Last month, when my friend, Dan, and I were at the Classic course at Madden’s in Brainerd, Minnesota, we got to the second hole – a par three of 173 yards from the tournament tees. I hit it a bit thin, but managed to get over the lake and barely on to the front of the green. I was like, “Phew, that was close,” and started to walk.
My caddy said to me, “Paul…” I turned around, looked at him and he said, “Paul, I don’t want to deprive you of the greatest walk in golf.” “Huh?” He pulled out my putter and handed it to me. “You’re on the green, sir.”
That was awesome! And he’s right: There’s no better walk in all of golf than the walk with just your putter to a par three green that you’re putting on!
Yesterday, I had a good one: On the seventh hole at North Hills Country Club I hit an 8-iron from the white tees (143 yards), and it looked MONEY.
I walked across the bridge and up the steep cart path toward the green to find myself about two feet from the pin. Jackpot! I had already hit a putt on two from 20 feet, on three from 15, and one on five from 25. I was feeling good about the old flat stick.
This would be a little slider, I knew, but I also knew that firming it on the left side would go in for birdie. My friend, Bob Beyer, had taught me the day before to follow the ball with the putter all the way to the hole on these putts to avoid thinking about the yips. I decelerated, and lipped out on the amateur side. No! One of the easiest birdie opportunities I’ve ever had, let slip to the wayside for a ho-hum par.
Why are the shortest putts sometimes the hardest? Obviously, nothing on great country club greens is ever a given, but what a let-down to miss one like that!