Hey Mom, hope you like this picture of your four sons. We’re not getting into any kind of trouble, not fighting with teachers or the law or each other, just playing a bit of golf on a sunny day like perfect little gentlemen. Didn’t we turn out great?
I played golf today with my brothers at Willows Run (Coyote Creek course). We’ve all played together as a foursome a few times before, but not for many years. By the way, for those who don’t know us, the order in the photo is Doug-Brad-Greg-Ken. I’m the oldest (by age it goes Doug-Greg-Ken-Brad) and the shortest (that order also goes Doug-Greg-Ken-Brad).
Greg, Brad, and I are golfers, dogged victims of inexorable fate. We’ve all gone through phases of loving and hating the game, phases of playing well and often, not well and not often, and other less logical combinations.
Ken, on the other hand, doesn’t play except for a rare round with friends or his brothers. Some years he never gets the clubs out at all.
Today Ken shot 119, and the rest of us were in the 86-97 range. (That’s my faux-modest way of saying I shot the low score, of course.)
We had great weather and great conditions. We started behind a group outing, but they had a shotgun start earlier in the day and the foursome we were following had started on #9. So we had to wait a bit on the front nine, but suddenly on #9 we had nobody ahead of us on the rest of the course, because they were all done. So on the back nine we never waited for anyone or had anyone close behind. It’s pretty rare to get that on a sunny summer weekend at a busy course.
I meant to hit my hybrid more today, because I’ve been hitting it well at the range in the last week, and in my last round of golf I hit some good shots with it. But that club surprised me with its inconsistency — I only hit it three times, twice poorly.
My driver, though, was the best it’s been all year. I hit 2-iron pretty well off the first tee, so tried driver on #2 and hit it long and straight, so I stuck with the driver all day. I hit a bunch of good drives that left me wedge shots to the par 4s, and had makeable birdie putts on a couple of par 5s (both of which I missed). I started snap-hooking it on the last few holes, but hey I’m the oldest and I was probably getting a bit tired.
Greg had a new Ping driver he was hitting really well. He has all new Ping clubs this year, and he hit some great shots with them. Ken hit Greg’s new driver quite a few times, and grooved a simple little swing that consistently knocked a 200-yard low fade down the middle. One of the fun things about golfing with Ken is that he’s always like a guy the first time out, eager to figure out how to advance the ball. The last time Ken hit Greg’s driver well, Greg wasn’t hitting it very well that day and Ken got a free driver at the end of the round. But today the new Ping was still in Greg’s bag when he left.
It was a fun round, and everyone hit some great shots and terrible shots. I had an interesting stretch on holes 5 through 9: birdie, birdie triple-bogey, triple-bogey, birdie. Effortless shots to the green on three of those holes, hand-jarring mis-hits on the other two. That’s so me.
By the 15th hole, we were all warmed up and enjoying our private back nine with no other golfers around. I hit a sneaky long drive, a low draw that bounced and rolled a mile, not least because the second bounce was a big forward leap off a cart path and back into the fairway. Greg then hit his new driver with the swing of the day, a long high draw that landed just short of mine and stopped quickly. Both balls were about 300 yards off the tee.
Brothers golf offers a great combination of competition and comfort, rivalry and familiarity. The next hole, #16, is a short par 4 with a very narrow fairway that curves left around a water hazard. Water left all the way, trees and rough terrain long and right. The green is only 250 yards away, so both Greg and I went for it after our big drives on the previous hole. And we both wound up in trouble right of the fairway, which we exacerbated by hitting poor shots from there on the way to double bogeys. Brad and Ken hit sensible shots off the tee, knocked it on in two, and Brad sunk a 25-footer for birdie while Ken merely 2-putted for par.
And a good time was had by all. We should do this more often.