Golf is a game that requires any player to make a decision on when to save strokes by taking strokes. Where we drop the ball out of a penalty, whether to take take an unplayable lie, hitting a provisional or punching the ball out of deep rough all have an impact on our golf score. In some cases we need to accept our medicine to ensure we shoot the lowest score possible. I have learned through the years that taking strokes from time to time actually saves me strokes in the long run.
Last Monday I played around with my good friend Serge. We were joined by JC (a local player) and it was obvious from our first shots off the tee that it was going to be a round that might challenge out play making skills. The ground was wet, the black flies were on the hunt and my back was stiff from all the yard work. I expected to make a few poor swings and to no surprise, I did.
My friend Serge made a few as well, but he played much smarter that I did by making the right choice to limit his stroke count. I, on the other hand, just swung away hoping to make a good shot from a poor situation.
I remember playing in a tournament about 10 years ago and I was playing to make the base team. The gentlemen I had to beat was hitting the ball well and we are matching each other stroke for stroke. Then suddenly he a very poor shot off the tee into the cabbage. He had, in my opinion, an unplayable lie. His best option was to go back to the tee and rehit. He decided to make an almost impossible shot and only made his situation worse. He moved the ball a few inches and now had to take an unplayable lie. He could not go backwards and used the two club option. He was still left with a tough shot and decided not to punch out. After mishitting another shot, he chipped out and was lying 5 with 300 yards left to the green. After the dust settled, he recorded an 8 and was behind four strokes with three holes to go.
My point about my above memory is that he did not take a stroke to save three. He decided to power through a poor situation and it cost him a position on the base golf team. Unfortunately, this type of situation happens all the time on the golf course. I have learned this lesson many times over the years. Fortunately, I making better decisions now and hopefully I will continue to do so.
If you are just starting to play golf or have played to years, taking a stroke to save a stroke is a lesson that everyone should learn.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!