Have you ever wondered why golf is so addictive? From the moment I pick up my first club, I knew that I would have a life long obsession with this fantastic, frustrating, enlightening, and gut-punching game. There never seems to be an end to the craziness that can happen on the links. Some times all of these up and down emotions happen during the same round. That is what happened to me yesterday when I played 27 holes at Osprey Links Golf course!
The first 18 holes (which I used as a handicap round) went pretty much as expected. Nothing great, nothing bad, but consistent to what expect to play. I shot 1 birdie, 4 bogies and 13 pars. It was very benign and my 74 is a score I expect to shoot at this time of year. Of course I am underplaying my round a bit, but my point about my solid round was that I did not do anything spectacular, nor overly regrettable.
My highlight was that I hit a shot on the par 3, 11th hole. We were 167 yards from the pin and I hit the a solid 6-iron. The ball tracked perfectly to the pin and landed about one foot short of going in on the fly. As my ball bounced, it it the pin and stopped about 8 feet away. That was my only birdie of the round. It was a great round to share with Blair and Fernando and I do hope I can improve on it the next time out.
The craziness started on the third nine, which coincided with Men’s Night. After two good shots to start, I hit my ball short into the bunker and proceeded to skull it over the back. Then, I was attacked by a red-winged blackbird several times to the point I had to move my ball away from the its nest. Two chunks later I was sitting on the green in six. After a smooth two putt, I walked off the first hole of Men’s Night with a frustrating eight!
Since we were playing a low gross match, my start was, lets just say, crappy. However, I rebounded with a smooth 7-iron to 5 feet on the next hole. After a one putt, I walked off this par three with my second birdie of the day. Then two holes later I squibbed my second shot that resulted on a bogey. It was very frustrating to just miss a simple shot that garners more strokes that I think I deserve when playing well.
On the fifth hole I hit a great drive to about 175 yards to the green. It is important to be on the left side of the fairway to ensure we can see the green. Fortunately, I hit the ball exactly on the line that I needed. I grabbed my 4 hybrid and hit the best shot of the day. I hit a solid shot into the wind that landed softly on the green and rolled out to 10 feet. After a solid putt, I walked off the fifth green with my second birdie of the round.
After two lip outs, I walked to the ninth hole only two over. I hit a great drive to about 130 yards from the green. Sitting dead center in the fairway, I grabbed my 8-iron and decided to hit a 3/4 shot into an elevated green. I hit ball exactly two feet short of being perfect, so my ball rolled down the bank under the lip of the bunker. I opened my sand wedge as much possible, hit down hard and rebounded the ball off the front the bunker lip. My ball bounced back about four feet, but this is exactly what I expected. After a smooth bunker shot and a one putt, I walked off with a bogey. I actually was not disappointed with the score on this hole and finished with a topsy-turvy 39.
As you can see, I hit the highlights. But every emotion you can think of ran through my mind many times during the 27 holes. Over the entire time I played, I was never really sure if the craziness of golf would intensify for the good or bad. As a result, both happened and as I now sit back and think about it, it all unfolded as it should. Golf is just a crazy game.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!