I had a miserable round this evening (here in Northern Michigan at this time of the summer you can play until nearly 10 pm). I shot a 95 and it could have been much worse.
But I have an excuse. I was being buzzed by a pair of horseflies for 16 straight holes. I picked them up somehow on the teebox for the third hole and couldn’t shake them. They were like a bibical plague visited on a golfer.
Coating myself with bug spray didn’t help. Nor did trying to wave them off with my hat. I tried to outrun them on several occasions, but only left myself winded. The flies just buzzed along right with me. I looked through my bag, trying to figure out what it was that was attracting them. There wasn’t anyting unusual there. I wasn’t wearing anything different, either—just the usual Neutrogena hypoallergenic sun block. And yet somehow, those two had decided that I was the tastiest bit on the course.
Try to imagine the distraction those massive flying devils were causing. Buzz, buzz, buzz all the way down the fairway. Waving my hat constantly, I finally reach my position and get my club. I get set and begin the backswing. And at that moment, one lands on my neck. Knowing that they have a nasty bite I have to stop and try to swish it away. Once again I get set, and this time, one lands on a shoulder.
And after a few holes of this, it became a mind game. I would get set and then hesitate, anticipating a landing. I could hear them buzzing and just knew that they were waiting for the worst possible moment. They seemed to like my backswing a bit better than my downswing—but not by much. And they also were particularly enamored with my putting stance.
Once, one decided to land on my ball just as I was getting ready to make my downswing. I lunged at it, hoping to smash it to smithereens. I missed fly—and ball—and tore up a huge chunk of fairway.
After a half dozen holes, I began to feel like Job, upon whom God visited various pests and plagues to test his faith. Except in my case, it was the Golfing Gods sending horseflies to test my concentration. I cursed the skies and the course, and vowed that they would not defeat me.
The horseflies won. By the time I got to the 18th, even my normally excellent putting stroke was in shambles. I was putting with one hand, while trying to drive them off with my hat in the other.
But I’ve got a plan for the next horsefly plague: I am adding a can of flying insect killer to my bag.