No Good Deed Goes Unpunished!
Allow me to preface this post by telling you that Phil Mickelson is my muse.
Have you ever seen the play ‘Wicked’? It’s the backstory of what happened between the Good Witch, Glinda, and the Bad Witch, Elphaba, before Dorothy arrived in Oz. (SPOILER ALERT!) Elphaba wasn’t always bad and she and Glinda were actually friends. In fact, Elphaba was the more talented of the two witches and although she was never well-liked she had a good heart. She spent much of her life caring for an ill sister, who grew up to be selfish and mean-spirited. Elphaba then sacrificed herself to protect the man she loved only to see him fall into his enemies hands anyway. Realizing that nothing she does seems to help people she decides evil must be her best course of action. One of the most moving scenes was her acting of the song “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.” So what does Phil Mickelson have to do with the story of the Wicked Witch?
Have you ever hit your ball into the trees, vowed to take your medicine, only to look longingly at the flag and go for it anyway? What usually happens? You whack the ball deeper into the trees only to have a tougher shot, right? If you’re like me you might even take another swipe at the ball out of frustration only to have it still advance no further.
What is it that makes us want to go at the flag when we know darn well better? A few weeks ago I decided to be disciplined and actually take my medicine. When my drive landed in the rough behind trees on a hole that I normally enjoy the privilege of hitting from the short stuff I gritted my teeth and set up to pitch it back into the fairway. I now realize that I was probably resentful and deep in my heart didn’t really want it to work. Nevertheless, I played a pitch shot designed to just hit the ball sideways back into the fairway, only to have it hit a tree anyway and then plop down in a worse spot.
I was so livid! I mean what was the point?! Right then I decided that I would always go for the green no matter how unlikely the shot, even if I were on the last hole in contention in the U.S. Women’s Open.
NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED! I took my medicine and didn’t go for the green, BUT NOOOO. IT STILL DIDN’T WORK! I was being Good!!!
In the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot Phil Mickelson needed just a bogey on the last hole to win his only US Open title. A train wreck proceeded to ensue as he hit the ball left into the trees, proceeded to take two more shots, and then faced a really hard bunker shot. He made 6 on the hole and lost the tournament. His statement to the press afterwards? “I am such an idiot”
My golf game resembles “Phil the Thrill”, and not in the professional golfer department. But after attempting to take my medicine, and then landing further in the trees, I am done trying to be good and have decided henceforth that when it comes to golf I will simply be…. Wicked…♣