I was talking with my friend Tom yesterday and we got into a discussion about people that can remember golf courses hole by hole. He had played Monday with a new group he has hooked up with and after the round they were discussing how things went, like golfers are want to do.
One of the guys he was sitting with started talking about shots on various holes and Tom was thinking to himself which hole was number 13? He said to me that he doesn't understand how some people can remember each hole like that and I agreed, it floors me when I hear anybody recalling a round hole by hole.
I kept thinking about how some people can, and others of us can't, and wondered why. This morning I think I've figured it out.
Our mutual friend, John Markiewicz, is one of those golfers that can remember every golf hole he has ever played in his life. I know why he can remember them because he sees the holes like this, pictured above. He hits his drive 300 yards down the middle and has a nine iron into the green on a par five. He has plenty of free time to enjoy the scenery.
This is what the rest of us see on a golf course. Trees, sand, and water. We don't have time to enjoy the view because we are too busy looking for a future lost ball. If we are lucky enough to actually find the ball we then have a shot that looks very similar to what you see above.
If we are not in the woods, then we are busy chasing after our fourteen yard shot so we can hit another fourteen yard shot over and over until we skull one across the green. Its hard to remember a course when you are always looking down, six steps in front of you.
We averagely bad golfers might remember the occasional par three when we hit our tee shot on before we invariably four putt for another double. We remember the hole not because we actually remember the hole view but because we remember how insanely awful we are even when we might hit a good shot. "Oh yeah, seven is where I launched my putter sixty yards after four putting."
For me, and many I know, we have photographic memories of the 19th hole on almost every course, including the bartenders/waitresses. This is where our game becomes top shelf. "Sure I remember Kelly. Didn't we put her through medical school with our tips?"
I envy good golfers for their ability to golf well and for their advantage of golf being an enjoyable experience. For the rest of us, the 19th hole will have to be where we can finally relax and enjoy the day and remember everything we see there. "Hey Kelly, another round please."