A Game of Inch

@FourWalls (14114)
United States
June 18, 2017 8:28pm CST
There's a saying that you've heard a million times if you've ever watched baseball games or listened to them on the radio: "baseball is a game of inches." Certainly it's not the only one (how many football games were lost by missing a first down or the goal line by an inch or two?), but for some reason baseball announcers think it's the only game affected. It's, to some degree, understandable: home plate is 18 inches wide, and that's the width of a strike zone. While other sports might have a few inches decide a play or two, everything is baseball is decided by a width of 18 inches. Well, I'm here to tell you that golf is a game of inches, too. Or, at least it was today as I finally took a title at one of the courses I'd never previously won at. It was a very exciting tournament, beginning with the anxiety that we might not even get to play (considering it was raining as late as 8:00 and we had a 9:00 tee off). The rain cleared and we managed to slosh through wet carpets and rails (wet carpet can either be painfully slow or turn unbelievably fast, depending on the condition of the carpet; while wet rails will cause slides instead of bounces) with cloudy and much cooler conditions than we endured the previous two days. There were only two of us in the amateur division (due to a variety of factors including the threat of bad weather, the fact that it was Father's Day, and another tournament next weekend): Jeff and me. Two good players, two former state champions, going head to head. After one round he had a two stroke lead, that ballooned to six strokes after the second round. In the third round, I gained two strokes thanks to a 12 on the front nine (we tied on the back nine). Then came the final round. I shot another 12 on the front, while Jeff caught some bad breaks, including a bogey on hole nine, and finished the front with a 16. Nine holes to go...and we're tied. We stayed tied, too, through the difficult back nine. The troublesome hole 15, the one that I thought would make or break someone, turned out to be no problem as we both aced it. Then came hole 16. It's a deceptively easy design -- we have a hole just like it here that's as close to automatic as you can get. However, unlike our local hole, this one is finicky. If you're off by an inch that ball is not going in the hole; and, if you're the slightest too hard or too soft, it's going to lip out or not make it to the hole. Mine went in. His did not. A most unlucky break, because his shot looked fine. The hole just didn't give him the break. (I like to say of our game, "sometimes you get the hole, sometimes the hole gets you.") Two holes left, and I had a one-shot lead. Hole 17 is makeable, and also very easy to get into trouble (I did both today). We both took our deuce with no issue. On the 72nd and last hole my ball slid up the rail and landed at an unsavory location. I made my deuce putt to finish with a 27 for that round and a 119 for the tourney (which is 25 under par of 144). Jeff hit his ball perfectly, and everything lined up the way it was supposed to. I knew it would fall, and we'd head to an 18-hole playoff. It rolled right toward the hole....then stopped, no more than an inch away. He tapped in for a tournament score of 120. We both won this weekend (he won the first tournament on Saturday). Jeff and I have had some great "battles" on the courses over the years, but through it all he maintains the finest traditions of the "gentleman's game" of golf...even if it is just minature golf. A little Bing Crosby golf music for your Sunday evening:
Bing Crosby's enjoyable recording of "Straight Down The Middle" from 31/12/1957. The song was written for a short 1948 film called "Honor Caddy" with Bing Cr...
2 people like this
3 responses
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
19 Jun 17
"IT'S IN THE HOLE! IT'S IN THE HOLE! " Congratulations on the win!
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (14114)
• United States
19 Jun 17
Oh, we'd never quote that movie..... Your honor, your honor.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
19 Jun 17
@FourWalls - I love his little chuckle after he says that.
1 person likes this
@KrauseHome (35275)
• United States
19 Jun 17
Sounds like some definite Fun to be had here.
1 person likes this
@Saroj13 (81)
19 Jun 17
yep that's great