disappointment.
Golf is a funny game. It giveth and it taketh away. I thought the bounce off of the pin on my original shot was very harsh. I often imagine what would have happened to my round score if I was just a few inches left or right on my tee shot. But alas, we cannot live in past golf rounds. Lets just say that I hope I do not experience that unlucky shot again!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
6 thoughts on “That Is Just Plain Mean!”
been there, hitting the pin, getting ready to jump in the air for joy at a possible hole in one,only to watch the ball veer off the green down a 20ft drop. It is not a good feeling.
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Sure is not! I would rather have a 10 foot but sometimes!
Hitting the flag just 2 inches above the pin has got to hurt. My question is why hit a provisional? Couldn’t you have taken the nearest relief to where the ball went into the scruff? It obviously didn’t land out of bounds since it hit the flag. Wouldn’t that be an error in using the rules of golf to your advantage? From what we know from your post, it seems to me that you might have brought that big number on yourself. Sounds like something I might do out of stubborness. I do so hate to see a good shot get trashed that way.
Great questions. However, I hit a provisional because I did not go into a hazard. It was just long grass and plants on the side of the hill. I have lost balls in that location before so a hitting a provisional was the only option. I did not want to walk back. I can only take an unplayable if I find the ball, which unfortunately I did not. Your point of applying the rules is a good one and a lesson I have learned over the years.
Ok, that makes sense to me. Thanks for clarifying. I had to read up on the rules on this one. Had you dropped as I was thinking, 2 mores penalty strokes (in stroke play) would be accessed according to rule 27-1. It might have saved you a stroke in the end based on how your play from the 2nd tee shot went, but you wouldn’t know that in advance of course.
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Kevin, the rules are a funny thing. It is important to take things at face value!