The Amateur


I played our final match in our clubs 2 man best ball tournament. Having lost our first match, we were in the consolation round. Due to scheduling issues, my partner and I couldn’t find a time to complete the match by today. So I volunteered to take on our opponents solo. Currently, I carry a 19 handicap, and my opponents had 4 and 7 handicaps. This gave me a lot of strokes and an idea.

If my opponents had monumentally bad days and shot mid 80’s golf, as many mid single handicappers can do, while I pull off the round of my life in the mid 80’s during competition, I would not only win the match, but gain legendary status.

You can see where all this pride lead to.

The Fall: at the turn, I was only 2 holes down, and had a plan -to par five of the holes on the back nine -this would give me net birdies and give me a fair shot at winning. All of these holes I have parred before, and my best score on the back nine was a 37.

The difference between a hack and a true single handicapper came through on the back. Clearly, they sensed eternal shame if they fell to a lonely 19 handicapper in this tournament. Afterburners kicked in. Their drives which saw the rough with fair frequency all of a sudden soared 300 yards down the middle. Approaches landed within 5 feet. 20 foot lags for par dropped. And it was ham and eggs all over for the two of them.

For me, I realized my swing flaws and inattention to the short game would forever consign me to that status of high handicapper. I lost the match 5-4.

Today, I played the back nine with a 48, but did miss 5 pars by a hair -all from 5-10 foot putts not dropping or approaches finding the greenside rough. I have to budget practice time particularly for the short game.

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