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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Bethel Wars: Round 2, Mom By 1

On the way to the 1st tee at Dinosaur Mountain
We went back to Gold Canyon Golf Resort and played the Dinosaur Mountain track for our second round.  Wes had forewarned me.  His knee was ready for action.  I had a foreboding of what was in store for me as I watched him warm up on the driving range.  He was still limping but he was transferring his weight and his shots were flying long and straight.  His drive was back and I knew before we teed off that the second round was going to challenge me.  I can't beat Wes off the tee when he's on his game.   But I can generally beat him when we're inside 100 yards and wielding our flat sticks if I stay in the short grass and hit straight until I get to the putting surface.

The Dinosaur Mountain course is great fun to play, winding through the Superstition Mountains and providing a spectacular backdrop for a round of golf.   We agreed that it was our favorite of the three tracks.  The vista, the challenges, the opportunities to take risks with big payoffs all made for an exceptional day on the links.

I got off to a good start and had Wes down 3 by the 5th hole, but I knew it wasn't going to be another runaway round.  When Wes hit an amazing tee shot on the 6th hole that took off to the left of the fairway but then got a perfect ricochet off a tile roof and ended up back in the fairway and within a gentle chip shot of the green, I felt the earth shift.  He took the hole with a birdie and even though he patted me on the back and gave me a loving filial smile after I retrieved my ball from the cup, as I watched him swagger off the green I knew the battle lines had been drawn.

When we made the turn I was holding steady, still 2 up, but by 13 he was 1 up and had found his game.  On the other hand, I was running out of steam.  Two rounds in two days is a lot of golf for this girl, and I'd lost some of my power.  Still, by 16 I'd fought my way back to all square.

When we pulled up to the 17th tee I knew I needed to bear down and stay focused.  He did too.  There wasn't any more friendly banter.  We'd stopped talking about his career path, my grandchildren, his girlfriend, my golf blogging -- the topics that bind our time together on the golf course to the rest of our lives which are, for the most part, lived separately.  17 was a push.  We both needed 18 to win.  He missed his putt and I didn't, and as we walked back to the cart we agreed that Dinosaur Mountain had been a fine testing ground.

Now there were two dollar bills on the table at the rental and the non-golfing Bethels and their partners were beginning to communicate back and forth among themselves with raised eyebrows.

With one round remaining, Wes reminded me that the fat lady didn't sing yet, although I thought I could actually hear her warming up in the wings.  I was beginning to have fantasies of a clean sweep!