The best golf with the worst score…

Okay the worst score is a bit of an exaggeration – it was an 87.  Which is a good score, but not a GREAT score…(considering my goal is to break 80 and my BEST ever is an even 80) but I honestly played the best golf I have ever played and scored 87.  8 shots away from my goal.  And I am very happy.  Why you ask?  Well, dear golfer, read on and find out why the following 87 made me the happiest I have ever been on a golf course…

The best game of golf I have ever played...

So maybe some basic mathematics is the reason I am so happy…but you will need to follow me closely here…Archimedes would have trouble doing the maths I am about to attempt.  this is the sort of mathematics that most CEOs need to do each forecast season to justify their positions and their budgets.  This is wishful mathematics.  This is the kind of maths where you take numbers off a total not add them on; think middle-aged ski bunny rather than underage drinker.  So, turning to my scorecard above, my logic runs as follows.  Holes 1 through 4 I putted very well.  Actually I putted pretty well throughout with only 34 putts (good for our standard).  But the first four holes were especially unlucky and I lipped out four times.  That is four shots that I can take off very easily.  Sometimes the ball just doesn’t fall in the hole…and that is okay.  But is that the reason I enjoyed this game of golf the most I have ever enjoyed playing golf?

No.  Not that is not the reason why though it would be enough…

So am I happy because even though I put the ball out of bounds (twice) on the very difficult par three 16th I still managed to (finally) hit one tee shot and putt twice to put the ball down for an TWO OB par 7? (if you are a real golfer you will understand what I mean by this kind of happiness – if you are going to play a hole badly you still want to play it well!  And “OB par” is a perfectly reasonable term…).  So is this why I am so happy about my last game of golf?

Again, I say thee nay…a good reason but not THE reason.

What about the good company of these fine people?  Could that be the reason?

Happy people playing golf 1

Happy People playing golf 2

It would be reason enough of itself…but, again, it is not THE reason…

I know that the suspense is killing you…I know that, like American Idol, you are just dying for Ryan Seacrest to relieve your suffering and come straight out and say who has won and who will be packing their bags to go home.  And so it shall come to pass (just thought I would slip that one in, I am trying to bring back great neglected phrases of the past.  But have you ever wondered about English?  I mean “shall come to pass”…it sounds more like advice for constipation than a phrase with the portent it is supposed to have?  The bible was translated  and still has phrases like this that make about as much sense as Arnie coming out of retirement for another terminator movie…doesn’t he know that Terminators – MACHINES – aren’t supposed to age…).  Did I digress?  Ooops…digress should be my middle name…

Anyway…the real reason I am so happy about this week’s golf game is because of the all the things I did wrong.  Yep.  I am excited about what I did wrong…well not so much what I did wrong as what I did in response to what I did wrong.  Three holes in particular…let’s compare these three holes then and now…

Scenario Hole number 1.  Hit a perfect drive followed by a very good approach shot.  Walked up to the green only to find the ball having rolled over the green on the other in a pile of, well, crap.  Chipped very well only to have the ball JUST roll past the break on the green and end up 20 feet from the hole.  Three putt for a six with not a single bad shot.

Response then: Perform illegal act on nearest bird.  Throw club to bag.  Complain to golf buddies what a ^&%$ up hole that was.  Buddies would roll eyes, laugh, and say “Angry Man’s back”.

Response now: small chuckle to self followed by slight sigh and then think about how well I played to get to the green in (almost) two.  Try to think how I could have played that chip even softer…

Scenario Hole number 16.  Par three with two or three flights watching.  First tee shot; adjusted for strong wind that never once affected my ball (did my ball get heavier?  It was a gale up there!) and hit a nice 7 iron straight out of bounds pin high to the left.  Second Tee shot; adjusted for wind (again!  Yes I am a bit slow sometimes…and yes slow is spelt S-T-U-B-B-O-R-N ) that never affected my ball and hit a nice 7 iron straight out of bounds pin high to the left.  Hit my third tee shot for my fifth stroke NOT adjusting for wind this time and landed pin high to the left ON THE GREEN.  Two putt and a four over double OB par (with a sesame seed bun?  Say that in 20 seconds for a free burger).

Response then: At the second tee shot I probably would have hit my “third” so hard that the next door golf course would wonder where the ball had come from.  Might even have hit a couple more out of bounds “just because”.  Would have been lucky to go down in less than 12 if I finished at all.  Then throw club to bag.  Complain to golf buddies what a ^&%$ up hole that was.  Buddies would roll eyes, laugh, and whisper to each other behind my back “Angry Man’s back”.

Response now: Say to buddies…did you see that?  That was a par.  Did anybody find my balls by the way?

Scenario Hole number 18.  Par Four, handicap one.  Very long hole with water on it.  Par here will get me 85 (my “subconscious” goal for the day I realized later).  First shot flew off the club like lopsided lightning…and careened straight into the water.

