GOLF: My First Hole-in-1
My partner has had an incredible 25 hole-in-ones. I can never dream of beating that record, though I have been very close many times. On April 26, I achieved the first of hopefully many.
Recently, the 9th on my golf course in the North East of England has become a bogey hole for both men and women golfers. It's an uphill shot across a slope to a green with a narrow entrance that is skirted on the left by two bunkers and with a bunker at the bottom of the hill on the right. At the moment, if you miss the green and land on the front anywhere near the right, the ball will roll between 25-40 yards down the hill or go in the right bunker, giving you a 15 yard shot to the green straight up hill. The prevailing wind generally blows from the left, so you need to aim slightly left from the tee. If you land in front of the green, you could get a bad bounce into a left hand bunker. Ideally, you need to choose the right club and hit the green from the get go. That's what I did on April 26.
As soon as I hit the shot and saw the ball hit the green, I thought, "with any luck that will go in" - and it did. But because it is an elevated green, I didn't see it go in. Three players on the elevated 10th tee above the 9th green did, however. They ran onto the green, waving their arms, woo hooing and shouting that it had gone in. They later told me that it hit the front of the green, ran straight up to the hole and teetered on the edge for a couple of seconds, and then went in. I think they were more excited than I was.
It's a great feeling, giving you a sense of achievement and I wish more golfers could do the same.
My partner always tells me that you have to hit a good shot and have a little bit of luck. I guess I am not as lucky as he is – but my luck was in that day. In the words of the great Arnold Palmer when he was congratulated on making a lucky shot: "It's a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get." So if I want more holes-in-ones, I will have to practice more.
For those folk who think, “Golf is a good walk spoiled” (a quote attributed to Mark Twain), I suggest they give it try. I've played a lot of different ball games over the years and I agree with Mr. Palmer, who also said, "Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening - and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented."
It is a particularly satisfying achievement for me personally because a few years ago I was diagnosed with Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) a condition that causes pains to my hands, wrists and arms and is caused through repetitive actions such as shorthand and typing. Clutching a pen in my hand for hours on end taking down speeches, political debates, interviews and court summations for years was the culprit. The condition was very painful and wrecked my golf. For years, I could hardly hit a ball and flirted with the idea of giving it up. But with encouragement from family and friends, I didn’t. Since retiring as a print journalist, my condition has eased a bit and I am playing better. Long may it last!
If you’d like to share an achievement of yours (hole-in-1 or otherwise), please get in touch. It might be learning a new skill, conquering a fear, publishing a book, winning an award or holding your baby in your arms for the first time. Whatever it is, I’d love to hear about it.
Click HERE to read some other golf quotes that you may enjoy.
Thanks for reading and don't forget to keep reaching for the stars