Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rub Of The Green

Occasional golf content warning!

I was listening to golf over the internet late last week while at work. That was not a typo. The PGA Tour website had "Live @ 7" streaming video of the action on the 7th hole at Pebble Beach during this last weeks AT&T pro am. I would listen, with headphones on and if something interesting was happening, would watch the video. So this group comes through and the first amateur to hit is a 2 handicap, so he is a solid golfer. He hits his shot a little long over the green, not the place to miss with the pin in the back. It is going to be an impossible up and down from there. The other amateur is an 18 handicap which means... his game could use some work. Now the hole is just over 100 yards, and has a drop of about 35 feet from tee to green. The problem is the ocean is right there next to the green and there is usually a significant wind to deal with. Now since this guy is an 18, he gets a stroke on the hole since this is the #18 handicap hole. At that point in the broadcast, this is the first time a player gets a stroke on #7 so I decide to see how, "not good" he is and he fulfills all expectations. The ball never gets into the air, hits some rocks, bounces around and of course he ends up in the middle of the green. Two putts later he has a net birdie. That was just not fair.

So I am playing the 9 hole par 28 course on Saturday and the first hole is the one and only par 4. I hit what may have been my best tee shot ever on that hole with a fairway wood and leave myself less than 60 yards to a pin that is right in the middle, right where I want to see it. My 2nd shot I hit just a little too crisp and I end up a good 25 or 30 feet past the hole which leaves me with a downhill right to left putt and of course I three putt for a bogey. Skip ahead to later in the day, my 3rd trip around the course and I hit another great tee shot, almost as nice as the first. Hit a real nice 2nd that leaves me maybe 12 feet to the hole, straight uphill. Miss it left, tap in par. Rewind to the 2nd time around, I mishit my drive, pop it up and am left with a reasonably long 2nd, at least for that hole. I mishit my second, caught it thin and it ends up 8 feet from the hole. Sink the putt for birdie. So the two times I hit great drives and solid approaches, I end up playing the hole in 1 over par. The time I hit a horrible drive and mishit my 2nd, I play the hole in 1 under par.

I did shoot an even par round on Sunday, made par on all 9 holes, hit 8 of the 9 greens. Never once came close to making a birdie during the round and only once all day did I even think one was going to fall even though I hit a ton of greens. Oh well, always next week.

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