From the Braver Institute
Last week I was blabbing about my last round of golf for the season and how once the month of October rolled around there was a good chance that I would very likely play for the last time of the year every time I managed to get to the course.
After work I would race to the course in a desperate effort to squeeze in nine holes before dark. This worked well for me especially since the weather had been cooperative.
But that soon changed.
The air started to get cold and to this point I hadn’t played in cold weather. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it as much. Off to the course I went. Upon arrival I found the clubhouse closed. This meant that if I wanted to golf I would have to walk the course. I had never walked while golfing. I had no idea how long it would take. Since it would be dark in under two hours walking might be more like sprinting.
If this was to be my last chance to golf, I had to do it.
There was no one else foolish enough to be on the course this late in such conditions so I decided that I would play the original nine holes of the course instead of the current front nine or back nine. The original layout was more open and had maximum exposure to the sun. I figured that my odds of getting in most of the nine before dark were better this way.
I have always enjoyed hiking. As it turned out, this potential last round of golf turned out to be much like hiking with a hobby attached to it. To my surprise, I was able to get in the whole nine before it was too dark to see, and perhaps even more surprising, I played pretty well.
Since I knew that I wouldn’t have time to look for balls that strayed too far off of the fairway, I had to take my time and hit the ball a bit more smoothly. I discovered that my accuracy improved substantially. I also found that hitting the ball from the fairway is so much easier than hitting from the rough.
I was a little tired after walking the course, but it felt good to golf and it felt good to walk. I now knew that if the opportunity to golf in the evening presented itself again, I could pull it off.
I had the chance to golf this way several more times. Each evening it was very cold. Each time I played, I got a little better.
One evening the course looked empty but it was evident that there were others playing since there were vehicles in the parking lot. It was sunny and relatively warm out, which explained their presence.
No big deal, I thought.
As it turned out, it was the best golf I had ever played. Holes that had given me trouble in the past were now falling with ease. I was in the groove.
Until the seventh hole.
This had been the first evening of clear and sunny skies that I had played since I started walking the course. For once it looked like I would finish with the aid of sunlight. But at the seventh hole I met up with the other golfers. Really, my seventh hole was the eighteenth hole and these four guys were finishing up their round. Since they were playing the course the way it is supposed to be played, they had the right of way and I gladly yielded to them.
Unfortunately I had to wait for them to get far enough ahead for me to play. By that time I was out of my rhythm and my game fell to pieces. Here I thought that my last round of golf was going to be my best. Instead it turned into one of the worst.
Thankfully, this wouldn’t be my last round.
More to come …
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