Every Fall I seem to struggle with my depression, finding myself starting to descend into the abyss. I don't know if it's what they call seasonal affective disorder, or simply the fact I'm increasingly aware that another golf season is coming to a close, and this year I won't be spending the whole winter in sunny climes. Whatever the case, trying to play good golf in a depressive fog is just about impossible.
After several weeks of struggling, especially on the greens, I finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel. Today, for the first time in recent memory, I reeled off four birdies in a row, and shot 32 on the front nine. What made this start particularly pleasing was the fact that Carl the Grinder, who has been beating me like a drum lately, shot 35 on the front today as well and still found Randy and himself eight points down to Radar and I in our match.
Naturally, having played so poorly for so long, it was well nigh impossible not to start thinking about what I was doing. This, of course, is the kiss of death. Sure enough I hit it in the woods on eleven and made a double. Then the muscles really started to tighten up, and the voices started playing in my head.
Making a birdie on seventeen helped me manage to limp in with 39 on the back to beat Old Man Par by one. As for Carl the Grinder, he just kept grinding away, despite the fact that the putts weren't dropping, and had me worried that he would do it to me again. For example, on the par five sixteenth, Carl hit his second shot into a green-side bunker. From the bunker he hit it across the green, through another bunker and onto the back lip. From that seemingly impossible lie he chipped it across the green again onto the fringe. I two-putted for par, only to watch Carl putt it in from off the green for his five. This is what the guy does to you. He makes pars when you think he's sure to make bogey, or worse.
Anyway, just when this old dog was about ready to quit, I somehow managed to beat Carl the Grinder, thanks in part to Carl hitting it out of bounds on seventeen and making double.
"I never miss it there," Carl told me.
Never say never, Carl. Not only that; my partner and I beat those boys so badly, as Radar said afterwards, "If they'd been eggs, they'd have looked like omelettes."
It just doesn't get much better than that. The golfing gods have taken the force field off the cup; at least for today. As for tomorrow, Carl and Randy will be looking to exact their revenge. I just hope the golfing gods throw me another bone, and Radar keeps backing me, at least until my nose starts bleeding. Heaven knows, I feel like I've suffered enough.