Ever wondered how your game compares to the rest of the world? While looking into this recently, I found that about 33% of golfers will break 90 in their lifetime. Surprising no? Here’s one for you, only 5% of world wide golfers will ever break 80! That’s not on a consistent basis, just a one time outing.
I still remember the first time I broke the 100, 90, 80, and 70 marks. I’ll tell them now with the hope that you readers will send in your stories as well.
As an 8th grader on the Jr. High golf team I was playing in a tournament. Coming into the 18th hole, I knew I was playing good but I refused to look at my card and add up the strokes. The 18th hole at Spanish Oaks is a par 5 with out of bounds left and trees right. I beat the driver down the middle and then hit one of the best three woods of my life onto the green. I proceeded to three putt but at that time, a three putt meant nothing to me. I hadn’t been playing golf long enough to care much. When I finally got to check out the card I realized that I’d shot 89. Not just breaking 90 for the first time, but 100 as well!
Breaking 80 happened about a year later. In my first real golf and gambling expedition I shined. Only had a couple bogeys and shot a 76 on my home course. Looking back on it, that was really the year that I fell in love with golf and really decided to work at it. That was also the year I fell in love with gambling and betting but we’ll save that for another day.
70 was one I wasn’t sure would happen. It just happened this last year and it happened in the weirdest of ways. I’d started a lifting routine three days earlier so I was sorer than I ever remember being. I was playing a course I’d never played before and I’d just switched to a belly putter. (Yes, it was that bad.) I stepped up on the first tee and proceeded to cold top my drive into a lake that was really only there for scenery. I make triple on the first hole and figure the round is over. It was a whole other ball game from there though. I made 7 birdies en route to a 69. Remarkable for all the things playing against me, but that’s golf for you.
In talking with the old man a while back, I discovered that he had never broken 80 himself and was happy with his round if he was anywhere below 90. (Side note: it used to be as long as he beat me. Let’s just say that dream has been dead and gone for quite a while now.) Now, he only gets out on the course maybe ten times a year so he may not be the best example.
Having worked at a golf course for the past five years, I’ve had the chance to meet many people who fall into the same scoring category as the old man. They’ll stroll in after breaking 90 and be absolutely thrilled with their round. I suppose that’s what makes golf so great. The type of person who plays golf consistently knows that you’re not out there competing against anyone but yourself. Last year in one of the biggest tournaments of the year at my local course, I put together two of my better rounds, only to take second. I knew I couldn’t have done much better so I was content with the result. Then there are the days when nothing is going right. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to hit your shots. Those are the days when you tell yourself, “That’s it, we’re done with this.” And yet, there you are a week later. The drive that keeps us coming back is really our own abilities. It’s the time you hit that perfect shot, the time you sank the impossible putt, it’s the drive to keep getting better and improving yourself.
Let’s hear your stories of how you broke the scoring barriers! Either leave them in the comment section or send them into the mailbag. If we get enough, I’ll be sure to post them so everyone can bask in your enjoyment. On second thought, let’s hear your hole-in-one stories as well. Or any other shots that you deem necessary!
Original Posted on 3/18/10 by John Ward
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