Sunday, 4 June 2017

Even a Crippled Cat

I turned sixty this year and was hoping it would be a good one--you know; sixty is the new forty and all that. Instead, I'm getting increasingly crippled with my back and neck, and have had sciatica to boot for the last month or so. I can hardly walk. It wasn't what I'd hoped for, but I'm still able to play at least.

Other than a seventy at Salt Creek this week--Salt Creek is a par 65, so that 70 sounds better than it was--I've been unable to break eighty for about three weeks. Carl the Grinder has beaten me like a drum in our matches every time out but one this year. He's also out-driving me by forty yards--and he's 73. I'm getting pretty damned discouraged.

But yesterday, after Carl beat me six and five, and Radar had beaten me three and two, I was feeling about as low as I could be. But then, on the last hole, which in this case was sixteen because it had been a shotgun start, I hit it to about seven feet with an eight iron from 120 yards, and then made the putt for birdie. For just a brief moment I felt like a golfer. I told the boys that if Kathryn asked me how I played, I'd just tell her I birdied the last hole. Of course, she didn't ask. 

Today I played with Ken in a nice Scotch mist. I quite like playing in a soft drizzle. Once again, I couldn't piddle a drop. I was happy to make bogeys most of the day, and even did a TC Chen double-hit on seven, eventually making an eight on the par four. I was having back spasms like crazy; couldn't hit it two hundred yards with the driver, and was really starting to think I was done like a dinner as far as golf was concerned.

Then, on eighteen, after hitting about four inches behind the ball and leaving my tee shot on the upslope of the Valley of Sin on the front right of the green, I did it again. Eighteen is a par three, with a green that has a ridge running through the middle of it that slopes away to the back. It was a back pin.

As I stood over my pitch shot of about 90 feet, I said to Ken, "A real golfer would hit a shot here that lands on top of the ridge, takes one hop and bites, letting the ball trickle to the pin." He nodded in agreement. And, I'll be damned if I didn't step up to the ball with my 58 degree wedge and hit the exact shot I described. The ball finished three feet below the hole. And I even made the putt. 

So, two days in a row, after playing like a bum, I finished like a golfer. Either the golfing gods are telling me not to give up quite yet, or it's just proof that even a crippled cat can catch the odd mouse. Either way, I guess the old boy still has a bit of life left in him. I can't wait to play tomorrow. But, I hear it's supposed to pour all day.

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