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Jetsetters Magazine Golf MallThe #10 is a short par 4 — 373/356/344/291 — handicap 12/16. The key to this hole is position off tee. There is a fairway bunker on right side of fairway. I wanted to be on that side of fairway to have a good angle of attack to green. I missed green short about 60 yards and again I was in rough. I prayed to golf god's and lined up my shot with pin. But something very strange had occurred.
The blue flag had fallen from top of pin and was lying straight up on green surrounding cup. It looked a little strange, especially since everything about Torrey Pines was picture perfect. But since I was in rough, I knew I didn't have a prayer to reach hole anyway. So I scrunched my eyes and lined up my ball with upside down flag pin. I took a full hefty swing with my pitching wedge. I watched ball fly high out of rough and head towards pin. Flying through air ball hit pin and dropped on green. I was sure it was going to roll off green, but to my amazement fallen blue flag acted like a catcher's mitt, caught my golf ball and magically it clunked in cup for a perfect birdie. Sometimes extraordinary things do happen to ordinary people and it is thrilling!
All golfers seem to live for that one thrilling shot! It's as if we keep hitting that little ball again and again in hopes that this will be shot that will connect with perfect rhythm, perfect trajectory and perfect distance between ourselves and course. That shot out of rough was my moment to feel that connection and to experience this feeling of perfection, and a little luck. Like most amateur golfers, luck is always a welcomed guest any day of week on links.
The other three players in our foursome applauded my good fortune and round took on a new kind of play. I realized that I could get out of that rough if I would choose to think positively about my swing and my ability. When I focused on lining up ball with pin, no matter what obstacle, there was a greater chance that I'd sink shot.
I remembered reading in a golf book that if you think about what you want to happen instead of what you don't want to happen your chance of success improves. Picking a target and visualizing ball going to that target was also part of routine I was practicing. And because golf isn't a game of perfect, but a game of practice, when I was able to focus my mind and follow through with these two simple rules, I found myself hitting a lot more "lucky" shots!
Sounds simple enough, but disciplining my thoughts to remember only what was good about what I did, instead of focusing on everything that went wrong was a challenge as deep as those U.S. Open roughs. But when I did, I found I had gained a new confidence that helped me enjoy my round of golf even more.
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By Janice Wilson, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com
Janice Wilson, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at www.jetsettersmagazine.com