I set off with three friends to play in an Open on Saturday.  The weather was great and my friends’ golf was great too, however after five holes I was beginning to wonder why I’d bothered… my score was dire and I’d managed to lose two balls!  And then, out of the blue, I birdied the par 5 6th hole!  Unfortunately this was a blip, as I managed to dispatch a ball at high speed into the Drumragh River a couple of holes later.  My playing partners all had very good front nine totals, but mine was awful!  Nevertheless, I thought, “I’m not going to have a good score, but I’ll aim for the back nine prize” – something I joke about when I’ve had a poor start.  Somehow I played steadily after that and surprisingly I did pick up the “back nine prize” – there mustn’t have been a large number of competitors! My playing partners did even better though, collecting second prize, third prize, a section prize and two 2s!  Not a bad day at the office!  The point I’m making is that golf (like life) can be full of ups and downs but it’s how we react that determines how much we enjoy the game.  Don’t let the bad shots or the unfortunate bounces get you down! Sometimes you may hit a great shot, only to see it bounce at a strange angle off a rogue stone or watch it dribble into a bunker.  At other times you can slice a ball into the trees and watch as it miraculously hits a branch and ricochets into the middle of the fairway!

Recently I was attending a function and the chat turned to golf.  One of the gentlemen told me that he’d recently got back into playing regularly with his brothers.  He was describing how his golf had been a bit up and down, but he became very animated and enthusiastic when he described the day he had a hole-in-one!  Golf is like that – full of ups and downs, but, like life, it’s important to focus on the positives and not to get too hung up on the putts that don’t drop or the drives that miss the fairways.  Just remember that one good shot you hit – that’ll bring you back out onto the course again.

Talking about holes-in-one, the DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) challenged Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood to make a hole-in-one but limited them to 50 balls each.  Have a look to see if they were successful or not!