A Golf Hacker’s Greatest Golfing Moments
This is a true story and one that the hackers of golf would fully appreciate. There are times, when playing alone, we make the shot of our life and there is no one around to appreciate that shot. But let me begin by telling you a little about my golfing life.
I came to golf in my forties and it became my game of choice. In Queensland, we can play Golf all year round and if you join a club you can play almost whenever you like for as long as you like.
The great thing about Golf is that it is essentially a social game played with a partner. It is not you against him. It is you against the course and the elements and the handicap system means you compete with others on equal terms.
So I became passionate about playing on as many different golf courses as I could keeping my scores for each hole and comparing my results the next time I played that course.
My goal on each course was to play with a score of under 100 for the eighteen holes. If I did, I was extremely satisfied. On occasions when I played alone, I would play two balls, one white and the other coloured and I would keep two scores playing one against the other.
Eventually, my mate and I decided to join the same club. This gave me my next challenge. That was to par each hole on the course. That took some time. In fact, I birdied some holes before I parred others.
Eventually, I birdied each hole. The next task was to get an eagle. This was really a “pie in the sky” goal since I had come to golf later in life and basically taught myself to play. So getting an eagle was never a real expectation. But it did happen, three times in fact. The first occurred one spring day using a long distance ball my son had given me. In early spring after a long dry winter the fairway was hard with lots of run on the ball. I took out my driver to play on a shortish par four. I hit the ball dead centre on the sweet spot and saw the ball land fifty metres from the green to run up hill onto the green. When I got to the green, here was my ball just one metre from the hole with an eagle there for the taking. Years later, I eagled that hole again by chipping in from fifty metres, a feat I repeated sometime later on a par 5 hole.
You might think that this first eagle was my greatest shot in golf. No, for me, there was one better. It was not a hole in one. Let me tell you about it.
One afternoon, playing on my own, I drove badly off the tee on a par 4. The ball came off the outside of the club and veered left over the trees on the side of the fairway travelling across the next fairway to end up in the rough at least 70 metres from the green. Between the ball and the green was an enormous Moreton Bay fig tree at least 30 metres high and 40 metres wide. I had two choices, play safe and chip across the fairway on to the correct fairway or take a pitching wedge and try to go over the tree.
I decide on the second option. I took out my pitching wedge, set up addressing the ball carefully and slowly making sure I was balanced and aiming in the right direction. Keeping my head down over the ball, I swung smoothly through the shot hitting the ball crisply. I looked up to see the ball rising rapidly up and up and over the tree. I didn’t hear it hit any wood after it disappeared over the tree. I was hopeful.
I walked to the green to see my ball just a metre from the hole ripe for my birdie putt. As far as I know, no one saw the shot. But I did and I will always remember it as my most challenging shot and my greatest achievement in golf even better than I believe a hole in one would be.
Golf can be a frustrating game. But moments like this one keep the hacker coming back hoping for more.