Keep Going.

“Never give up. Never surrender.”

A few weeks ago, my friend Mark and I, hit up a short course in the mountains around Lake Tahoe.

With 4 par fours, 14 par threes and an overall par of 58, I thought for sure I’d finally be able to break 80. Not that I would actually accept that as being a real score, but it quickly became a joke that day.

Just as quickly, I realized how hard that was going to be. I topped my first drive, and then two shots after that and walked away from the first hole with a double bogey.

Not a good way to start.

On the third hole, hope reignited when I got up and down from the bunker and saved par. Then I hit a beautiful little chip on the fourth that cozied right up next to the hole for my second par of the day.

That feeling didn’t last long.

I couldn’t seem to pull off anything reasonably close to par on any of the next nine holes. By the time we reached the 13th, I’d pretty much given up for the day.

The third par 4 of the day, I spun a little 5 iron out to the right and my ball ended up right next to a tree. The only hope I had was to chip it back into the fairway, left-handed, with an upside down club. It wasn’t the most promising thing I’d ever attempted.

While I didn’t par the hole, I did make a pretty impressive swing on that left-handed shot. The ball punched out of the trees and right back into the fairway just like I drew it up. (Yes, I have video evidence.) it gave me just enough confidence for what was to happen next.

As we arrived at 14 tee, a 185 yard par 3, the group in front of us was putting out. As they walked off the green, Mark lined up his shot. He hit it pretty good but not quite far enough.

Then I went up. Without a care in the world, I sent a screaming 6 iron into the back of the ball and watched as it screeched toward the left side of the green. At first, I thought, “Oh no, I’ve pulled it,” but a split second later it began to peel back to the right.

“This could be really good,” I thought.

I watched the ball bounce on the green, pretty much on target and immediately my hands went straight into the air. The first great shot I’d hit all day.

As we arrived at the green, one of the women in the group preceding us said, “I’d say that’s a gimme.” There was my ball, two and a half feet from the hole.

Golf is a fickle game, but it always gives us reason to keep coming back. I had to fight for three-quarters of a round to find mine, but if you swing enough times one always pops up.

You best believe I putted the damn thing out.

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