Making an albatross, or a double eagle, is much more rare. In fact, I think I'm the only one in my circle of fellow golfers who has managed to do it. Again, it's really nothing to brag about because it involves more luck in the end than it does skill.
Given the current state of my back; along with the fact that it is not a state that is likely to improve, I suspect that I'll never make another albatross. I managed to get it on number six the other day in two blows, but my days of routinely hitting par fives in two are done. No doubt about that.
I made my albatross on the par-five sixteenth at Picton. What made it even more unusual is that it happened the first time I'd teed it up after my father's death. When he died, I was naturally gutted. It's hard for a boy to lose his father at the best of times. Given the way he died, it was probably worse. But I'm not sure it necessarily was. After all, there is never a good time, or way, to lose your dad.
The shot that produced the albatross was struck from the left rough from about 210 yards. It was made tougher by the fact that it demanded a draw around a tree; and in those days I much preferred to fade the ball. I recall taking much more time than usual to try to picture the shot, imagining how I would have to strike it. And why I elected to try this shot, and concentrate as much as I did, is a bit of a mystery, because most of the day I had been just sort of going through the motions. I was really thinking more about my father, who had shared so many rounds with me in Picton, than I was my golf.
Anyway, as soon as I struck the shot, I said to Steve, who was standing right beside me, "It's perfect."
We stood and watched the ball draw around the tree, land on the front of the green, take one hop, and slowly trickle into the hole located at the back of the green. There was quite a bit of whooping and hollering from my playing partners. As for me, I was crying. It was a very significant moment for me.
It wasn't significant because I'd made a double eagle. It was significant because I took it as a message from my father. You see, I hadn't golfed for a couple of months after his death. I just couldn't seem to face going out to golf at the place where we had shared so many good times. But Steve finally convinced me to just "give it a try."
That shot came with a message from my father. That message was, "Keep playing, Son."