On Monday — my last day of freedom before returning to work for the fall semester — I decided to play at a familiar track: the Bill Newcomb-designed Calderone Golf Club. Sunrise was at seven; I was teeing off shortly thereafter.
I played the first three holes in a dark fog that obscured the fairways and greens. Fortunately, I had played Calderone many times before and knew where I was aiming.
My tee shot on the opening par five disappeared into a fog bank. I found it and hit into another fog bank. From there, it was pure guesswork as to where the green was. My GPS told me the distance, and I knew the approximate line. I missed the green by a couple of yards, but chipped up and putted in for a par.
On the par three second, I again knew the distance and the line but couldn’t see the green. A straight shot down the line found the green front. Two putts later, I had another par.
By the time I reached the fourth, the fog was lifting. I could make out the fairway, but not the distant green. I followed a drive to the left fairway with a six iron to the mostly visible green and two putted for another par.
I bogeyed the next, then went par, par, par, birdie. That’s when the wheels fell off. I got a double on the ninth. I bogeyed the ten through fourteen, then picked up pars on the next three. I bogeyed the eighteenth.
Later, in the lot as I added my scores, I realized that if I had made the up-and-down on the eighteenth, I would have broken 80 for the first time.
Reflecting on the round, I identified three other shots that kept me out. On the ninth, a wayward tee shot left me on a hillside in deep rough. I was unable to get out of that, ultimately resulting in a double bogey. On the tenth, after a 260 yard tee shot and a stellar second to perfect range for an eight iron, I shanked it right. I also missed an opportunity on the par five thirteenth, where I left my third shot woefully short.
And so it goes.