Saturday, August 8, 2015

The incredible putt-putt round

Lots of things in sports are noteworthy. No-hitters by baseball pitchers are celebrated. Perfect games are even rarer. Hitting for the "cycle" or 4 home runs in the same game will always get a lot of attention.
Hat tricks in hockey, much less soccer.
Scoring over 50 points in an NBA game.
A 59 in golf.
An NFL running back gaining over 200 yards in a game, or a QB throwing for 5 or 6 touchdowns.
Rarified air indeed.

300 games in bowling are special, though there are some 50,000 of them rolled every year. Yours truly even had one once, though it occurred in "open bowling", as in non-league, so was never sanctioned. And yeah, it included a couple "Brooklyn" strikes. But hey, 12 in a row is 12 in a row. Sure it was lucky, but it happened. I even once scored an eagle on a par 4 golf hole. As a lifelong duffer (never broken 80), by pure dumb luck a shot from the fairway somehow found its way into the cup. As they say, sometimes better lucky than good. Curiously, I never got one on a par 5, though I was close once. After two unlikely good shots in a row, I faced a two foot putt for an eagle. How the hell can one 3-putt from two feet? But I did and wound up settling for a par. I'm still hearing about that one from my playing partners some thirty years later. Aargh.

But recently something spectacular happened in, of all things, putt-putt golf. A guy had a perfect round. Eighteen holes and eighteen aces. A hole-in-one every time. Through the windmills, banking around the corners, up and down, round and round, every "tee shot" found its way into the hole.

Sure, most of us have played putt-putt golf here and there over the years and likely racked up a few holes-in-one along the way. But eighteen in a row? That's incredible.

The guy admitted to having shaky knees on the 18th hole knowing what was at stake. Kind of like standing on the approach getting ready to roll for that 12th strike in bowling. It doesn't have to be in competition, much less a big time sporting event for one to feel the pressure. The putt-putter drilled a 20 footer in the heart of the cup. My twelfth strike was "light" in the pocket and could rightfully be called a "mixer". But all 10 pins fell down and that's all that mattered.

Nobody cares about my 300 game and rightfully so. Much better bowlers accomplish the feat all the time across the country and the world. Likewise, few will pay much heed to some guy shooting a perfect score on a putt-putt course.

Mine was lucky as a roughly 180 average kegler. And yeah, a hole-in one isn't a big deal on a putt-putt course. People get them all the time.

But 18 in a row to run the table for a perfect score?

A noteworthy feat indeed.


Idle thought: Maybe this guy could give Phil Mickelson a couple tips when it comes to the yips on various putting surfaces. Couldn't hurt.

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