A Tale of Two Courses

My partner and I were playing two different courses.

We started each hole on the same tee box, but from there, our paths diverged. The course I was playing was relatively well maintained; the one he was playing was as pockmarked as the face of the moon. My course was a decent test of golf; his was designed by a madman currently committed at Arkham Asylum.

Not surprisingly, given the state of the course, Paul was not playing well. The fairways narrowed at exactly the point where his tee shots landed. On occasion, the designer had seen fit to toss a fairway bunker right on his favored line.

Where Paul found the rough, it was unnaturally long. Even the sadists who set up the US Open had never attempted anything like he found that day. And when his ball landed on the fairway, it was nearly always in a divot.

The greens that he was playing were a nightmare. Cratered by ball marks, they made every putt bounce unnaturally. Spike marks – there seemingly were a large number of players wearing metal cleats on the plastic-only facility – directed his ball away from the hole.

I, on the other hand, was having a pretty good day. I realized that I couldn’t use my driver on every hole, so I hit a bunch of three and five woods. I saw a few divots—no more than you might expect – but none of them affected my swing. The rough was longer than the fairway, but that was just another reason to stay away from the driver. Bunkers made the course challenging. And the greens that I played were just fine; I never took more than two putts.

I had been paired with Paul by chance and the starter, and I doubt I’ll ever see him again. I’m curious, though, about his game. Was he a good player having a bad day? Is he a poor player who makes excuses to escape personal responsibility? Or does he have a natural inclination to see the worse that gets in the way of his game.

All I know is that if I had to play the course he was playing, I’d quit golf.


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