In a previous story I told you I lived and played at PGA West, home of the infamous Stadium Course.
During my “effective” years, I shot some really low rounds out there from the back tees (65 being the best). There is no substitute for those days when you are driving it long and straight, making putts and playing a course you know really well.
I have a really good friend who I have known from my junior golf days. He now owns The King of the Cage MMA association. He is also a long hitter and at the time of the upcoming story, was about a 5 handicap.
He came out to visit me and we went to play the Stadium from all the way back. I remember the tee shots because it probably led to the rest of the story. I hit a 3-wood that was kind of a toe hook into the light rough and my friend hit a big block that almost went into the driving range. After our tee shots, another twosome came to join us and before the introductions…
“Hi guys, wanna have a little match. (To me). You look about as good as me, what are you, about a 4 or 5?…and your buddy looks about the same as my boy here, about an 18? How about $20 per hole per man and we play even?”
My friend and I could barely contain ourselves, but we calmly agreed. The match was relatively uneventful through 4 holes. I had made 4 pars and we were one up. For those of you not familiar with 5 and 6 at the stadium, 5 is a dogleg left par 5 called double trouble. There is a lake left off the tee and another lake short and right into a really small green. Not very accessible in two for most golfers with the mid 90’s equipment. Number 6 was a 255 yard par 3 with a huge lake short and any ball that misses right is also wet…the green is very big.
Anyway, I out drove Mr. Bigmouth’s best tee shot by about 80 yards, knocked it on the green and made a 20 footer for eagle. Down two, they pressed. I then hit a cut 1-iron about 4 feet to a right pin tucked against the water after my friend hit it 30 feet. I made another birdie and they pressed again. It never dawned on these fools while I was shooting 68 and my “18 handicap friend” about 78 on one of America’s hardest courses, that we were a lot better than they were and they kept pressing all day. Turns out they were a +1 and an 8 and thought they were going to hustle us, but, “we ran into two guys playing out of their minds.”
At least they paid us the several hundred dollars they owed us.
As I always like to balance out a story where I brag about how awesome I was, with one that showed how pitiful I could also be…the next story will be about the most wasted hole in one of all time…and it happened on this same Stadium course and the hole in one was on the famous island 17th.