Switching Momentum

I experienced an interesting series of events while playing golf this week. On the third hole, I missed a three-foot birdie putt and went to the next hole angry with myself. Lots of negative thoughts were flooding my mind (how can I play good golf if I miss short birdie putts, I have to take advantage of great opportunities, etc.)

On the next hole (a par 4) I had hit two good shots and I was walking onto the green for a ten-foot birdie putt. I didn’t have a positive attitude about making a ten footer after just missing a three footer. As I walked onto the green, I looked into the deep bunker at the front of the green. Someone had walked into the trap, dug in, hit a shot, and walked out without raking the the trap. I found a rake and smoothed out the deep foot tracks left by the slacker. I felt good about fixing the trap and preventing someone from getting a terrible lie in the trap.

I made the birdie putt.

My next shot on the next hole was a hole-in-one.

I had a hole-in-one yesterday

I had a hole-in-one yesterday on the fifth hole at Cobblestone Golf Club. I hit a high pitching wedge on the 120 yard hole that disappeared behind the sand trap guarding the left side of the green. The hole was not visible from the tee, so we didn’t know it was in until we walked onto the green. Often I’ve expected a ball to be near the hole on a blind hole and it is over the green. In this case, I saw the ball mark about a foot in front on the hole and I knew it was in.

I was playing with Art Meyer (of Art’s Wallow fame), Bill Locke, and Dan Summerlin. The adrenalin rush hurt my game — I double-bogeyed the next two holes! Prior to the hole-in-one, I was in the zone with my pitching wedge. On the third hole, a par three that was also about 120 yards long, I hit it three feet behind the hole — and missed the putt! On the fourth hole, a short par 4 with a very intimidating, small peninsula green that drops straight down into Lake Ackworth, I hit the pitching wedge from 115 yards to about ten feet and made the putt. Then the hole-in-one. My pitching wedge was hot!

I didn’t take advantage of the three under on two holes with my scoring. I shot 78 for the day, missing a number of short putts and losing three drives. But Cobblestone is a tricky course and it was the first time I had every played it.

It was my third hole-in-one. I had my first at age 15 at hole 17 at Chatmoss CC, witnessed by Chip Hairston and Ben Lewis. My second was in 1994 at Settindown Creek Golf Club, hole seven, witnessed by Ann.

Cobblestone is a good test of golf and very scenic — I recommend it highly.

Art’s Wallow

I was playing golf last summer at Bradshaw Farm with Art Meyer when he created his Wallow.

Wallow intr.verb. To roll the body about indolently or clumsily in or as if in water, snow, or mud.
noun. A pool of water or mud where animals go to wallow or the depression, pool, or pit produced by wallowing animals.

We were on the 8th hole on the Red course — the par 3 with the pond beside the road as you turn into Bradshaw Farm. Art hit a rare bad shot that was about 20 yards short and right of the green, landing at the edge of the pond. When we got to the green, we saw that the ball was about 18 inches inside the pond but only half submerged. Art indicated that he was going to play it as it lies.

While I stood on the green and watched with delighted anticipation, Art removed his right shoe and sock and tentatively entered the pond. Ignoring toe-hungry snapping turtles, ankle-biting water snakes, and the drop off to deep water just behind him, Art carefully took his stance. His swing was smooth and he kept his head still, which is very hard to do when mud and water are going to fly in your face. I watched the ball fly into the middle of the green and roll to the back fringe.

When I looked back at Art, he was on his knees in the water. I’ve never witnessed such an overt example of a prayer on a golf course (but I might give it a try). Art crawled out of the pond on all fours. He took off his left shoe and poured out the water and mud. He squished onto the green and two putted for a bogey. As we walked off the green, I noticed that a mud splatter covered most of the back of his shirt. His hat had mud on it too.

Later Art told me that his left foot had slipped into the pond after he hit the shot and he went down onto his knees to avoid falling back into the pond. Occasionally, golf can be very entertaining.

Nice guy finishes first!

Couples gets back into winner’s circle

April 27, 2003
GolfWeb Wire Services

HUMBLE, Texas — Fred Couples was overwhelmed and nearly speechless after capping his first victory in five years with a birdie on the final hole of the Shell Houston Open.

“I mumbled a few things, then basically wanted to get … out of there,” Couples said, after breaking into tears on the 18th green following Sunday’s four-stroke win. “I needed to regroup a little bit.