golf ...what a strange game ...i never played when i was younger, and dabbled at it a couple times a year starting around 2005 with my friends pat and thea. they moved away in 2007, and i continued to dabble for a couple more years with my friend and former furniture maker bill laberge. i've been playing with some intention once a week or so, rarely more than that, for 3 or 4 years now. for me, it remains a tough game, somewhat resistant to my efforts to improve. last week, i was reminded of a post about golf i wrote in 2008. it seems i've still yet to master that consistent perfect combination of everything on the mental check list, and the relaxed natural swing required to execute all of it. but, as updike says, sometimes 'the tyranny of causality is suspended, and life is like a dream'. that about sums it up.
it was the 17th at dorset, a 120 yard extreme downhill to a small green about 25 feet from a large pond. i was playing with my friend mike, a fine all around athlete and excellent golfer. he was telling me about a frustrating round he had played the previous saturday. at the 17th of that round he declared that the only thing that could save his round was a hole in one right then. he had a near miss, but the gentlemen he was playing with actually holed his. it was hugh's '4th and a half hole in one'. hugh claimed 'the half' was a hole in one he got playing by himself once that no one saw ... anyway, these guys are lifelong golfers who tolerate my hacking attempts at the game, and seem to have a good time regardless. now, here comes my great shot ...with visions of holes in one in my head, i teed off, struck the ball nicely with a high arc and landed it in the short rough about 40 feet to the left of the pin. the pin was just beyond a deep and steep walled sand trap about 3' from the edge of the green and the green sloped beyond the pin toward the pond,. i was playing with a borrowed 60 degree wedge and struck my ball nicely. it arced high, and hit just a little short of the edge of the green and it dribbled down about 6 or 8 feet to the bottom of the bowl. typical. i stepped in to the sand, and without much thought, took a nice swing with a relaxed follow through. the ball miraculously floated up and onto the green, stopping about three feet from the pin. i holed the putt, and mike declared it 'an excellent 4' or something like that. i finished the 18th with a nice drive, a fine 3 wood, a chip to the edge of the green and a race to the car to beat the downpour coming from the west. the guy who played the first seven holes wouldn't have recognized himself on the last two.