The following is a guest post from our friend Thomas Caley. Thomas writes on putting skills and golf at GetDownInTwo.com.
Those who play golf must accept a simple fact: Sometimes this sport really, really sucks. Golf has the capacity to drive us around the freakin’ bend. Just think about it for a second – your task is to hit a tiny, tiny ball with a metal blade over hundreds of yards into an equally tiny hole somewhere in the distance. Between tee and hole you must navigate wind, rain, bunkers, deep rough, other golfers’ balls and annoying overhanging trees. Golf, ideally, should be played with calm demeanour and a tranquil state of mind, but sometimes that just isn’t the case…
Here in the UK playing golf in the winter months is only for the hardcore. Most sensible golfers keep the clubs firmly in the closet from December to March, and with good reason. Fairways can become boggy, rough totally soaked and bunkers revert to small dirty lakes. The wind gets up and knocks down your ball mid-flight – I’ve seen that happen many, many times. If you’re really unlucky, on that day the greens will still be frozen. I still remember the shock of seeing a shot bounce off a green as if it were concrete on one freezing December day.
A few years back, when I was still quite new to golf, I was prepared to play in any weather, and I mean any. I was flushed with the thrill of being new to the game and couldn’t get enough of playing. Sometimes with a golf buddy, often alone, I’d trudge down the fairways hacking my ball slowly towards the green in all meteorological conditions.
On one particularly sodden day my 8-iron to a par-3 drifted off into a deep bunker. Upon arrival the bunker appeared more like something out of the battle of the Somme than well-groomed sand. No problem, thought I. On my first effort the wedge struck filthy wet sand well behind the ball, splattering my trousers and jacket in dirt. I tried my best to swallow the disappointment and set up again. This time, a better strike. The sand was so heavy, though, the ball only managed about 3 inches before dropping down into another deep rut. Red-faced rage then took over as I started slashing with the wedge as if it were a bayonet, beside myself with the injustice of it all. When the hacking finally ceased the ball lay in a pool of water over the back of the green and I was covered in gritty sandy slime.
After that incident, and others, I came to the conclusion it’s better to not to get too upset on the golf course if you can possibly avoid it. That doesn’t stop me from enjoying other people’s meltdowns, though. I’ve had the fortune/misfortune to play with a couple of guys who were, let’s say, quite intense people. You know the type, people that when things don’t go their way, stuff goes very, very wrong. Such types shouldn’t play golf, really.
One time my buddy Mark snapped in dramatic fashion, flinging his 7-iron into a lake, then sending his bag sprawling with a vicious kick. It’s hard not to crack up when you see something like that. My other friend Joe seems to wallow in a dangerous mixture of negativity and aggression when out playing, a trait that results in some truly shocking shots. I once saw him hit a driver with such a savage slice it hit a nearby tree, then ricocheted off another before hitting the ground again. The ball rolled slowly back past us on the tee box and finished square at the feet of the group waiting behind. What exquisite humiliation!