I had the amazing idea of creating a summer bucket list. At the top of the list was lowering my golf handicap. Also on that list was going to Mt. St. Helens. We accomplished Mt. St. Helens, but the golf handicap isn’t going as smoothly.
Blowup holes and aim. My noble goal of lowering my golf handicap this summer didn’t actually happen. In fact, it went up which I didn’t think was possible. Tom and I played Twilight golf on Tuesdays, which was a regular event at the course we played on.
Paired with a couple we didn’t know, we approached hole #1. I was in front of the green in 2 and preparing to pitch onto the green for maybe a par and at worst a 5. Feeling cocky, I swung and hit my pitch shot straight left into the green side bunker. Our playing partners shifted uncomfortably and looked down at their feet.
Most husbands in this situation would be supportive. Tom looked at me in disbelief. “That was a pathetic shot” he said. “How did you even hit that?” “Do you think I TRIED to hit that shot?” I said.
Two shots out of the bunker and two putts later, I had my first blowup hole. My humiliation wasn’t complete as the second hole only got worse. So two holes played and I already had my blowup holes. After nine holes I had 3 blowup holes under my belt and a pretty high score. How does this happen? I should be good at golf. (By now, all you non-golfers out there are bored to tears and I get it). But at dinner they announced the results and I came in second on the back nine winning $7. The couple we played with started laughing and Tom rolled his eyes. Yes, that is the result of a very high handicap. So hey, it turns out a high handicap isn’t all bad!
Which brings me to Chet and his used golf clubs. It’s tournament time in the Senior Men’s Group at the par 3 Sah-Hah-Lee Golf Club. I joined the men’s group last year as they didn’t care and now we’re up to 6 women and about 50 men. Usually about 4 of us women show up and they pair us together every week which is a lot of fun. We only play 9 holes but the tournament is two days and it’s 18 holes each day. I signed right up for the tournament but it turns out none of the other women did so it was me and all the men.
Day one and I was on the tee playing with Chet, Fred and Jim. Jim had the whitest legs I’ve ever seen and white socks to match. Chet could barely move (Tom yells at him as he walks the course “Don’t stop Chet. The vultures are circling”). Chet has bad knees but is really friendly, as guess why, he sells used golf clubs and had honed in on me as a hot prospect. Chet with his used clubs in the picture. It was 97 degrees the day we played.
I played really well on the front nine, better than I’ve ever played before. When we hit the back nine Chet moved in. On the back nine there are some holes I need to hit a driver. Chet just happened to have a ladies driver in his bag and guess what? It was for sale. I had my own driver but I got talked into trying this fantastic driver which was priced at only $39. I might not have even tried this if I hadn’t been told by someone who fits golf clubs that the club I need to upgrade is my driver. New drivers are $400+, so $39 sounded really good.
I hit Chet’s driver really well, straight left into and under a bush. Chet smiled and said “I have that same trouble with that driver. The face is closed and you need to open it to hit it straight. And who really cares about the golf score anyway.” I do, I’m in a tournament! The next driving hole Chet pointed out has a wide open fairway and I really should try that driver again. Same result. Straight left into a big bush. It happened that the big bush was in a completely different fairway from the one we were playing on. Chet is unfazed.
“Hey, I have a couple of other brands of ladies drivers in my garage which will be much better for you and I’ll bring them on Thursday.” Thursday was the second day of the tournament, a day that did not go well for me even though I didn’t use the two old ladies drivers Chet brought for me to try. I felt like Thursday was an 18 blowup hole day. I’m sure I need a whole new set of golf clubs to solve my problem.
Any secrets out there to prevent blowup holes?