As has become tradition when my wife and I visit Oregon, we ventured out to play a round of golf with my in-laws. The golf usually happens at Awbrey Glen, a nearby golf club that my in-laws belong to.
And as has become tradition with my golf game, there are memorable shots and there are forgettable shots - often more the latter than the former.
But by my horrible standards, today was a good day. I managed to play a string of six holes without losing a ball; of course, that streak ended the shot after I mentioned it to my father-in-law.
I hit my 7-iron particularly well, so much so that I considered hitting it for every shot, regardless of where I was. Teeing off on a par-5? I'll take the seven. No, the seven IRON. Thanks.
The round ended fairly well, I think. On No. 18, a downhill, dogleg-left par-5, I pulled out a driver for the tee shot. That was no small decision, considering every drive I hit sliced well right or, in one case, hooked well left.
But I made a conscious decision to let the club do all of the work, and not put any more effort into the swing than was absolutely necessary. I figured all of the mistakes happen when I try to put some muscle into the swing, so by removing that, the ball might actually go straight.
It did. The drive was short, even by an 11-year-old's standards, but it was straight. I pulled a 5-wood for the second shot, which was made more difficult by a large tree about 15 yards in front of me. Still, there was plenty of leeway around it to the fairway.
With my second minimalist swing, the ball again flew straight. But the club choice was a little bigger than I needed, and the ball caught the right rough. Still a good 190 yards away, I opted to try the 5-wood again.
That is when things took a turn.
The ball left the club beatifully, a nice trajectory headed to the green. But the flight path was interrupted by yet another poorly-placed tree and ricocheted off to the right. The ball, by all practical measures, was out of bounds, even if it technically wasn't.
But hey, this ain't the Masters, so I picked up the ball and tossed it back into the fairway.
I was left with a middle iron to the green. I pulled the appopriate club and shot. The trajectory was again pretty; but somehow, the ball managed to come off the club at a 45-degree angle. So instead of putting, I would again scrounge the woods to the right.
Instead, I sacrificed the ball to the golf gods and called it a day. I watched as the remaining three closed out their rounds.
I remarked to my wife later on that had I kept score, I would have written: S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S-S.
"S," of course, shorthand for suck.