Friday, November 07, 2008

Something Else for a Change

After all the campaigning and debate and disappointment of the past months, it's time to turn to something else for a moment. The blog has been focused almost exclusively on marriage equality for a long time. And if you look at the masthead above, you'll note that "golf" was intended to be one of the key subjects of The Rational Feast. So let's get back to it for a moment.

Yesterday I was this close to starting to call myself a "golfer." Long-time readers of the blog may remember I don't call myself a "golfer", but rather "someone who plays golf." I just haven't felt skilled enough to take on that moniker. Yet.

After taking two months away from the game due to injury, I recently picked up the clubs again. As an 18 handicap, I usually shoot in the mid-90s. I break 90 once in a while, have flirted twice with breaking 80, but can also shoot in the high-90s and even go over 100, especially on challenging courses. But in my first three rounds after the break I shot 91-89-89. The last 89 was on a pretty tough track, and 21 of those strokes came on just three holes.

Yesterday when I went out (on a gorgeous fall day) to my local course, I said to myself that if I could break 90 again I would start calling myself a golfer. The day started well, I nailed my drive straight down the middle. My approach landed a bit short and I ended up making bogey. But I followed that with two pars. The rest of the round I was up and down, but mostly consistent. I parred one of the toughest holes on the course (actually the toughest hole on the course, even though the scorecard doesn't list it as such), but then things started to fall apart a bit.

Between the 13th and 14th holes at this course there is a long uphill climb. Golfers in carts take the winding path up the hill, but walkers (like me) have a funicular (yes, a funicular) to take them to the 14th tee. Unfortunately, yesterday the lift was out of order so I had to make the long hike up. This took enough out of my legs that my next two tee shots were awful, causing me to go double-bogey, bogey. On top of this, I putted terribly, missing several four to five-foot putts that I ordinarily hole. Going into 18, I needed a birdie to break 90.

18 is a strange hole, a par 5 with almost a 90-degree dogleg right. I hit a beautiful 3-wood off the tee that faded perfectly, caught a cart path bounce and ended up in a great spot. I was in slightly thick grass, but I was only 180 yards from the green. I hit a solid hybrid to the front bunker -- then proceeded to shank the bunker shot. I was out of the sand, but left with a long breaking putt to make bird. I made a great stroke, but it didn't go in the hole. Then I missed the four-footer for par and ended with 91.

Oh well, time to start a new streak.

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