Golf is a game of skill that is rivaled by few others. Manipulating a tiny ball well enough that you can make it go where you want to after hitting it 200 yards is quite amazing if you really think about it. Most people need to spend years practicing to get themselves to a somewhat respectable level of competence. Still, there is an undeniable factor that often is the difference between what we hackers consider good and bad. It’s called luck and it can be exhilarating and maddening.
Ever hit a bump in the fairway with your ball only to see it bound off into the woods? I have and it just isn’t fair. How in the world can you finally hit a good shot only to see it cost you strokes? You might even tell your friends about it and how it robbed you of finally getting that score you were working so hard for.
Ever hit a tree square in the middle of the trunk only to have it bounce 37 times and end up right in the middle of the fairway? I have. Oddly, I don’t ever count that shot as anything other than a good one. I just goes down on my score card as a fairway I hit and I rarely make mention of the incredible circumstances to anybody.
That’s golf for you; a veritable mixture of skill and luck that separate the pars from the bogeys and the bogeys from the doubles. It’s something you have to take in stride to maintain your sanity. There is nothing quite like the day where the bounces are in your favor. The balls you thought you lost are sitting there like you hit them perfectly and instead of burning edges you are dropping putts. You have to cherish those days, because it’s a given that you’re going to hit the longest drive of your life when you’re sure that you’ll be short enough to stay out of the water. Or maybe your well executed layup will hit a sprinkler head and bounce out of bounds. There’s not much you can do but accept it for what it is and move on.
I’m not saying that luck is all that separates the bad from the good. It only goes so far and the luckiest golfer in the world still won’t break par without a good swing and putting stroke. However, I can almost guarantee that the worst golfer in the world could somehow manage to hit a hole in one. We all have that magical moment in us somewhere that is waiting to show itself. Some of us will be fortunate enough that it does so during our lifetime.
So, enjoy it when you can and ignore it when you have to. Luck is there on the course with you whether you like it or not. It will be your time soon enough. Thanks for reading and I hope that some good breaks come your way the next time you’re out on the course.