‘Normally when you win a big event, there are a few things that go your way,’ said Thomas Bjorn after winning the 2013 Nedbank Golf Challenge. His ball had run through a bunker at the 14th, one of the toughest sand stretches at Gary Player Country Club, and the lucky Dane strolled to victory afterwards.
There isn’t a golfer alive who’s missed a lucky break, or an unlucky break for that matter.
Golf, more than any other sport, depends on the rub of the green.
Putts dropping, lies in the rough, finding balls and good bounces all form part of the variables. It makes the game that much more spiritual, it can make you can feel unstoppable on the right day.
It can also make the world fall apart.
That’s the medicine we have to take for living the life of a golfer.
The sentiment is described perfectly by South Park’s character Butters, who said: ‘I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that something can make me feel that sad. It makes me feel alive, because the only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt something really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good. I guess what I’m feeling is a beautiful sadness.’
The point here is how rewarding golf can be. One hole-out or great putt, one big drive can be all it takes. Unknown variables can make your round a special one, but the real treat is that feeling on the follow-through when you know it’s a peach.
We’re not professionals, thank goodness, because those guys really experience the lows. In a recent golf day I partnered with Ryan Tipping, who’s been a Sunshine Tour player since 2005.
‘You can’t even imagine how bad it feels when things go wrong,’ he said. ‘You’ll have a terrible first round and start the second day hoping to make the cut. And then the front nine goes badly. People have come just to support you and you’re thinking “Come on, it will get better on the back side” and then it just doesn’t.’
If you’ve ever wanted to give up the game, spare a thought for those guys who miss cuts each week; I guarantee it’s worse for them.
We get the luxury of walking away after a bad round – it doesn’t have bearing on our lives. A beer in the clubhouse and all is well again, until the next round!