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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My Shot of the Day

On the whole, I didn't play a memorable round of golf today.  I was a little slow getting out the door this morning and didn't have time for a proper warm-up before the women teed off.  Various parts of my old body were complaining and resisting in one way or another.  I fumbled my way through the first hole, which just isn't the way to start a round of golf.  It was slightly too hot and slightly too humid to be pleasant, except when I could take temporary refuge in the shade and let the breeze function as my personal air conditioner.

But I had some good shots to tuck into my memory bank and I had one shot out of a bunker that was downright terrific -- it would have qualified for a Golf Channel replay!

I was playing the par-5 11th hole on my home course.  I'd hit a fairly limp, little-old-lady drive -- it's saving grace was that it was in the center of the short grass -- and followed it up with an explosive, Mighty Girl second shot that put me inside 100 yards to the green.  The pin was tucked behind the left greenside bunker and I could hear Barb -- who was playing today in the group behind me, but whose advice and admonitions tend to echo around inside my head whether or not we're playing together, telling me, go for the center of the green, don't try to fly that bunker.

So that's what I did, almost.
As I set up my third shot I thought: maybe I could slide just right of the bunker and let my ball roll up the green and take advantage of the left slope.  Maybe I'll get lucky and the ball will get just close enough to let me get up and down for a birdie.  I birdied the par-5 15th hole last week.  Why not the 11th today?  
Why not, indeed?  In other words, my mind wandered and I was thinking about way too many unrelated matters when I set up my third shot.

Why it is so difficult to focus only on the shot I'm going to take next?  I know it's the most important shot in my round, yet I can start time traveling forward and backward in a heartbeat.

So I ended up in the bunker.

That's generally not a problem for me.  I'm not sure why this is the case, but for the most part I come out of sand easily.  I don't start trembling when I have to go dig in and deal with it.  (Water's another matter, but I'm not writing about water hazards right now.)

There's a bit of a lip on that bunker, so I opened up my sand wedge as I've been taught, snugged my feet down into the sand and established a stable, comfortable stance, and took my swing.  I expected to come up out of the sand, which I did; and I expected to lob the ball up over the lip of the bunker, which I did; and I expected to land the ball on the green, probably above the pin, which I did.  I hoped the ball wouldn't roll too far after it hit the green.  I've never figured out how to spin the ball, and as a result it inevitably travels after it lands on the green.  But this time it hit the green, made a quick quarter of a turn, and sat down like a well trained retriever.

I could almost hear Cristie Kerr yelling, Sit! Sit!  I almost expected that ball to give me a secret smile and a wink.  I was astonished!

I confess that I have no idea how that strike differed from every other sand shot I've ever executed.  Maybe Tommy can help me.  I want to be able to execute this shot again, and again, and again!

Maybe Annika can give us some pointers on getting that spin consistently: