Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ace In The Hole

Today something happened...

I'll start this post off by talking about poker, since it's been so big a part of my life for so long and had an influence on today. Back in the earliest days of my poker playing I used to drive to Seneca Casino, sometimes with Matty and others, sometimes I was there alone. You should have felt the rush the first time I flopped a set playing 2/4 limit... my adrenaline pumped, my hands shook like jello. It was as high as you can feel without chemical help I imagine. Well, since then I've flopped lots of sets, turned lots of boats, rivered lots of backdoor draws. I'm not saying I don't feel the rush anymore, but it isn't what it used to be.

This weekend at golf was fairly typical. Saturday I shot a very reasonable 76 from the tips with my buddy Dr. K visiting, and Sunday I shot a tough 82 finishing the last 5 holes in crazy windy conditions and the rest wasn't much better. The wind was as tough as I can remember -- I would have been happy with 80 so 82 from the tips was... OK this day. So, nothing much interesting from this weekend.

And then... today happened.

I rarely play golf during the week, it's a mixture of being busy, being lazy, and having my usual golf buddies uninterested in 9 holes after work rounds. My girlfriend Lindsay is a total beginner at the game and has decided to play in a league with her co-workers -- they all stink but they like the game and that's what matters. Today, her other players canceled, all of them. She called me up and asked me to play... I didn't really feel drawn to it as the track is lovingly known as "The Dump", a reclaimed former landfill turned into a city owned golf course -- a municipal golf course. I said yes because I want her to play the game and frankly it's not a bad thing for me to get out of the house, even to play a ridiculously short course like this one. It was actually nicer than I remember it 10 years ago when I last played, but it's no big deal overall and doesn't compare to where I normally play.

I was really just out there goofing around, hitting shots the other hackers thought were good. When i stepped onto the 4th tee -- it, through some random re-routing of the course was actually the 12th hole but it was my 4th. The hole was listed at 162 yards, though it looked longer and probably played slightly longer since he green sits slightly elevated from the tees and the tees were set back of their measured distance.

I drew my 6 iron, took a practice swing and hit a very pretty shot straight at the pin. It bounced once on the green then seemingly hit the flag on a bounce. A guy who left the green just seconds before threw his hands in the air and jumped around. I didn't feel a thing.

I asked my group members "did that just go in?". It must have, since the guy was jumping around. I put my arm in the air to acknowledge the jumping guy and he screamed "It's In".

The guy near the green, who I never did meet, continued to jump around in wild excitement with his arms in the air. I felt nothing -- it was like making a birdie -- no big deal. My group members congratulated me and shook my hand. I felt nothing.

I made my first hole in one today at age 30 on a 162 yard hole on a ridiculous little course. It probably isn't even an official hole in one since the course is only 9 holes right now and we only played as many, but I don't really care.

I must either be in shock still or poker's ups and downs took from me some of the ability to feel joy when something truly great happens. My first hole in one was plucked from the hole with a consummate poker face.

Cliffs Notes:

Popped my hole in one cherry at a hacker golf course, felt nothing


Matt said...

Now that is a post!

What a great story for your first hole in one. Mozel tov!

Harris said...

That is a good one. Doesn't surprise me at all that you had no reaction to it. You've got ice in your veins.

Way to go on the hole in one.