It's always fun to play golf. Granted, it is more fun when you are playing well, but it helps if you can keep the proper perspective about this wonderful game when it does not treat you kindly.
I asked a friend of mine after a round recently how he hit the ball that day. He suggested he drove the ball long on every hole, 250 yards each time. When I inquired as to his score, I was surprised when he said he posted an 82. "How", I asked, "could you score that poorly when you bombed the ball off the tee?" He responded with, "they weren't all straight."
He then proceeded to tell me about some places he ended up in. Places he had never been before and it made me think of Tom Hoffman, the funniest man I have ever played golf with. Hoffy used to say that when he teed off he always hoped to get an "attaboy" from his playing partners. Usually, he remarked, what I got was "that will play from there" or "I've been in worse places."
Sometimes we have to laugh at what this game gives us. Take for example the one-inch putt. This shot, which counts just as much as that 250-yard drive, is a good-bad thing. On the one hand it is always nice to have a tap-in of that length. However you are a little disappointed that your previous shot did not go another inch.
A golfer had a one-inch putt a few days ago that was quite simply bad. The ball traveled that single inch, unfortunately the guy was trying to hit a 6-foot par putt at the time. I hate to name names when someone is likely to be embarrassed by the story, especially when that someone is ME. I don't know what happened. Perhaps it was a muscle spasm, but I contacted the ball and it went an inch. It was actually kind of funny. Would have been more funny had it happened to someone else!
I believe Lori Hall had some fun this week. While playing in a foursome which included her husband Scott, Lori aced the par-3 No. 12 hole at Seneca Hills. She apparently is trying to keep up with her hubby. Scott had a hole-in-one at the Fort Wayne Fling a couple of years ago which provided one of the best comedic moments I've seen.
Desperate to share his good fortune with a family member he called Lori but did not get an answer. So he called his dad who was also not home, but he did get to talk to his mother. When he excitedly told her about his accomplishment she responded with, "well, it's raining here." Don't tell me that moms don't have a knack for keeping things in perspective!
Scott Hall is going to be my worthy opponent in the 2012 Fling Ryder Cup competition at Fort Wayne. Looks like I will have a tough go of it this year, but at least I'm not playing the hottest member in the Hall family. Congratulations, Lori!
Here's a story I heard about a husband and wife golf outing that shows what I mean about perspective. The man was an accomplished golfer and his wife had just taken up the game. He begrudgingly agreed to play with her in an alternating shot tournament at the local golf club. On the first hole he teed off and striped the ball down the middle of the fairway some 300 yards. He turned to his bride and said, "just try to get the ball near the green."
She proceeded to shank her shot into the woods. The five-minute time allotment had almost elapsed when the husband found the ball. It was buried beneath some leaves and he had a very difficult shot. He pulled it off though, sending the ball onto the green three feet from the hole. His wife then putted the ball off the green into a bunker. The husband calmly sunk the bunker shot for a bogey.
As they walked off the green he turned to her and said that though they got a five on that hole he thought they could do better if she would just focus a little more. She turned to him and said, "excuse me, but three of those five shots were yours!"
Speaking of family members, I got to play Joe Cline's brother Brian in the scratch league this week. Apparently Brian was a little miffed that his brother got the "top golfer in the league" billing and tried to convince me that he was every bit as good as Joe. After watching his performance, he may have a point.
Brian made an incredible shot from under a bush on the 10th at Loudon Meadows to save par. He then proceeded to birdie 12, 14, and 15. It would have been four in a row had he not narrowly missed a putt on 13. I will let the brothers argue who is better, but I'll tell you one thing ? I would gladly play in a scramble with these two guys. I wouldn't contribute a whole lot besides driving the cart and providing the beverages, but it would sure be fun to watch them hit a golf ball.
Let me leave you with one more humorous golf story. A fellow was getting ready to head for the course one day when his wife asked him a question. "Why don't you play golf with Harold anymore?"
The husband turned around and indignantly asked his wife this question. "Would you want to play with a guy that drinks too much on the course, swears a lot, uses foot wedges and lies about his score?" The wife responded quietly with "I guess I wouldn't."
Her husband then said, "well apparently neither does Harold."
Al Stephenson is The A-T's golf columnist.
Read his blog at: