Sunday, January 3, 2010
the wrong approach
Several years ago, during a round of golf on the challenging Bethpage Black course, I made an astonishing tee shot that resulted in one of a very few pars that I have ever made at this site.
Reeling from miserable play for my first seven holes I haphazardly grabbed a 3-wood as I approached the eighth hole. The eighth is a par 3 hole, about 200 yards long and downhill from tee to green. The proper club selection calls for a mid to long iron. But I was frustrated, demoralized and still had eleven holes to play. All I was thinking is that I did not want to land short of the green. Being short would likely mean adding a few too many penalty and recovery strokes to my already overworked scorecard as I would have to dodge pond water, bunkers and the rough that my balls were so far magnetized to detect. I speared my tee deeper than usual into the launch pad with my right hand as I tried to recklessly compensate for holding the wrong club at my left side. My swing featured a precisely straight back swing and a full and hefty follow though. The ball screeched off the center of the 3-wood, and in a line drive fashion, hugged the downhill slope perfectly and more rapidly than any ball I had ever hit. In what must have been less than three seconds from club impact, the ball impacted the flag pin half way up and thankfully dead on. The thud clanked loudly enough to unnerve not just my foursome, but it turned heads on several nearby fairways as well. The errantly hit ball was traveling too fast to drop straight down the pin and into the hole, but hitting the pole dead on did take out most of its energy. The ball rolled about 15 feet away onto the green and with two subsequent putts I scored a rare par on the Bethpage Black. Yes indeed-I was lucky.
‘Yes indeed-we were lucky’ is what Janet Napolitano, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary, would have been better served to say over anything else she was trying to piece together to spin and minimize the attempted terrorism aboard Northwestern Airlines flight 253 on December 25th. I do not think it is fair for her to pay with her job, as some members of Congress and the media have since suggested, for her strange choice of words. I suppose I’ll just wait to see if she manages to ace the handling of her next crisis. Until then, my impression of her is about the same I would have of someone who would try to convince me that a line drive dead on off the flag pin is the way to par the eighth hole while playing Bethpage Black.
(c) 2010 Christopher's Views