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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Crazy Golf Game

One day after we arrived in Palm Springs we were on the tee at 12.30.  I enjoy playing golf.  I am not very good.  When people ask us if we are golfers I say, "Doug is a golfer and I play golf."  The difference being about 25 points on the handicap!  Even so, I dream that one day, when I have enough time and space to play a lot, I will be good.  I have moments of brilliance in the midst of many, many terrible shots and fortunately, in golf, it's one sweet shot that will bring you back for another 18 holes the next day.
Of course, it's always sweet to be playing golf in shorts in February so in many ways the score isn't really that important!  Even so, I'd like to get to a place where breaking 100 strokes is a more consistent reality.  I've broken 100 a couple of times and I even had an 89 once!  So you see...I really believe that the ability is buried in the depths of my athleticism, yearning to find its way out!
So here are some highlights of yesterday's round, amusing as they may be.
I managed to hit a decent tee shot off of one, pretty good since there is a lot of rust in the bod.
This is the gorgeous view of Mt. San Jacinto from the first tee.
Sadly, I was in this lake on 2.

The rest of the front nine was pretty uneventful with the usual fits and starts.  On 9 however, which is a long, uphill par 5, I hit the best tee shot I've ever hit on that hole, straight and a good distance. Usually I am buried in a group of trees to the right and let me tell you, that makes the hole a lot harder. On the second shot, an even more remarkable event took place.  I hit my second shot as well as the first!  Now I need a short iron to get on the green.  Short irons and me...we don't often see eye to eye so even though I was now less than 100 yards from the green, the potential for me to take another 3 strokes getting on the green is ever present.  Magically, I hit another good shot!  Now I'm putting for birdie on 9!  Exciting times.  I ended up parring the hole, which I'm really not sure I've ever done before.  It was a good way to end the front 9.
The back nine is a special place.  You may recall this blog that I wrote just after my mom died.  I was excited to see how these holes would unfold.  10 is also a long par 5 requiring accuracy and distance to get to the green.  I played the hole well, having a chance for par if I sank a super long putt.  I settled for bogey which is just fine with me.  11 is the signature hole of Mission Lakes.  You climb a steep hill and then play across the mountain ridge, high above the complex.  It's a great hole, super hard, and very easy to lose golf balls along the way!  Things were backed up when we arrived so we had to wait to tee off.  I gazed out over the valley, thinking about my mom, missing her.  
I played the hole with my usual silliness.  Good shot, bad shot, good shot, bad shot.  I didn't lose any balls however and during the times we had to wait, I managed to find 8 balls in the nearby desert!
Finally we arrived at 12, my mom's favorite hole, the spot where my cousins have now planted a memorial tree in her honor, the hole she just loved to play and truth be told, my favorite as well.  It's a beautiful par three where the tee sits high above the green.  Because of wind, club choice can vary from day to day.  One day you can use 5 iron and other days you need driver.  The wind was being weird and I really couldn't tell if it was behind me, in my face, or just blowing straight sideways.  I was indecisive in my club choice so I went with 3 wood which I knew would be far too much if the wind was up.  I gave it a big whack, pulled it like there was no tomorrow and watched it head for the houses across the street!  I was waiting to hear glass break when I heard the ball hit the street.  I knew it bounced somewhere, but had no idea where that ball ended up!
It didn't take long to discover where the ball ended up!  As we approached the tee on 13, I saw a ball on the ground.  Sure enough, it was my ball!  That ball had hit the street and bounced high enough to sail over the houses that line the 13th hole and land next to the tee!  It was hilarious and perhaps my worst/greatest shot ever!  The only thing that would've made it even more epic is if it had landed on the actual tee!
The only other memorable moment on the back nine came when I birdied 15, a tricky par 3 where I don't often hit the green at all!  I landed my tee shot about 2 feet from the pin and knocked it in for a 2. Since this rarely happens, I had to do a little happy dance and sing a song about it.  Doug was just shaking his head! I chanted, "Tweet, Tweet, I got a birdie!  If I tweeted I could tweet that I got a birdie!" Silly and fun.
By the time we hit 18, the wind was up and the temperature was dropping.  We were happy that we only had one more hole to play.  We were freezing and our rusty bodies were crying out from the swinging and the picking up of the ball out of the cup. I know, very sad when you get aches and pains from playing golf in a cart.  I hit a great tee shot and was actually putting for par again.  But alas, a 3 putt finish landed me a double bogey.
I ended the day with a dip in the piping hot jacuzzi and man did that feel great.  
I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of shenanigans we can get ourselves into this afternoon.