Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Golf on Tuesday 5/31

OK, I'm not going to babble on about the weather or the rest of my team in tonights match. The weather was fine, the team played well. We won 4 out of 6 points. We're now only 1.5 points out of 1st place in the league.

I'm going to mention one shot in particular. As a fairly novice golfer I always try to make sure that in each round of golf I play I have at least one shot that makes we want to come back for another round.

Tonight my one shot will keep me coming back for several rounds. The 17th hole is a 168 yard par 3 to a slightly elevated green. The green is closely guarded by a bunker and a large tree on the right hand side.

I struggled through my round for 6 holes and suddenly found myself 2 down with 3 to play. I managed to squeek out a win on hole 16 to get to 1 down with two to play. Then we teed off on 17.

I shanked my tee shot to the right. The ball only went about 100 yards. It was laying in the midst of some hard packed dirt on the right side of the fairway. I was far enough out from the fairway that I had both the tree and the bunker completely in play.

In intramurals I always try to play safe smart golf. But on this hole I had no safe smart play. My opponent was laying in the rough off the right side of the green. I had to win or tie this hole to extend my match. I couldn't chip under the tree, the bunker was in the way. I couldn't chip to another part of the green, the tree and bunder took the entire green out of play. I couldn't hit over the tree, it was so close that only a lob wedge would get the ball into the air fast enough and high enough to carry that tree. But my ball was lying on hard dirt. It's hard to get a ball into the air with a lob wedge if there is no grass under the ball.

Well I examined my options and finally decided that I need to get onto the green with this shot if I wanted any chance to extend this match. So I pulled out my old lob wedge and took a couple practice swings. Each time I could feel the club bounce off the hard dirt. If the club is bouncing like that I'm most likely to skull that ball straight into the bunker.

So with each practice swing I swung harder and harder. On the 4 swing I felt the club dig into the dirt and explode a bunch of it into the air. So I didn't hesitate, I shifted forward to the ball and took the same overly hard swing at the ball. I was doing my best to pound that open faced lob wedge into the dirt right behind that ball.

There was an explosion of dirt. I felt the shock of impact in both wrists. I looked up into the setting sun just in time to see my ball sailing over the top of that big old honking tree. It carried the bunker, and landed about 2 feet from the pin. It took a short bounce and stopped 8 feet from the flag.

I made my putt for par. My opponent mischipped and took a 4. On the next hole I hit my tee shot out of bounds and eventually finished with a triple bogey 8. But my opponent played tag with a couple trees and the lake. I won that 18th hole to win my match after being 2 down with 3 to play.

All in all it was a great night and I didn't play very well. Except for that one lob wedge shot. That shot will keep me coming back for a while.

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