For those of you who play golf and enjoy the sport, Pinehurst, North Carolina, is the host city for the men’s US Open and also the women’s US Open. I believe that this is the first time (I could be wrong) that both the men’s and women’s US Open are played at the same course in the same year. The men’s will start on the 12th of June and the women’s is the following week. Within the Pinehurst Resort there are a lot of courses, but Pinehurst #2 is the big daddy and that is where both opens will be played.
We are selling a SpringHill Suites hotel in Pinehurst, so 3 of us went last week and played Pinehurst #2. The day we played was actually the last day for public play before the course was closed off for the US Open.
We were able to have our picture taken with the actual US Open Trophy from 1895. It has the names engraved of every golfer that won the US Open since 1895. The value of this trophy is priceless because there is only one of them. You couldn’t touch it, but it was outside on a table and you could have a picture taken with it. It is probably the only time I will ever see this trophy outside of the glass security case.
Have you ever been involved in a sport that you are just not very good at? Well, that is the way golf is for me. I love the idea, the honest and the steeped history of golf, but not so much the actual playing of golf because again, I am not very good. If you are not competitive in something, you tend to lose interest during the process. For me that happened on about hole #10 last week.
For those who don’t know about Pinehurst #2, it is probably the toughest golf course in the US because of the upside down, bowl-shaped greens as well as because the rough is all sand with weeds. The rough is almost impossible to hit a good shot out of because essentially, you are hitting off sand and hitting around or behind foot-high clumps of weeds. If the rough is not enough for you to lose your composure, the greens will push you over the limit. Every green is basically shaped like an upside-down bowl. If you land and stop the ball in the middle of the green you have chance, but if you land the ball on outside edges the ball will roll off the green every single time. There were 10 times on my round last week where I hit an approach shot that on any other golf course would be considered a good shot, but not on Pinehurst #2. The ball would roll off the green 25-40 feet by the time it stopped. Simply put, it was the most frustrating round of golf I have ever played. Why we paid so much to play and drove 6 hours to get frustrated, I will never know.
As I played, I wish I could tell you I was thinking about this blog and some way for it have meaning for life. I was not doing that. I was just trying to get through and keep my composure. Since then, however, I have given this some thought, and I have a couple of parallels to life I would like to share with you.
First – sometimes you play life exactly the way you are supposed to and your ball still rolls off the green.
Second- regardless of the way it looks, you may not be in as good of shape as you think.
Third – life, like golf, is played with integrity and is meant to be played with class and not arrogance or a feeling of entitlement. You simply play the round the best you can and try to stay out of the rough and play the ball down the fairway and play safe. There is no way to cut corners for a better score.
Fourth – there are no do-overs and the round you are playing is the only one you get. You must recover if you hit a bad shot because there is no other option other than giving up and that is not an option in life. Follow through every swing and do the best you can with every shot because that is the way life is, you only get one try at every shot.
Fifth – what you compromise to keep, you will usually lose. In life, when you compromise your integrity, honesty, or composure, it usually costs you in the end. In life, the best night’s sleep is one when you lay your head down and you know you did things the best you could and you were honest with yourself. Lies and shortcuts often cause you sleepless nights because you know what really happened in your heart and you know if you were really honest.
Sixth – when you hit a great shot don’t fool yourself to believe that you have mastered it and will always hit great shots. Life is mostly about what you do after you hit a bad shot because in those moments, you really learn who you are.
So, my final advice is not to ever go play Pinehurst #2 but if you do, play it like a lady and a gentleman and try to learn about life as you play…because you most certainly will not enjoy the round of golf. Ha. KT