After opening my last league round with a solid, if unspectacular run of two pars and a bogey, I began to entertain the conceit that I was finally getting over the winter doldrums. I had found fairways and greens on two of those and just missed the green on the par 3 second. Things just seemed to click.
The Golf Gods promptly punished me for my hubris.
From the elevated tee on the par five fourth, I pulled my first shot, sending the ball over the fence and out-of-bounds. Disappointing, but not disastrous. I was at that point still confident I could salvage the hole.
After my partner and opponents had taken their hacks, I re-teed and hit my third. Dead left, out of bounds. I reloaded for six, this time with a four iron—a club which I had played with certainty and great effectiveness off the tee on the first hole.
The four iron sliced badly left, hitting a branch and trapping me behind a stand of trees, underbrush and swamp. I was dismayed not to have found fairway, but I was at least off the tee.
From that location, I found two options: hit the ball back to the tee, or try to go forward over the trees. I went with the second. I didn’t want to see that tee box again, and was confident that I could hit a towering wedge and find the fairway on the other side.
More punishment. I hit a branch at the very top of the last tree and the ball went straight down into the muck. A drop, another ball. Aiming slightly left of the offending tree. Same branch. Same result. Another drop. This time, back to the tee, then finally forward to the hole.
Five shots later, I was in. The Golf Gods had turned me into their Job.
Then, as if to further demonstrate their cruel and capricious nature, those same small Gods relented. I birdied the next hole.