Think back to the worst round of golf you’ve played. I don’t have to go far because today was mine. This four-handicap shot a 27-over 98 at Blue Mash but still had fun. Can you have fun playing bad golf? Maybe the old adage that a bad day on the golf course is still better than a good day at work is true because I took the day off to hack.
The round started out ominous as I warmed up on the range hitting weak cuts with every club in the bag. My search for a WOOD band-aid to get me around the course came up empty and I arrived at the first tee with zero confidence. It showed early as I started off double bogey, triple bogey, double bogey. I’ve read advice from several sources about warming up poorly and the conventional thinking is to write off a bad range session because it’s not an indicator of how you’ll play. Wrong! I’m different because my warm up, is always an indicator of how I’ll play. Oddly enough, I had warmed up well on the putting green and was brimming with confidence in my reads and stroke but the poor ball striking infiltrated my putting and I ended the day with 40 putts. Egad – how could this be fun?
The weather started off cloudy and warm with a few rain squalls, but on about the fourth hole a cold front blew through and the temperature began dropping and the wind increased. When we turned, we were dealing with a gale force wind that bent flagsticks, oscillated balls on the greens, and played havoc with our club selection. We were live at the British Open! My thoughts had shifted from my horrible ball striking to how to execute shots I had never practiced but now needed to use. This was fun! With my mind off my swing and on the demands of the game, my ball striking improved. On the par-3 17th, I hit a full three wood from 190 yards and missed the green left. My short greenside pitch was blown 90 degrees sideways after the first bounce. Never witnessed that on the golf course. Short putts (inside six to eight feet) were being pushed six inches off line. Finally we finished on #18, a par-5 playing straight into the wind at 540 yards. I estimated effective yardage at about 640 yards and crushed a driver and two three-irons to within 40 yards of the green. A full sand wedge purely struck and three putts later, I had my final double bogey and a 98. I left the course humbled and exhausted, yet somewhat exhilarated at the experience. Have you ever had as much fun playing bad golf as I did today?