a man in blue vest and red beanie holding a golf club
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I had a solid 5 and 4 win this week in my pennants match against a fairly well matched opponent handicap-wise. I invariably come away feeling pretty good about it and thinking better of my game. Golf and that winning feeling are all too rare but wonderful when they coincide. Yes, for a few days one can muse upon the idea that one is not such a bad golfer after all. Of course it doesn’t last long, indeed, once I tee it up again and fall short of the 36 points I will soon be put straight on the facts of the matter and current reality will find me short of the mark. Golf is a tough task master or mistress and victories are far and few between in the main.

a man standing on the grass
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Good Golfing Vibes in Victory

The adventure of golf is often hard to predict in terms of outcome I find. I mean I can get down to the course in plenty of time. I always try to give myself an hour to get ready, warm up, hit a few balls, stroke a few putts, and generally prepare for the round ahead. Some days It will all unfold in a perfunctory manner and the golf will flow. On others calamity awaits around every corner it seems and the scoring heads south very rapidly. Perhaps, something special was on the cards when my 90 metre pitch went in the hole to halve a hole I was well out of. The 25 foot downhill par putt on my 9th hole, which inched its way into the cup and looked like stopping several times it was going that slowly, for a half was probably another positive indication. Golf is a funny game.

Adam Scott on the golf book

Rare Golf & Footy Quinella Bonanza

I struck the quinella on this recent occasion with my footy team claiming victory over another top four team straight after my pennant’s match win. This bonanza of sporting achievements cheered me up no end. Barracking for a football team can be a real two-edged sword in terms of highs and lows, as you have no control over the outcome no matter how loudly you yell at the TV screen. I mean placing your happiness on the shoulders of 20 young men you have never met is a pretty crazy idea when you really think about it. At least in golf you have your own ineptitude or otherwise to influence the result.

Matchplay is the best form of golf in my view. The intensity of pitting your skills against another golfer of similar ability is pretty special. Mano on mano. The antagonistic nature of this contest is what sport is all about I reckon. Stroke play is the golfer against the golf course and in my experience the course usually prevails. Of course, matchplay needs to be played in the best possible spirit with a high degree of good sportsperson-ship between each competitor. The toing and froing, back and forth, as golfers exchange shots builds the tension and excitement on each hole. I hit a couple of really good shots onto the green in regulation on the first two holes of our back nine. The pressure built, as I was already 3 up, and the mental screws can twist on the player who is behind and falling further behind on the score.

man in gray polo shirt golfing
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However, things can turn and my opponent hit a monster drive on the next par 5 to be way in front on this hole. I missed the putt and he made it to reduce the lead to 4 up. Would this be the start of a shift the other way? Could I close it out without tensing up? This is the delicious recipe of matchplay, which keeps you engaged until the final putt drops for victory. It is exquisite in its demands upon the psyche of each competitor. On this occasion I would prevail and the match finished on the 14th hole. You walk a little taller off the course but it all begins again next week and the outcome is never guaranteed. Golf and that winning feeling are excellent company but who knows when we will meet in such fashion again.


Golfers vintage drawing
Golfers vintage drawing by The British Library is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0