Tuesday 4/1/11 A lesson in Humility and Good Sportsmanship was the result from a 9 hole Ambrose competition Monday afternoon. It is obvious to readers of my posts from the 2010 Season playing competitive golf and trying to win is a definite part of my enjoyment of the game. Enjoying social rounds and accepting the days when my game is not going to be good enough or so bad that it resembles a game of hockey played by someone who is deaf, dumb and blind is just as important to me.
During January the Club Professional is running a 9 hole 2 player Ambrose on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, $20 entry per team of two, complimentary sausage sizzle after the round. The Prizes are $100 voucher for First place and $50 Voucher for the runner up on each day. Plus NTP, a $50 Accommodation Voucher. All up they are what I call substantial prizes on offer and something that I will enter in and play as well as possible to try and win. Yesterday after 6 holes and missing a couple of birdie chances my partner and I were still square with the card, playing well enough to be enjoying the game and still in with a chance to come in under the card. As a pair of 18 and 19 handicap players, that in itself would have been a good enough reward for having a crack in the competition.
On the 7th hole my partner hit off first and faded onto another fairway with the requisite call of “fore”
to the players there, even though we did not see where the ball finished it was well placed enough from experience for the next shot to be from the adjacent fairway on the par 5. So I chose to take the risk and load up a bigger drive attempt, it went disaterously wrong and sailed out into the realms of the Bermuda Triangle never to be seen again. Unfortunately the first ball could not be found and the players on the fairway at the time had moved on to the green and were putting out. In our search to find the missing ball we did find another but after asking the other group they said it was not theirs and that was the end of our challenge for the competition.
It was about now that my temper began to rise, I can wear making mistakes in rounds that cost success. Unfortunately I do get into a very concentrated attitude when playing for a win and the frustration at losing a ball was enough to make me steam up. A little talking to myself and attitude adjustment during the walk to the next tee block, followed by a 260m drive took the edge off. It was a timely little lesson that reminded me of the period in 2010 when I had a several anger fuelled moments in practise rounds at the frustration of my game slowly becoming better.It was also a really good moment in showing how differently I approach playing social golf and competitive rounds.
My partner and I could have chosen to play the found ball and say nothing about it but did not choose the cheating path. It is interesting to be sitting here and realising how easily he cheating choice could have been justified, but morally I just could not do it. The thought of having played on as if nothing happened makes my guts go tight and is a very uncomfortable feeling. When watching a game of soccer and seeing players take “stage dive’s” for free kicks or penalty shots on goal I get the same feeling of umbrage at seeing blatant cheating. In soccer the umpire wears the bile of a crowd for paying a free kick, in golf it is up to a player or the marker of their card seeing a transgression. It was a good feeling to know that winning does not mean so much, that I would stoop to cheating. “Hit ‘em Straight all” Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff