From Chicken Soup for the Golfer's Soul The Second Round

The Ten Inevitabilities of Hacker Golf

It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.

Hank Aaron

It never fails. . . .

1) You’re standing in the fairway 220 yards from the green. The group in front of you is still on the green. You know that if you hit the ball you will fly it to the green, send that group scattering, and once again have four angry golfers waiting for you at the bar. So, you wait until they completely clear, then you duff the shot and end up 75 yards short.

2) You’re wearing your lucky hat, your lucky socks and your lucky underwear. Things are in your favor. And even though you typically shoot 90, you’ve had a really good back nine and you are at 76 with only two par-4s to go for your best score all year. Correspondingly, you triple bogey both holes, your only triple bogeys of the day, to end up shooting—you guessed it—90.

3) After careful consideration you decide to hit a high soft lob shot onto the elevated green just like Tiger might do, but you hit it flat with your wedge and line drive it over the green. On the next hole, faced with a similar shot, you decide to bounce it on with a 9-iron like Sergio might do, but instead hit it straight up into the air and leave it three feet short of the green.

4) After muffing the tee shot, sculling the approach, pitching it into the sand trap and taking three shots to barely get it out and onto the green, you make a forty-five-foot, double-breaking, downhill putt that you couldn’t make again if your life depended on it.

5) You place your tee shot right behind a tree so large that it should be named after a president. By some miracle not only do you get your iron shot around the thing, but it hooks right back into the middle of the fairway. On the next tee shot you land fifty yards behind a three-foot-tall sapling no bigger around than your finger. Using a lofted fairway wood, you hit the little tree dead on, the ball pops up into the air and lands five yards behind you.

6) You are playing really well and, therefore, decide to dole out a “bit of advice” on someone else’s game. Instantly, your game goes south faster than a Canadian goose in late November.

7) You decide to wear your brand-new, birthday-gift golf shoes to a course you’ve never played even though they are not broken in yet. Upon arrival, you find out the club has a cart-path-only rule and, subsequently, you end up walking more miles than Lewis and Clark did exploring the Dakotas.

8) You are on the driving range and your buddy lets you try out his five-hundred-dollar driver. You have never, ever hit the ball as far or as straight. So you buy one for yourself. The first time you play with it, your cogolfers nickname you Water Boy, because you shank drives into the lake, the creek and a resort swimming pool next to the course, before you put the thing away and go back to your fifty-dollar garage-sale driver.

9) After tossing some grass into the air to check the wind, you see that it’s blowing left-to-right, so you alter your grip, play the ball back in your stance to keep it low, aim a little left to be safe. Then, after two great practice swings, you hit a wicked slice way up into the wind that lands two fairways to the right.

10) The course is busy, and they are backed up at the 195-yard par-3. The group on the green waves you up. You know the odds of hitting that green with everyone watching are slim-to-nil. So you decide to lay it up. Then you proceed to hit a wicked worm-burner that just keeps going and going, finally rolling up onto the green and stopping just inches from the hole. A dead bug and several blades of grass fall off the ball. The crowd cheers—and, of course, laughs.

What’s the good news about these inevitabilities? You get asked to play often, because you are just so darned entertaining!

Ernie Witham

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