Having come in recently with rounds of 79 and 84, I was ready yesterday for more evidence that finally had solved the issues that plagued my swing all this year. Instead, I got a lesson in “almosts.” As in “almost cleared that bunker”; “almost got past that tree” and; “almost got it in the hole.” On the first hole, I “almost” hit it on the screws. The ball took off like a rocket and straight as an arrow, but at a fifteen degree angle from where I was aiming. That put me off the fairway, where I “almost” had a line of sight to the hole. A tree on my line forced me to chip out. On the second, with a three wood from 210 —trying to reach the green in two on a par 5—I “almost” cleared the top of a fairway bunker. On the third, I “almost” plopped in for a hole-in-one. On the fourth, I “almost” got it in for a par putt; instead the putt circled the hole and traveled another two feet.
And so it went. In the end, I limped in with a 44 on the nine. Considering the number of “almosts,” I actually was playing pretty well. But it brings home the lesson—and the cliche—that golf is a game of inches. And on that day, I was just an inch short.
I’m not sure it really mattered though. It was November 15, and I was playing in a sweatshirt.