Last weekend, I played a round of golf for the first time this millennium. Yet, despite that absence, I carded an impressive round of 67, a figure even Tiger Woods would settle for at this point.
Granted, I carded that over nine holes, but I don't see the need to cloud it with too many details. It was just good to know that my handicap remains the same as it did the last time I played 15 years ago -- that handicap being, of course, that I stink at golf.
There was a time that I wasn't the world's worst golfer. During the '90s, I usually shot in the low 90s -- and, yes, that was over a full 18 holes. The highlights of my golf career back then were two eagles (one with the help of a ricochet off a pine tree) and the other bumping into country music semi-stars Moe Bandy and Billy Joe Royal on the golf course and playing a few holes with them when they realized my partner and I were as hapless as they were.
Though it had been a more than a few years, I actually had a few decent shots. You ought to have a few decent shots out of 67. In fact, if I'd have had someone film my round and then edited the video highlights myself, you'd have thought I was a pro.
That's how the game of golf teases you. During a given round, any hacker will have a few shots that are Jack Nicklaus-like. The problem is that a hacker will have another 60 or so that are Gladys Mae Nicklaus-like -- and playing golf like the 85-year-old president of the Possum Holler Garden Club is nothing to be proud of.
But it's those few shots that stick in your mind and give you false confidence. I remember the beautiful chip shot to within 4 feet of the pin on No. 7 but completely forgot the four putts on No. 1. Because you have those few great shots, you just know that someday you'll be able to string all those great shots together and have the round of your life. You're wrong, of course, but you totally think that.
Only in golf can a way-below-average player pull off shots during every round equal to what a pro can go. I've never been under the illusion that the Falcons can let me return a kickoff without my getting decapitated -- and likely fumbling the ball,
too, once I'm headless. I'm pretty sure I'm not making any shots over the Miami Heat's Lebron James. And I'm not going to hit a 98 mph fastball from the Atlanta Braves' Craig Kimbrel -- and not just because I'm too busy laughing at that weird Spider-Man stance he has before each pitch.
But for a shot or two every round, I hit a shot like Tiger Woods. In a worst-case scenario, I can at least scream at someone in the imaginary gallery following me for snapping a picture during my backswing like Tiger Woods.
Speaking of backswings ...
I played this round with my wife, who may have less power than I do but is way more accurate -- and talkative -- than I am. The fellow I played with in the 1990s often would chat, but only while we were riding on the cart, saying stuff like, "Dang, Johnson! I guess even a blind turkey can find an orange every now and then." (I should point out that he was usually drunk by the eighth hole.) But I wasn't prepared for my wife's golf comments, such as "Ooo, check out those people's fire pit!" (I should point out that comment came during a backswing.)
At this moment, though, I'm not sure which is more dangerous -- getting hit by a Craig Kimbrel fastball or telling my wife to "Shush!" Either one is bound to leave you with a black eye.
-- Connect with Chris Johnson at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting or on Twitter @kudzukid88.