OK, the truth is…
I suck at golf.
But, that doesn’t stop me from playing every chance I get.
In fact, it’s so bad … I don’t keep score … liberally use mulligans (free do-overs) … move my ball for a better lie in the ruff, much to the horror of real golfers around me… take provisionals (hit a second ball) in the likely case my first is lost anywhere near trees or out-of-bounds (often) …
So on the recent MLK holiday, it’s La Cumbre Country Club with golf pal, Diana – only she’s good!
A truly spectacular day on this private pristine course with the temperature in the mid-60 degrees …
And no trace of ‘wind-chill.’
Not bad for January 16th.
Did awesome on the front nine …
Finished playing with the same ball –- first time ever!!
Then on the back nine after inhaling half a quesadilla and fries on the run – used an 8-iron on the 13th — the island hole.
Had never played this one before – until now.
Teed it up and with a nice easy swing – the ball soared high over the small body of water, descending directly towards the flag — its majestic journey not only surreal but slow-mo.
The lip on the other shore prevented from seeing where it stopped – it coulda been a hole-in-one – it was that much ‘on-the-money.’
Ah — that same great feeling of anticipation reminded me of waking on Christmas mornings as a little kid…
It soon became clear — the ball was about 6-feet from the pin.
One can imagine my swagger, while savoring every precious second, all while keeping an eye on my Ultra (ball, not beer) lying ‘one’ and never-closer to that stick standing stiffly in the small hole on this very smooth and very fast green.
It seemed a very do-able, straight-ahead putt with a slight break (always towards the ocean) to the right at the end.
‘Birdie, Dude!’ I thought.
Tuff acting cool on the outside with that testosterone-rush on the inside!
Then, when addressing the ball …
The sound of teeny-tiny sweat beads individually exploding on my forehead.
“Act like you’ve been here before, you knucklehead!!” –- my new mantra.
I pulled back and then gently tapped the ball forward…
That’s when things went horribly wrong!!
It missed right and kept going.
Bad words danced inside my cranium!!
The ball eventually did stop.
But blew a rare birdie chance!
Now had the exact same putt back in the opposite direction.
Saving grace was a par …
Had I made it.
Proceeded to 3-putt for score of 4 – a freakin’ bogey!!
Then remembered I don’t actually keep score …
But, continually replaying that beautiful, near perfect-tee shot in my head like a never-ending SportsCenter highlight -– the ball floating in the air directly for the pin over that large ocean of water is one of those uber-special, fleeting and totally exhilarating moments in sport and in life to live for.
And die for …
And what keeps me coming back.
Because, for once, I didn’t suck.
And that’s always a beautiful thing … no matter how you slice it.