I've had my share of Barkley's.
So, we had an official complaint registered at Three Putt Territory over the weekend. No Friday anecdote. Well, the thing is, sometimes I just don’t have a funny story in mind. Of course, then I think, Grossy…you’re an amazing storyteller. Literally any story you come up with would be amazing. This is probably true, and so I’ll try to make sure the anecdote is there on Friday. Where it’s supposed to be. In the meantime, I thought I’d compensate with this. Kind of like five mini-anecdotes. The five worst shots I’ve ever witnessed would probably be more funny, but I don’t want to embarrass anyone. Maybe they can share on their own.
5. The double hit. We were playing up in bumble bleep…I want to say it was Kutztown? One of the great things about the Northeast’s college golf season is that you play in terrible weather. Sustained 30 mph winds are nothing really out of the ordinary. It was blowing on this day, and the course was totally baked out. It was insane. You couldn’t hold a green, nothing. I hit a 2 iron 335 yards downwind off one tee. That’s not hyperbole, I’m just setting the scene. So, I know the scores are going to be high, and I’m actually playing well (for me). I always liked to break 80 (the mediocre D-III benchmark), and coming into the last hole I had par for 77. Not a bad score considering the elements. My second shot landed on the green, and bounded through…obviously. Ok, hack it up there, 78 at worst. Not this guy. He gets super-cute, and hits the decel-half whiff that pops straight up in the air. I then double hit the ball, and it caroms off into this atrocious lie. From there, it was penalty shot, chip, 2 putt 7…for a smooth 80. Wish I was making it up. The capper for the trip to Kutztown was the Swan left his clubs there because, “He thought someone else put them in the Van.” Haha..
4. Public Humiliation. N0w, our home course was lined with houses. Nice places, classy joints. Anyway, I saw many a house get clipped. Stucco is surprisingly resistant to golf balls, but I never actually hit a house myself. But, I did hit a little drop-kick, thin to win, missile into someone’s BBQ. Ok, it wasn’t like a full on BBQ, but there was some socializing going on in the backyard. I was in a greenside bunker. Now, I’m a great bunker player, so I’m thinking about holing this S.O.B., not blading it across into someone’s yard. Well, the bunker was pretty firm. I kind of hit dirt, riccocheted flush into the ball, and sent a rocket across the green. One hop on the cart path, and it was cozying up to patio. Now, the people threw the ball back in-bounds, but apparently, that ain’t legal.
3. The Naval Academy. Now, I’ll be honest. I didn’t always show up to tournaments in top form. We drove down to the Naval Academy one day to play, and I was in the hurt box. Hit balls? No thanks, I’m going to sit on this bench, and try not to throw up. So, there I am a little later on the first tee. Handful of people watching. I tee it up. There’s a pond in front of the tee. Not in play. I’m going to exaggerate for my own benefit, but it couldn’t have been more than a 150 yard carry, and may have been 60 yards. I don’t remember. I hit the teebox very hard. The ball…not so much. It comes out with a “pfft”…like there’s a f’in parachute attached to it, and lands in the lake. Now, a lot of options here, re-tee, whatever. I’m not thinking clearly, so I walk up to the edge of the pond, and drop. The ball goes in like a prairie dog hole or something, so from there I compound shot number 3 with another ball into the water. Dropping 4, hitting 5, making 9-er. That’s a quint. Did I par in for 77? No.
2. El Hosel. Everyone’s hit their share of shank-olas. Well probably not Fred, but most hacks. It’s a terrifying shot. I always make the joke about a shank sounding like someone breaking a pane of glass. Or a cat, scrambling on a chalkboard, getting thrown through a window. It doesn’t actually sound like this. The point is, the sound is cringe worthy. The only true shank I ever hit in college was at Susquehanna. They played this awful course that we called “Squirrel Valley” I don’t remember the actual name of the course. One time up there I was playing pretty well. I had just birdied a longish downhill par three, and go to the next tee. It may have been two holes later, but I’m starting to think about posting a good score. I split the fairway. Second shot, sand wedge. Cold shank. Ball goes directly right into the trees. Inexplicable. Wasn’t thinking shank, nothing…bang. The hardest part was I basically had to chip out, and then hit the same shot. That’s when you start hitting safety-chunks, shoot your 83, and get out of there.
1. The First Impression. So, I didn’t have a ton of tournament experience prior to college. I showed up at my first tournament at Wesley not really knowing what to expect. When one of the guys in my group was 35 I kind of realized I wasn’t in the big time. I think he was playing for Delaware Heating and Air Conditioning. But, anyway, my first shot. At this point in my career I didn’t really hit a driver. Pre-ProV1x, and crazy long golf courses I got away with a 3-wood and 2-iron. I had a Ping Eye 2, two-iron that I could rope out there with a lot of people’s driver’s in the Titleist Tour Prestige days. It was the safest club in my bag. It makes me sad a little to think how well I used to hit 2-iron. Anyway, that was the club I chose for my shot in college. I teed it up, and fired away. It felt AMAZING. But, we know that nothing feels better than a big, towering pull hook. This ball started right center, took a dead, left, and started riding the wind. Oh, I forgot to mention. About a 3 club hook wind that day. The thing hits in the left rough, and takes a trampoline bounce into the woods, and out of the golfing boundaries. Welcome to college golf. Might want to hit a provisional.