A player who shoots 95 does not through lessons and practice see his or her score drop slowly to 94, then 93, then 92, 91, 90. Nor does the 87 shooter come gradually to 86, 85, 84.

Instead 95 suddenly falls to 90. The 87 will seemingly overnight become an 81.

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book credits the short game to this phenomena. I credit Sam Levin.

Shooting 81…Twice

For Sam’s Birthday on Sunday, the Stortz boys played a round of golf at JC Melrose. JC rudely beat Sam by 2 shots and I was a mere 6 ahead of Jeff shooting a double bogey free 81. The course was relatively short so it was tough to make how solid the 81 was. I knew I hit the ball well and it was due to a mention from Sam Levin the round I played with him on Friday which was, “my instructor told me to do a better job of keeping my left elbow straight.”

I’ve heard contradicting assessments on keeping the left elbow straight and that too straight was bad. Either way I tried it on Sunday and was making solid contact and keeping the ball in play. For my round today, I was excited to see if the 81 on an easier course was a fluke.

I teed off at 3:40pm with no one in front which was a welcome sight. I hit an average 4 wood into the right rough and then a nice 6 iron to the green for par. Then I got on in 3 on the par 5 with a 3 putt. Par on 3. Bad double on 4 after being in the right side pot bunker in 3. Bad double on 5 with a lob wedge that didn’t get on the green for the 2nd shot. On 6, I hit 4 wood off the tee too deep and then a miraculous 5 iron punch that went to the back of the green and made a bogey. Par on 7 after hitting on from the tee. Tremendous drive on 8 and a sand save par. Another bomb drive on 9 and a bad approach to make bogey.

A 42 is a solid front, but nothing i hadn’t achieved before. I hit another absolute smash on 10 and made bogey while a 4some randomly showed up in front of me. I played through on 11 and made another bogey after hitting into the ravine in front in 2 which was mind boggling. I didn’t have time to find the ball as the people were waiting for me to finish. I made an up and down on 12 from 135 yards which was pretty awesome. Then I made a bad double on the par 3 after hitting the lip of a bunker which needed just a few more feet of air to clear. I must have been a good boy because I was absolute money on the next few holes. Great drive on 14 with an 8 iron on the green for a par (near 1ft birdie miss). Then I played through a single with a fantastic drive and a shot that landed 3 ft from the cup for a birdie on 15. 16 brought another birdie after a great 4 wood and then a PW from 135 to about 6 ft. I hit an 8 iron to the fringe on 17 with a 2 putt. On 18 I hit another fantastic drive in the middle of the fairway, a 4 iron to the left rough, and then a A wedge from 120 to the back of the green and made a bogey.

I played awesome. It was a shame there were no witnesses but I don’t care. It registered an 8.8 on the handicap index and was a tremendous step forward to my evolution of a golfer. I’m going to write a 2nd post on the matter because I believe it’s more important than the people who definitely didn’t read about my golf round.