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Monday, 1 May 2017

One Shot at a Time Like the Drunks

I played today with Carl the Chipper. We started in a bit of a Scotch mist and played most of the round in a steady drizzle. I was giving Carl five strokes; which pretty much establishes the fact that I'm a pigeon. 

Carl and I made pars on the first hole where we both missed the green. I was in the bunker and just missed holing it. Carl chipped it to about a foot from the back fringe. On number two I hit the green and proceeded to four putt for a double. Carl chipped his up to about three feet and made par.

On two, after a weak tee shot, Carl said, "I'm working on a few things." I suggested that he just work on getting the ball in the hole; which is how he's always played. And Carl agreed.

Carl proceeded to go out in one over. I was two over, which I thought was pretty good after a four-putt and only hitting one green. Were it not for my chipping and putting, I could have shot just about anything. I have finally started chipping like Bobby Jones; using less loft wherever I can and just running the ball to the hole. I also got up and down from both bunkers I found myself in, which is a big improvement.

On the back nine, Carl carried on administering a beating to me, getting to five up. I continued to miss greens, but managing to hang in there. Carl admitted later that after the front nine he started thinking about shooting his age instead of just getting the ball in the hole. 

On twelve he hit it out of bounds and made a double. On thirteen he hit his tee shot in the water and made bogey. On fourteen he made another bogey and I was back to two down. Suddenly we had a match going. But on fifteen I hit my approach in a bunker and Carl hit his to ten feet. When I failed to get it up and down, Carl was dormie with three to play.

On sixteen, Carl and I made pars and it was game over. I finished with two pars and Carl finished with bogey, double bogey, to shoot 80. I shot 78, hitting only two greens and four-putting one of the ones I actually hit. I was really quite pleased that I had managed to keep it together despite the lousy ballstriking. The short game can truly cover a multitude of sins.

As for Carl; he learned that he needs to just play to get the ball in the hole. That's the way he's always played; not worrying about how he looked, or how he made the score. He also learned, once again, what a bad idea it is to think about shooting your age. This game needs to be played one shot at a time--just like the drunks.