I had a sort of amazing moment the other day, when something flashed through my mind for the first time in my life.
I was playing golf and I was enjoying a pretty good round. I had a shot at breaking 80, and if I hadn’t missed three or four short putts earlier, it would have been a lock.
I was seven over par through 15 holes, which would have meant I needed three pars for a 79. But on the par three 16th hole, I put my drive on the green and then rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt to go to six under.
That was nice, but it wasn’t the amazing moment.
On 17 — a par four — I put my tee shot out in the middle of the fairway, about 180 yards from the hole. I took out my fairway wood, lined up my shot and swung. Then came the amazing moment.
I don’t know why it was, but as I made contact and saw the shot heading out down the fairway, two words crossed my mind.
It damn near was. The flag was near the back of the green, and then shot was heading directly on line with the flag. That’s rare enough for me, but when it does happen, I usually sacrifice distance and don’t reach the putting surface. Either that or the shot doesn’t bite and goes all the way through and off the green at the back.
Not this time. The shot never hooked or sliced, and it hit the green, rolled a while and stopped 10 feet from the hole. A truly perfect shot would have gone in for an eagle 2, but that would have been too Hollywood even for me. As it turned out, I missed the birdie putt and tapped in for par. When I bogeyed the tough 18th hole, I had my 79 — the fifth or sixth time I’ve broken 80 since I started playing this course.
I have been playing two or three times a week, and after years of thinking my game would improve if I made it out more often, I feel like I’ve been proven right.
Someday I’ll have the reaction I had the other day and the shot will actually turn out to be perfect. It’ll go in for an eagle or maybe even a hole in one.
But for now, the amazing feeling that flashed through my mind when I hit my second shot on 17 will be enough.
More than enough.