Throughout the morning, I had been experimenting with moving the ball forward in my stance during my tee shot, and the change had improved the trajectory and consistency of my drives considerably.
For my last tee shot, I decided to move the ball up even further. I had no chance for a decent score, so a bad tee shot was not going to ruin my day.
I was wrong.
I had placed the ball so far forward in my stance that as I swung, I had to reach out and bend in order to hit it, causing the ball to fly straight up and curving right in the direction of the the first green, about 30 yards to my right. Four guys were on the green, lining up their putts, unaware that the moron on the adjacent tee box had somehow found a way to hit a ball at a 90 degree angle in their direction.
I saw the ball almost immediately and nearly yelled “Fore!” before determining that its trajectory would thankfully land the ball well short of the green and at a safe distance from the foursome who were preparing to putt. They might see or hear the ball land nearby, but none were in danger of being hit by it. I sighed the sigh of someone who has avoided embarrassment and humiliation of the worst kind.
Then the ball landed, striking the asphalt cart path and launching 30 feet back into the air in the direction of the green again. Before I could warn the guys on the green, my ball landed in the middle of the foursome, barely missing two of them as they prepared to putt.
I am rarely embarrassed on the golf course. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was embarrassed. Since I am a below-average golfer, I feel very little pressure while playing, and even the worst of shots don’t rattle me. The best players in the world hit horrendous shots. I just hit more of them.
But hitting your tee shot onto an adjacent green while a foursome is putting is pretty bad (and probably impossible to ever repeat), and failing to warn the players that the ball was coming makes it even worse. I’ve been playing golf for four years and have never seen anyone come close to hitting a tee shot onto an adjacent green.
To their credit, the foursome did not give me a hard time. They smiled as I approached the green, and the one closest to me grinned and said, “So I guess you’re putting for eagle. Huh?”
I’m not sure if I would’ve been so kind.
I’d also like to add that I hit a clean 7-iron off the green with my bag still strapped to my back (a shot I’d never been required to make before), so at least I experienced a smidgen of success in my midst of my abject failure.