Response then: Would have stubbornly played off the tee again and hit it even harder; only one result likely from that so would have been hitting a 6 from the place where I should have dropped it in the first place.  Would have hit this 6 even harder knowing full well that my ball would likely slice at this club head speed and go off into the water again.  Likely result?  A 12.  Then throw club to bag.  Complain to golf buddies what a ^&%$ up hole that was.  Buddies would roll eyes, laugh, and text each other for fear of me hearing “Ngri Mns bck”.

Response now: took my drop at the water.  Played a slow 5 wood that gently skidded past the flag for three and just rolled off the back of green and sat on a ledge of grass downhill behind a bunker.  Played an impossible flop shot over that bunker that dribbled past the hole and got me bragging rights for the day.  Just missed a short putt and walked away with a 6 and a respectable 87 overall. Played two of my best shots for the day on a hole that didn’t matter…

Why I love this round?  The point about this round is that I survived…I managed to have some bad shots AND a good time.  And I can tell you which me I would rather play with…next time you want to be the angry guy, think about your buddies having to play WITH you!!!

About THE Steve

I work, I play golf, I write, I have opinions, I try to be nice to animals and small children. That's me.
This entry was posted in Game reports, Golf, Golf Courses, Golf in Taiwan, Golf talk, Mental Game, Practice and Technique, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The best golf with the worst score…

  1. Adrian Boniface says:

    Hey THE Steve,

    Nice blog and great goal for the year – good work!

    (Apologies for responding to an earlier post, rather than the latest but seemed the most relevant one for me to respond to).

    As a background – I’m a golf stat anorak, so like to see your cards and stats. Set my own goal of breaking 90 this year, which I did with a slight change of approach (don’t worry – not selling anything nor will suggest you go check out the latest “killer move”…). My adjustment was to move away from “how its meant to be played” to how can I play it better – a bit like your post on reaching for the 7 iron! I also redefine how some of the stats work based on handicap and target score…

    Anyway – love your attitude – no one likes an angry golfer. And your “wishful” interpretation of your stats is great – all for positive thinking!!!

    Some quick comments on your card: (hope thats OK)
    – to break 80, there are seven holes you are allowed to bogey (apologies for the sucking eggs!)
    – your scores on these holes (3,5,7,9,14,15,18) of 36 is two below your handicap allowance of 38 ; this is great
    – it also means you can increase your greens in regulation by one for hole three – as the regulation for your target is GIR in four shots, not three (based on your handicap target); also good news!
    – to hit 79, you could (should?) target 40 on the front nine, 39 on the back.
    -to do hit 40 on the front 9, better putting on 1 and 2 would fix it
    – to hit 39 on the back nine, maybe playing a bit safer?

    Couple of additional stats to collect which might be useful – (you might have to use a trusty pencil if the iphone doesn’t keep these)
    i) distance from the front of the green your approach shot is? i.e – it would appear you have missed the green six out of ten times from the fairway – sorry subtlety is not my strong point
    ii) distance of first putt, distance of last putt (and maybe the middle putt too?🙂 ) – for example, you mention that your lipped the first four putts – if you take hole two – there is a major difference with starting from 20 foot, then lipping out from 10 foot, to starting from 20 foot then lipping out from 3 feet.

    Anyway – fairly long response – I hope you find at least ten percent useful! And that some of it makes sense! Feel free to ask a question if my braindump doesn’t make sense…

    On the extremely positive side, it is obvious that this blog shouldn’t last a year – you already have the talent to shoot in the 70s – it will happen.

    Cheers

    Adrian

    • THE Steve says:

      Hi Adrian
      Thanks for the comment. Good advice all. And that is a nice family blog you have there. Your analysis of the golf game is impressive and has given me a lot to think about. You are obviously a great student of the game and I enjoyed reading about the goals for golf. Reading about the holes to bogey and holes to par has given me a new way to look at it the game and renewed confidence. Glad to have you reading and hope you are right about the goal being reached soon!
      THE Steve

  2. ben heaton says:

    hello steve, im a 19 year old golfer living in england off a 4 handicap. I have only been playing for 2 years but i believe the way i achieved this was by keeping it natural and not focusing on other people. I can count on one hand the amount of times I have had a lesson, this aggrevates any flaws that are occuring in the swing, rather than improve them. The best way to shoot lover scores is to think less. When I have a shot to a green 150 yards away, i dont think about the water, the bunker or any other hazards, I just think ‘theres my target, now hit it’.
    I am the sort of golfer that does get annoyed when I hit a bad shot, but im glad I do because once the anger is let go, mainly by calling myself and idiot or something, I feel much more relaxed and can forget about the bad shot. Anger is your friend, without it you would have a lot of negative anxiety built up in your body and it would undoubtadly affect your next shots. Tiger Woods is a prime example of this, when he hits a bad shot, he says ‘oh Tiger ya idiot’, but once he does that he forgets about it and moves on.
    I hope you find this information interesting, i certainly enjoyed writing it.

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