So there I am ready to tee off on the par four sixteenth hole, trying not to think too hard that I'm playing even par for the day. Since I started playing golf again three years ago, I've never made it this far playing all even for the day.
It's been quite a round until now, and I want so badly to keep up the momentum. Not by forcing it, but by simply letting it just happen. Do my best by concentrating just hard enough without messing things up by doing something stupid. Follow the groove, young man.
I punch a low three iron into the wind down the right side of the fairway, and the ball goes a bit farther right than I would have liked. It's still safe, but the approach shot has to be kept low to avoid the overhanging branches. I choose to execute the classic chip and run. The ball is heading straight for the pin, but it takes a bad bounce to the left, ending up in the bunker. With a nice clean sweep of my trusty sand wedge, the ball skits out of the trap nicely, rolls just past the hole, leaving me a four footer. The balls lips out on the right giving me a bogey five. Darn it, I go one up for the day.
Alright, just shake it off young man. Two easy holes to go. I've had more than my share of amazing putts and saved pars, the laws of probability are speaking, so just let this bogie go by. Still, I want to play it safe on the seventeenth and pull out my three iron again. It's a short par four, and even if I miss the three iron, I'll still have at least an eight iron to the green.
Then I make a crucial mistake, a bad judgment call, why I do not know, but it here goes ...
I turn to my playing partner and tell him, "You know, I'm not out here to play some mickey mouse game of golf. I'm here to play like a man, be a true hero on these last two holes." He looks impressed, and I do not want to disappoint my biggest fan of the day.
I pull out my driver and I'm feeling strong. I crush the ball, but pull it badly to the left. The ball takes one bounce before disappearing into the high grass. My provisional does the same, maybe ten yards further and bounces twice as far into the high grass. The second provisional flies down the middle of the fairway, way down there. Gasp.
Thank the fairway gods that I'm somehow able to find my first ball. However, it's buried under a thick bush, meaning I must take an unplayable and take a drop. From that position, I can do no more than hit an easy wedge to the right side of the fairway, leaving what I hope will be an easy chip and run to the hole. I duff the ball badly and it barely rolls to the front of the green. I'm left with a very, very long putt to the hole which is way back, uphill and breaks significantly to the right. I smack the ball and it looks right, has enough speed, but rolls too far past the hole. I miss and it's a three putt giving me a triple bogie seven.
Am I falling apart or what? Why does this always happen to me? Thank God that this nightmare hole is over with, let me get on with my life. Miraculously, I pick up my ball out of the hole and feel like I've been recharged, a needed catharsis from pent up energy has made me stronger somehow.
The eighteenth hole is waiting for me. I pull out the three iron again and blast the ball just right of the fairway trap on the left. I'm thinking that if I now put it close to the hole, I can make up for the disastrous previous hole by sinking a birdie. The wedge goes high and bounces just left of the flag, leaving me a five footer for a birdie. The ball fails to break an iota and lips out, meaning that I have to be happy with an honorable par.
The day ends. I can now turn in my scorecard: 37+38=75. Not bad for an almost perfect round. Isn't golf an amazing sport?