We have all been there sitting in your car after a tough round of golf wondering what the hell just happened? Each hole is reviewed and each stroke over handicapped norm is scrutinized. The question you have to ask yourself was “Did the golf course win or did I lose?”
What Makes a Golf Course Tough?
Not all golf courses are created equal and some are sneaky with their tricks and traps. The tough golf courses make you pay for mistakes and mishits. These can range from tight fairways to thick rough that hangs menacingly close to the fairway. Scrambling will take you only so far at these courses.
This simple par 4 dog leg right is easy unless you end up in the wasteland of the biggest sand trap I ever been IN. Once in the trap, just take four strokes and throw you ball out. There is no strategy going forward. Out and out quick is our only play.
This is an example of the course winning. If the design of the course through water, sand, or green undulation (I love that word to describe greens as it literally rolls off the tongue like a hilly green) costs you strokes, the course wins.
What if You Play Like Crap?
We all played below our potential from time to time. If my driver fails me, my day is screwed and I can count on tickling triple digits. Sure I will end up in the rough or water and rack up the penalty shots but the course architect did not place the woods on the right knowing I would neglect a straight shot for a banana slice. These are days where I lost and the course just got in the way.
In the End, Does it Matter?
This is a philosophical question that has an easy answer. No. When I play bad, I want to hit the range and fix my errors. When a course beats me up, I want to come back for revenge. I play White Clay Creek over and over not because I like donating golf balls to spirits of the forest but when I par the 9th hole, I feel great.
Either way golfers do not know the definition of the word quit. And we all know a plethora of words that require a deposit in the swear jar. Shake it off. Go buy some more golf balls and some self esteem and sign up for next Saturday’s tee time.