My first Eagle (and hopefully not my last)
It was one of those rounds. That’s all I can say.
I was playing for crap. My swing wasn’t working that day and because I was too nervous or too impatient to make a full enough backswing everything kept going left that day. The bad news is that this was a tournament and I really would have rather preferred my swing to be “on” that day. *Alas*
In any case I was completely relaxed and at peace having accepted that my swing wasn’t going to be perfect. Now this was no easy course to play; it crosses many hills and valleys at different points so even a straight shot that lands in the fairway could find you with a crazy lie with the ball above or below your feet or hitting from a downhill or uphill lie. Furthermore the greens are marble-esque with the faintest, barest of touches sending the ball in to the next county. However, I was a cool customer accepting things as they came.
Getting an Eagle on a par 4 was not what I expected.
It came on the 13th hole. It’s a downhill par 4 of about 230 yards from the ladies’ tees. The fairway is not exactly narrow but there was trouble on both sides. On the right there is a hazard thick with forest and a stream virtually ensuring that you won’t find your ball should it end up in there. On the left is a row of trees separating two fairways near some muck.
When it was my turn I cracked some jokes (as usual) and went into my pre-shot routine.
I stepped up to the plate with a good feeling.
I was nervous; probably because I did have a good feeling and knew that something good was about to happen.
I pulled the trigger and rather than taking my time, as I should have been all along that day, I didn’t make a full enough back swing and pulled the ball dead left.
It was long enough but boy was it left.
I thought I was going to end up on another green nearby. It was high and left of the cart path and started heading directly toward a huge hill with some really high grass that is on the fringe of the green on the other side. I started saying “oh no…” and the women that were with me were yelling at my ball go right, go right!
I stood and watched the ball to at least see where it landed with small hope that I would find it as I mentally prepared to go and get another ball to hit.
As we watched the ball, amazed, it landed directly in the knee-high grass and then bounced and rolled down the hill toward the green. It bounced and jumped some more crossing some grass, then the cart path, and the rolled down more grass, on to the green to come to a rest 8 feet from the hole.
With an absolutely horrific swing I had driven the green!
We were all astonished, to say this least, my ball was hardly visible after it landed. Nevertheless, I had hit it long enough and because of a few lucky bounces I was now faced with the possibility of making a 2 on a par 4.
For the rest of the hole my companions alternated between playing their balls and gawking at mine sitting there waiting to be putted. When we finally got to the green I marked by ball and studied the putt while patiently waiting for everyone else to take their turns.
My stomach contracted briefly with both fear and exhilaration as I stepped up to my eagle putt. I had studied it enough and now it was just about having the moxie to pull it off. That is, I needed to not choke.
I kept saying to myself: Well even if I don’t make it I at least had the chance for an eagle. I might as well relax and make my best shot. I don’t even deserve this because my drive was so bad but I want to live up to the opportunity.
I took a look at the hole (but not too long) then pulled the trigger. I hit it with the right speed on the correct line and it went in! I was so excited!! Everyone else was just as amazed. As we walked back to our carts and scores were requested I had the privilege of saying “2” on a par 4.
Photo: archidea / 123RF Stock Photo