A Hole In One. . . . Almost

Watching Tiger Woods at the Masters was amazing.  Yes – I told you so (see several posts – 9/27/18, the latest).   Tiger’s success gives me renewed hope that I – Mister 15 index – can one day achieve my dream.

Have you ever had a hole-in-one?  I have not.  But I’ve come close.  On August 7, 2011, I came the closest ever – about 8 inches from the cup.  Evanston Golf Club.  17th hole.  Playing about 215 yards.  A little wind against.  I pulled out my 3 wood and spanked my Pro V-1 just like Tiger.  The ball took off high and perfectly straight.  I watched.  It seemed like ages. The ball landed, bounced.  And disappeared.  “Wow!  Great shot” said the caddie.  “That could be in the hole,” said my friend Norm. 

The flagstick was obscured by a fairway bunker so we couldn’t see the result.   So we walked.  My heart racing.  As the pin came into view, I saw that the ball resting — inches from the hole.  An angry-looking divot splayed grass and turf where the ball had slammed into the green. I marked and cleaned my ball and thought briefly “gee what if I 3 putt?”    But I knocked down the putt for a 2.  Birdie.

A hole-in-one is rare and I almost had one.  But “almost” doesn’t count.  It either is or isn’t.  Suffice to say, I’m still looking for the elusive “ace.” One day.  Hey – if Tiger can do it . . . . 

He’s Back. . . . .

On January 31, 2013, I posted the following. . . .

Say what you will about Tiger Woods  In my opinion, he has been good for the game of golf. No – make that outstanding for the game of golf. While some criticize or condemn the actions which led to his fall from grace, to me it’s not a distraction from the sheer greatness of his golf game.  Tiger’s exploits on the links are legendary.  His prowess with wedge and putter has spurred tens of thousands of young people into the game.  His success over the years sparked a major uptick in rounds played.  And he has a foundation that provides palpable benefit. . . . . 

On any Sunday afternoon when Tiger is in the hunt, what red-blooded golfer doesn’t at least turn a weather eye toward the television?  I was there on the big screen 50 yard line watching Tiger win his 8th at Torrey Pines on Sunday.  Wow!  Sure Phil, Rory, Bubba and others play a role.  But I think it’s still Tiger who draws the crowds.  And he’s got a few years left. . . .  

Fast forward five years.  Rounds played in America are down.  Courses are closing.  And some still criticize Tiger.  But doggonit – Tiger was in the hunt two weeks ago and he is in second place at the Valspar as I write this piece (where attendance is up 35%!).  I want Tiger back.  I want Tiger to win.  And frankly — so should every serious golfer. . . . 

Tiger

Say what you will about Tiger Woods, in my opinion, he has been good for the game of golf. Make that great for the game of golf. While we all might criticize or condemn the actions which led to his fall from grace, it is not a distraction from the greatness of his golf game.  Tiger’s exploits on the links are legendary.  His prowess with wedge and putter has spurred tens of thousands of young people into the game.  His success over the years sparked an uptick in rounds played.  And he has a foundation that provides palpable benefit. . . . . 

On any Sunday afternoon when Tiger is in the hunt, what red-blooded golfer doesn’t at least turn a weather eye toward the television?  I was there on the big screen 50 yard line watching Tiger win his 8th at Torrey Pines on Sunday.  Wow!  Sure Phil, Rory, Bubba and others play a role.  But I think it’s still Tiger who draws the crowds.  And he’s got a few years left. . . .