Today was perhaps the last “good” weather day here in Salt Lake. I got together with my regular Thursday buddies (yes it is Wednesday for those counting) Marius (sumi-g) and Arnie my long time golf buddy. We were joined by “Shanego” who is an old pal I’ve reunited with. Shane’s handicap is higher than the rest of us and I worry about him getting crushed and losing a bunch of money. That didn’t happen today.
The weather was warm as was my ball striking. I had a few wild shots, and the dry conditions meant lots of roll on the hard ground. Balls were going 20-30 yards long for me. I had a 200 yard 7-iron and I’m not Tiger Woods.
The intensity was high today. All four of us were playing fairly well, though my usually trusty putter wasn’t “on” as normal. I missed 3-4 putts which would almost be guarantees for me. That got to me, but I worked through it.
Marius started out the back mega hot with three birdies in a row. On #10 he topped my 1-footer for birdie on a hole which is almost never birdied.
On the 13th hole, Shane and I brought out the big guns. We brought out the secret weapons: Cigars.
The intensity was peaking the last few holes as Arnie and Marius had to start pressing me and my partner Shane. Shane and I “ham & egged” it perfectly. When one of us would falter the other would at least tie or even win the hole. Though my putter was not firing on all cylinders I made a clutch par putt on #16 from about 10 feet. On #17 when there are presses all over the place and a chance to put Arnie and Marius away, Shane makes birdie! Game, set, match. Forget my “1 out of 10” chip which ended up two inches from the hole, Shane’s birdie was awesome. The assistant pro even happened to be there to watch me running around and high-fiving Shane. He absolutely knew what that putt meant and had a great look on his face.
In the end Shane didn’t lose money. He won money and so did I. I won’t be retiring any time soon, but it was great to hear Marius squeal about losing $4 to me when he had the chance to bury me with all those birdies.
Great friends, cigars, great golf, intensity, birdies flying, competition, dollars flying…. THAT is what it is all about.