Monday, March 03, 2008

Who hit that shot, Tiger Woods?

Hello again, sports fans. Today while the world was glued to the tube your ole buddy Dalton Hammond was adding another page to his legacy.

It happened on the 12th hole on Pinehurst course number Five. After a totally unexpected par on hole #11 where my off-center tee shot left me 165 yards from the green -- all carry, over water, with the wind in my face -- I decided to take the coward's way out, punching a 3-hybrid club to a bailout area 30 yards left of the green. A lucky chip left me 12 feet past the hole and I drained the putt for a par 4 net 2, since I received a 2 stroke handicap on that hole.

I toasted my good fortune with a lemonade and three baked-on-premises oatmeal and raisin cookies from the halfway house and celebrated further on the 12th hole by pushing my next tee shot wide right into the line of trees along the cart path that ran up the long hill to the green 155 yards away. There was a big oak tree between my ball and the green. As I awaited my turn to play I ruminated under the deep blue Pinehurst sky. "Bluer than the hips of an eskimo fan dancer", I thought, remembering a favorite running joke from the Jack Benny radio series. "How would Tigger Woods handle this shot" I wondered. I decided to try to bend the shot around the tree and maybe end up somewhere near the front of the green.

Resting the sole of the now-famous lucky 3-hybrid club behind the ball with the face pointed directly at the tree/green line I set up my feet on a line pointing to the sand bunker to the left of the green, then took a three-quarter knockdown swing across the ball which started for the bunker and gently curved right, hitting the front fringe and taking two little hops as it skidded out of sight onto the elevated putting surface. Applause erupted among my fellow-competitors. "Tigger would have loved that one", I mused.

When I got to the green there was no ball in sight. I figured it had rolled off the green but there was no ball back there either. By now one of my comrades had reached the green and, with a witness close by I approached the hole, reached in and retrieved my ball, which I had holed out in just two strokes -- two under par, an EAGLE, my first ever -- for a net ONE.

Nimbly juggling the ball with one hand I nonchalantly headed for the cart and could be heard mumbling to myself "Take THAT, Tigger!"

Respectfully submitted,
Dalton Hammond