Do you remember that kid in school that took every test in school with the same pencil all year long? The horrid utensil was chewed and devoid of any color with a non-existent eraser, but it was “lucky.”
I’ve never been a very superstitious or “lucky”person, but after my most recent high school golf qualifier, maybe I should start being one.
Typically, high school golf qualifiers are quite formal: nine holes with no gimmes, no mulligans, and the ball always has to hit the bottom of the cup. This particular round wasn't informal, but the way that I scored was.
I started off with a solid first two holes, par and bogey to walk up to the third tee box 1-over for the round. I teed off from the elevated third tee box and put a huge hook on the ball sending it toward the weeds and trees to the left. While searching for my Nike golf ball along the tree line, I tripped over a fluorescent yellow Calloway golf ball. Normally I don’t hit colorful golf balls because I’m easily distracted (ask my girlfriend), but I threw this one in my bag and continued through the hole. I shanked my approach, got up and down and saved bogey.
I reached the next tee box and teed up my plain white golf ball. I looked at it, shook my head, and decided to spice things up. I knocked off the white Nike and placed the bright yellow ball up on the tee. As predicted I was getting distracted by the color, so I closed my eyes and swung for the heavens. I again hooked it with vengeance and it was heading for the bunker; that is until the ball ricocheted off of the 150-yard stake and bounced into the middle of the fairway. My jaw dropped as I walked back to my bag and I later parred the hole.
Two holes later I’m hitting from behind a tree, with the fluorescent Calloway lying on top of some sticks. For this particular round I had forgotten my golf shoes and had laced up my red and blue Vans. Without the best traction, I slipped as I hit the ball and knocked it directly toward the woods. The ball skipped off the cart path toward the trees, off a fallen branch, came back and hit the cart path again and landed on the green four feet from the hole. As I stepped back to admire my sheer talent (of hitting lucky golf shots) I had a grin from ear to ear. I couldn't lose this ball if I tried.
Two more holes later I’m in a sand trap next to the green. The fluorescent ball in the sand buried but yet the sand was very thin. I swung with all my might and crushed the ball out of the bunker (which isn't quite ideal when you’re right beside the green). To my delight, the ball bounced off the flag stick and deflected only a few feet away from the hole. I tapped in for par, laughing hysterically.
After I finished the next and final hole (no miraculous bounces on this one), I made a sacrifice to the golf gods and chucked the ball into the green-side pond. It was only fair and just that they now possessed the ball that had powers greater than their own.
Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer once said, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” And after that round, I might just never practice again. Sorry, coach.