We have all been there. We are playing a two-dollar Nassau and it comes down to that three-foot putt on the 18th for a tie or a win. Our partner looks at us expectantly. We feel confident, or maybe not. But it is only three lousy feet. We've made them all day. Perhaps we think about what it might be like to have that same putt to win the Masters or the U.S. Open. How the crowd will erupt, how our wife or girlfriend will rush the green, throw her arms (and maybe legs) around us and we won't even be embarrassed because we have won the whole thing.
And then we miss the putt. We slink off to the 19th hole, our partner's "that's okay" small compensation (and we don't believe him anyway). But a few beers later, the pain dissipates and we get on with life, never to remember the missed three-foot putt until, of course, the next crucial three foot putt.
We thought of this yesterday after watching Heath Slocum miss something a little over the dreaded three feet which would have sent him into sudden death with Mark Calcavecchia at the PODs Championship, one week after Boo Weekley missed the same length putt that would have won the Honda Classic, what would have been his maiden win (and all the riches and security that would have led to). He lost in a four-man playoff the next day (how excruciating that night's sleep must have been). The next time I stand over a three footer for the win, I'm going to think about Weekley and Slocum, about how much a missed three footer cost them relative to what it will cost me, and I might, just might, do a better job of getting the putter head through the ball. Unless, of course, my partner threatens to throw his arms and legs around me.
This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005. Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component. My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout. We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.