How did I make a twelve on a par five hole? It's simple. I missed a four-foot putt for an eleven.
- Arnold Palmer
I'm not entirely sure what to think of the round I played a couple of days ago, but maybe that's because it was a bit of a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde sort of round. I shot yet another bad score in my 18-month slump which has seen my index jump by 3. Doubles, a triple, no birdies. But - get this - the LOWEST number of putts, and hence, the most up and downs, of any round I can recall! Technically 21 putts, though I had an additional 3 putts from the fringe.
A much more "Zen" golfer than I would be happy with that accomplishment. Some pretty amazing up and downs and the putter was magical. But how good does it really feel to one putt for a double bogey? One putting for a bogey when you've had to take a drop from a hazard is one thing. But one putting for a double after dropping your third shot on a long uphill par four in a bunker and leaving it in there on the first attempt is an entirely different matter.
How many bittersweet emotions can playing one game elicit in a lifetime? How can we desperately want to quit the game "for good!" yet be unable to imagine our lives without it? Are golfers just hardwired differently than other folks?
I can't explain it. Nothing about my passion for the game of golf makes a lick of sense. In fact, if I had to guess, I'll soon be writing and expressing my frustration about a decent scoring round in which I had my HIGHEST number of putts. Go figure.
Arnold Palmer explains it best, in the words all golfers have likely read before....
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.
- Arnold Palmer