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My Best Golf Drive Drove Me From the Game

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Did you every hit a golf drive perfectly?  I did and that is the last time I went golfing.

My experience with golf was limited to par-three courses.  On those courses, usually less than 200 yards a hole, one used an iron to get to the green and a putter to finish the hole.  I could use irons and putters but any club with wood at the end of it and I was lost.  

One Summer day during college break, I went golfing with two friends on a par 72 course.  It wasn't my idea but I decided to give it a try.  So, I picked up the bag of clubs from the garage and we were off.  That bag contained a couple of woods, irons, putter and the dreaded driver.  The 8th and 9th holes are the only ones I remember from that day.  I had just teed off at the 8th hole with a wood and sliced the ball sharply into the woods.  Normally, I would tee off with an iron but I thought I wood try the wood.  That's all I remember from the 8th hole.  

Next was the 9th.  It was a 300 yard hole with an elevated tee.  As we looked down to the green, we saw two golfers on the green putting out and one waiting in a golf cart just off the front of the green.  It was my turn to tee off and I was waiting for the trio to clear the green.  The other members of my threesome told me to tee off because I wouldn't get anywhere near the green.  They jokingly said anyone on an adjacent hole was in danger not the threesome on the green.  I thought about it and walked over to the bag and pulled out the driver.  I was determined to keep it in the fairway even if I had to dribble it 50 yards.  I took a measured swing and hit the ball.  No grass was flying, no dirt, no divot.  I looked to each side to spot my ball and couldn't see it.  Where'd it go?  I asked.  My friends said it was still going in the air and straight for the green.  We all watched it head for the green . . . and that golf cart.  The three of us began yelling fore at the golfers in front of us.  And then it happened.  My ball landed, not in the fairway and not on the green.  It landed on that golf cart a few feet from hitting the guy in it.  I had driven the ball about 290 yards on the fly directly at the hole--with my driver.  If the golf cart hadn't been there, the ball would have rolled close to or into the hole before it stopped.  All of us were stunned.  The threesome in front of us couldn't believe the ball came from the tee.  My threesome--including me--couldn't believe the ball came from me.

I don't remember if we finsihed the last nine holes that day.  If we did, I don't remember anything about them.  All I can see is that ball banging off that gold cart and nearly beaning someone.  That was it.  When I got home, I put the bag of clubs in the garage and never took them out again.

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Bob,  I’m sorry that your most memorable shot drove you from the game. 

I called my most memorable drive “My Almost Perfect Drive” or “My Almost Hole in One”.

I had just turned 18. I graduated from high school the week before and had three weeks of my last “freedom” before entering the Air Force Academy and the dreaded Basic Cadet Summer. 

 A couple of friends and I played golf  at our local nine hole course most every afternoon that month.  I had to borrow my dad‘s golf clubs because I didn’t have any and was basically learning how to play golf. Even though the course was at least fifty years old, we had sand greens, not grass greens. 

On one day, our first round of nine holes was a lot of fun. So we decided to play one more round to make it eighteen.

The third hole was a fairly short par three with the tee located on a hill overlooking the green. My drive  off the elevated  tee box looked beautiful. It was a straight shot, directly  at the middle of the sand green. , The ball rolled a short distance and stopped within six feet or so of the flag - which, we discovered,  had been moved a few feet by the greens keeper sometime after we played the hole during the first round. When we walked up to the green, I could clearly see the trail of the ball’s short roll mark in the compact sand.  It had landed in front of the old cut for the cup and rolled perfectly across it about three feet past it. 

That was my one and only “Almost Hole in One”. 

Edited by joel hoffman

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