For every hero, there is a creature of darkness that our hero must defeat.  Each matches in their counterpart’s polar opposites.  This yin to yang identifies a nemesis.  The dictionary defines nemesis as:

nem·e·sis – the inescapable agent of someone’s or something’s downfall.

I like the definition by the character Bricktop from Guy Richie’s movie “Snatch.”

Do you know what nemesis means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent, personified in this case by a ‘orrible @#$%$, me.

My Nemesis Hole:

Once you play a golf course three times, there arises one hole that has you number and throws your scorecard down the kitchen garbage disposal.  You will be chugging along hitting your normal shots and then turn the cart path to THAT tee box and your heart drops.  This hole creates more snowmen than a Vermont winter.  After that damn hole, your mental game wobbles near ruins and you struggle to find your groove.
 
For me, White Clay Creek hole #5 represent my nemesis.  The hole layout runs a dog leg  to the right with a tee shot to carry 150 yard over a ravine to land your tee shot 200 yard leaving 120 down hill to a green protected by sand traps in the front and the back side of the green slopes into weeds and scrub.
The green itself lacks a level surface throwing putts past the hole if hit too hard.  To play this hole correct, one should hit a 4 hybrid or 3 wood nice and easy leaving an approach shot of about 130 to 150 yards leaving it short of the green to chip it within three feet of the hole.
 
The last time I played this hole, I scored a 7 after being 1 over par for four hole (a record pace for me).  I never really recovered between the ears after that.  SERENITY NOW!!!!!
Let’s talk about strategies to bend these demon spawn holes to own wills.

Golfing Strategies to Defeat Your Nemesis Hole:

  1. Admit your present strategy does not work.  If what you played in the past does not work, try something different. Try anything no matter how crazy it sounds.  If your drive always slices, hit your 200 yard club and accept a ball in play vs. a penalty stroke.  Play your 7 iron three times.  You fail because you say to yourself, “This time I will not lose THIS drive out-of-bounds.”  Doing something new there is no mental baggage of past poor experiences.
  2. Break the hole down into shots versus looking at it as a whole hole.  Ignore any the bunkers, water, carries, and other elements that are there to distract you.  The hole is 375 yards long.  This requires either 250 yard shot and 125 yard shot or 200 yard shot and 175 yard shot or 175 yard shot and 150 yard shot and 50 yard shot.  No where in your breakdown do you address the obstacles.  They are irrelevant.
  3. Practice the hole on the driving range.  On your next trip to the driving range, draw the hole in your mind and overlay it on the driving range.  Hit the clubs in order: Drive, 7 iron, wedge.  Repeat.  Driver, 7 iron, Wedge.  Repeat.  Get yourself psyched up like you are standing on the course.  Feel your confidence rise as you can beat the hole in your mind so reality has no chance on your next encounter.
  4. Seek professional help.  Grab a lesson with your local pro.  Describe the hole and your shot approach.  You might be trying so hard to beat this hole that your may be swinging too hard and your bad technique is coming to light. Let your pro determine if your swing needs slight adjustments to allow you to swing with more confidence.
  5. Offer a sacrifice to the golf gods.  Ask for safe passage before teeing up on your nemesis hole.  Take a brand new ball and kneel on the tee box and say, “Oh great golf gods, allow this humble player pass in peace.”  and cast the ball into the abyss of the hole.  The ball must be new and from your bag.  Don’t go stealing it from your partner’s bag.  If the golf gods deem the sacrifice true, you may escape the hole with a bogey and move on.

Every hole can be overcome.  Take a step back and figure out your best strategy.

What hole on which course is your nemesis hole?

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