On the fourth hole at Buena Vista golf course last week, a 150-yard par 3 from an elevated tee box, I hit my tee shot high and true.
It’s a hole I often play well. The elevation gives me an extra ten yards, allowing for an easy iron shot onto the green, and even if I come up short, I can often chip and putt for a par.
On this morning, I struck the ball especially well. As it approached the green, I worried it might go too far and get lost in the swamp and trees behind the green.
Instead, the ball hit the hole.
It went directly into the hole before ricocheting out at a high and crazy angle, landing more than 20 yards off the green.
I had nearly scored my first hole-in-one. The ball had actually entered the hole but failed to remain inside.
I was so devastated.
A few moments later, I chipped my ball from a patch of thick grass to the left of the green. The ball leaped off my club, hit the green, bounced once, and hit the hole, only to once again ricochet out and roll about 15 feet from the cup.
I couldn’t believe it. After hitting the hole with my tee shot, I once again hit the hole with a 20-yard chip, yet the ball was still 15 feet away from the pin.
Frustrated beyond imagination, I lined up my putt and dropped it into the hole for a par.
The most disappointing par of my life.
It was a good lesson:
The journey is often far more important than the actual goal, and sometimes, achieving the desired goal just isn’t enough.