I woke up and went to work in the garden. My wife and I are thinking of making a pitch for a reality show called "the crippled gardeners." I don't know what possessed me, but I decided to make my backyard a bird sanctuary. As a result, I dug two ponds and about a dozen garden beds. I also planted trees and bushes.
The reward is a wonderful array of birds-- cardinals, blue jays, orioles, grosbeaks, finches, hummingbirds--not to mention squirrels, chipmunks, some rabbits under the hedge, bull frogs, and fish. Though I stuck to perrennials, the plants multiply like crazy, tempting me to dig more gardens to accommodate them, and I spend half my life pulling grass and weeds. I love it, but my back protests mightily.
After three hours in the garden, I had a brief rest, took some morphine and set off to play with Spiros. I told my wife that I'd have cancelled if I wasn't booked as a twosome with Spiros. It turned out that young Justin joined us, so I could have turned around and gone home. I was stiff and sore, and the wind was up. But I couldn't resist giving it a whirl.
As usual we played a match--me against their best ball. It's fun to have a match. It keeps you interested and, hopefully, motivated to play your best. I try never to play without having a match, even though we don't bother putting any money on it. It's strictly bragging rights.
Off the first tee I took a wicked swipe at the ball, almost falling on my arse in the process. The result was a perfect draw to the hundred yard marker. From there I took another lurch at it with a wedge, pulled the ball almost into the pond, left my chip eight feet short and missed the putt for par. I was one down to Spiros' par.
The day continued with me making some of the most horrible swings off the tee. In fact, they had no right to be called swings at all. But somehow, I was scoring. After nine, despite missing a three footer for par on nine, I was one over and two up. Justin was playing about as well as I'd ever seen him play, but missed three short putts and was three over.
I three-putted for bogey on ten and then hit a terrible push almost into the trees on the right on eleven. My first thought was to just chip the ball to the 100 yard marker, but I decided instead to try to hit a fifty yard slice around the trees with a six iron. I push sliced it into a tree and was lucky to have the ball drop down, stymied, but in a spot where I could get a club on it. I was mad as hell at myself for trying such a dumb shot.
Not to be discouraged from any further stupidity, I stood over the shot and saw about a six inch gap through the trees to the flag. As I set up to hit it, Spiros said to Justin, "I've got to take a look at this." He wandered over to see what I was attempting to do. I told him I was going to punch a seven iron through the gap in the branches. But Spiros declared the shot to be impossible, since, as far as he was concerned, there was no gap.
To make what is becoming a long story short, I hit it through the gap to about 15 yards short of the green and got it up and down for bogey. I birdied the next hole for a half with Justin and continued hacking and slashing my way home. The interesting thing was, as bad as I was hitting it, I had a grim determination not to make a total mess of the round. On the last hole, after hitting a crummy shot into the greenside bunker, I hit a nice shot to about four feet and made the putt for a 77. It was probably the best--or worst--77 I've ever shot; depending upon how you look at it.
I was happy that I hadn't stopped grinding. I even managed to beat the boys, two up. Justin shot 41 on the back for 80. His game is really coming along. But I still don't understand why it is that the more tired and sore you get, the harder you swing. Can anyone explain it?