In the midst of my 78 today, after 3-putting three times and bogeying a 320 yard par 4 from 50 yards out, I was struck by the difficulty of this freaking sport we call golf. In basketball, miss a shot, the other team rebounds and then you start all over. In football, miss your block, throw a bad pass, and more often than not you can live with it. But in golf, you make a bad swing, make a bad putt, or flub a chip, and you take a double bogey and you’ve got A LOT of work to do to make it up.
There really is very little margin for error in this game. I think that’s why it drives so many people crazy. You can spend years playing this psychotic sport and still never sniff 80. But it’s all relative, and while I can sniff 80, and even 70 at times, I would say that 99% of of the times I play golf I leave the course feeling like I left shots out there. Like, a bunch of shots. Today, realistically should have been a 74…but that’s just the nature of golf, you never shoot as well as you think you should.
Golf, in a lot of ways, reminds me of writing. Maybe that’s why I love both. Everyone can play, everyone can pick up a pen and write, and everyone can pick up a club and swing. But very few do it well. And as I’ve learned as an editor, you can tell within the first sentence if someone can write…just like you can tell in the first swing if someone is a seasoned golfer.
Speaking of which, the seasoned golfers on the Tour got rained out today. 36 holes tomorrow for the leaders at the PGA. Now that’s just brutal. But if a guy gets hot, at least he doesn’t have to sleep on it overnight and kill the rhythm. Get that putter going tomorrow and you have 36 holes to run with it, instead of 18. Long John (J.B.) Holmes looks to get that putter stroking tomorrow and he can win his first major.
So tune in tomorrow, or maybe Monday, for our PGA Championship reflection. My right shoulder is sore from today’s round. I’m really, really getting old. This is disturbing.