It’s never good when a match is squared via two double-bogies on 18. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind ending up square, especially when I’m playing with a good friend. But when both of you consistently choke, shot after shot, on 18, it takes something away from all of the exciting (might be a stretch) and solid (definitely a stretch) golf on the previous 17 holes. We basically traded off choke sessions from shot-to-shot. I had birdied 17 to get all square, so the tee box was mine. Accordingly, I proceeded to pull my hybrid (conservative play always pays off, right?) dead left into the water. Advantage Ty. And, accordingly, he follows me into the drink. I drop first, and hit my approach into the green-side hazard. Ty drops and hits it on the green–the one solid shot between us on the entire hole. He lays 3, putting for par, while I’m dropping green-side and chipping for bogey. I get up-and-down for my double, and Ty proceeds to 3-putt for a push. Too bad the CBS crew wasn’t there to follow the action.
^That’s Ty posing after his tee-ball on No. 11 at Riverside Golf Club. Not bad, huh?
The golf course offers something that other places simply don’t. It offers an excuse to get away for four hours and hang out with a buddy or two. If you say, “Hey, I’m going to go meet a buddy at the bar for four hours at 1pm on a Friday,” you’re an alcoholic or a college student. But say, “Hey, I’m going to go play golf with a buddy at 1pm on a Friday,” you’re a normal, respectable adult choosing a completely acceptable way to spend large amounts of money and time, both of which could undoubtedly be used in more productive ways. But there’s just something about being on the golf course that allows for conversations and experiences that, at least for me, are hard to come by in other places. Maybe it’s something about the continual activity of the golf itself that somehow provides a pacing or a framework to the conversations that take place? Maybe it’s just being outside and away from work or other responsibilities? Or maybe it’s just an innate part of the game that makes it so timeless, so universal? I’m not sure. It’s a frustrating game. A hard game. To be honest, most rounds end in a serious amount of hypotheticals: “Gosh, if only I had made that putt on 6”; “I had a great round until I pulled that tee shot on that short par 5”; “The cart girl distracted me; it’s her fault.” Every round could have been better. For that matter, most shots could have been better. It’s a game of constant let down and disappointment. But every time I putt out on 18, I immediately wish it wasn’t over. I wish I could go back to 1 and tee again. I wish I could greet my buddy in the parking lot, load up the bags, fill up the cooler, and get it started all over. All the tee shots, lip-outs, and high fives. All the hot dogs, Frito’s, and cold beers. All the trash talk. All the conversations.
Anybody want to go play some golf?