I've been playing golf for so many years now that I've pretty much experienced every crazy possibility you can imagine. During the monthly medal last Sunday, I did it again much to my amazement and entertainment of my fellow players. I will try to explain what happened.
I was playing pretty well that day except for my drive on the eight hole which I pulled to the left. Worried that it was a lost ball, I was relieved when someone else spotted it in the deep rough.
Rather than getting a double-bogie and possible triple with my provisional, I now had an easy chance at a bogie possible par. Since the rough was so thick I had no choice but to place it safe and chip it out into the middle of the fairway. All I needed to do was concentrate and get the ball out of there.
Because of the thick grass and perhaps some carelessness on my part as well, I had to hit the ball much harder than usual, and I caught the ball on the toe of the club causing it to fly out sideways and to the right. I saw it shoot out and fly directly at a low trajectory right at my bag, making a loud thump and disappearing in thin air. The ball had disappeared, where did it go?
Hitting your own bag is bad enough due to a penalty stroke, but what was the ruling if you could not find the ball afterwards? Would I have to take a two stroke penalty for a lost ball and play the ball again from the original spot buried in the high rough in addition to the one stroke penalty for hitting my own bag? This could be a disastrous hole, having to hit my ball again but this time lying five. Six out on the fairway (hopefully), a long iron onto the green (hopefully) and two putts for a nine or possible ten on a par four hole.
Upon closer inspection I examined where the ball had struck my bag which had been a direct hit on the side pocket zipper. The zipper was slightly open, and there inside together with all my other balls and tees was the original ball! What are the odds of that happening? Luckily, I had marked the ball with my unique pattern and was able to distinguish it from the rest of the balls in there. No one believed me at first, until I showed them the ball and explained what happened. It was a miracle mishap.
As it turned out I managed to save a double bogie by sinking a thirty foot putt. I wrecked my double bogie free round again, but it could have been worse, much worse.