My (not so) grand golfing finale with friends

I had visions going through my head.

After starting on the back nine at Oak Knoll Golf Course, I approached the par-3 14th ready to make par. Up to that point, my drives were straight, approaches were solid and the only thing holding me back was my putting.

But I resolved that it wouldn’t bother me this time around. I would make my par. I would get revenge on the friend who beat me by a stroke at Cross Creek. I could see it all falling into place.

Like Rory McIllroy when he’s in the zone, I lined up my tee shot, and swung. The contact sounded great. The ball took off straight and true toward the green. It landed a bit before the green and started rolling up. I was smiling. I could picture the ball rolling up to within a few feet and tapping in for birdie.

But then, the ball kept rolling. And rolling. Soon, it had rolled off the green on the back end.

Little did I know, it was far worse than that.

Upon reaching the green, I discovered the ball had rolled from the fairway in front of the green all the way into the water hazard behind it.

My dream had turned into a nightmare.

But, overall, this was probably my strongest round of golf. And I was determined to make par.

On multiple holes, I had chances. And on each of them I watched as my putt went short, then long, then slightly to the left or right.

Things fell apart after we made the turn. A 10 on the second hole after hitting trees on three straight shots, and the muttering began. There were lost balls into the bushes on the fourth hole and into the water on the fifth.

On the bright side, in hindsight, that 63 is looking better and better.

There may be times that I question why I submit myself to what can feel like torture. But in the end, after spending an afternoon with friends, I realized that’s what it’s all about. Now if only I could make a putt.

Biggest mistake

I couldn’t putt to save my life. The speeds of the greens varied greatly. The ball would carry for what seemed like miles on one hole and struggle to carry on the next. My lines were pretty solid. But, the speed got to me the entire round.

Best shot

I suppose I’d have to go with my pitch shot on the second hole. It may have taken me far too many strokes to get to that point, but I pitched it up and to within 8 feet of the hole.

My score

63, 58. All things considered, I’m actually quite happy with this score.

It could have been a lot lower. But, my game is coming together. … Slowly.


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