Bang a Gong….
I’m a double-bogey golfer. This means that my average score is about a 108. I guess you would call me a “ham-and-egger.” I golf about once a year. Fortunately, I have a very simple swing that’s easy to reproduce. I can “not golf” for an entire year and still hit it straight. Unfortunately, my swing is so conservative that I cannot generate any power or distance. My drives average only about 190 yards (maybe 200 w/ the roll if the ground is hard enough….)
Our Kamehameha Schools Education Support Services group sponsored a golf tournament at Mililani a couple of weeks ago. This is what happened….
I almost canceled out at the last minute. My finger still hadn’t healed from that plumbing mishap a few months ago. “Damaged ligaments,” is what Tim (KS athletic trainer) had told me. I stepped up to the 1st tee with my riding partner Cy. I placed my worn, beat-up Titleist ball on the shiny white tee. Because I don’t lose balls, I sometimes use them for two or three rounds (or two or three years.) I took a practice swing and felt a shot of pain run up my wrist. This wasn’t gonna work. I tried an interlocking grip for the first time, and it seemed to relieve some of the pressure. My first drive went straight into a large tree on the left. “OB!,” shouted one of the golfers in the group. This was going to be a long day….
After a couple of shots, I started to get the hang of it. I was able to keep the ball in play. My nemesis was my chipping and putting. I scored a few pars as well as “more than a few” triples and quadruples. Still, it was a long, hot, and humid day. The front 9 was tough, but the back 9 was brutal. Everyone was looking forward to the after-party….
Finally, we were at the 18th hole. I decided that I was gonna “swing for the fences.” “Leave it on the course,” was the battle cry that Kel, Jeff, and Sanford used to say. “Bang a gong” and “stain da BVDs” were a couple of others. I took a few practice swings with all of my might. It made loud swooshing sounds in the wind, and I saw the concerned faces of my foursome.
I addressed the ball and took the club back slowly. Then I fired my hips forward and swung as hard and as violently as possible! Crack!! I heard the sound of a “mallet striking a steel post.” I looked up and saw the ball piercing down the center of the fairway. It was a “once in a lifetime” shot. The foursome started hooting and laughing in disbelief.
We drove up to ball which was inside the 150 mark on a par 4 – 418 yard hole. The drive had gone almost 280 yards. I went on to bogey the hole to finish with a 105. My friend Gordon, who was in the group behind us, saw me hit for the first time and was in awe. I almost didn’t have the heart to tell him that that shot was a fluke. Almost….