Can You Explain This?

What you see above is the last 125 or so yards of the 13th hole at my home course. It’s a well-designed risk-reward par 5. It’s reachable in two but wayward second shots often find the bunker at right, the woods on the left, or hit the rock wall. The most common lay-up is just short of the (usually) dry creek bed just in front of the rock wall.  Scores from eagle to the dreaded “other” are possible.

It is also the site of the strangest shot I have ever seen. It happened a few years ago, before my regular group had formed. I was playing with a group of guys of varying ages and abilities, and all but one of us were on the green. One player was playing his fourth shot from 40-50 yards short of the green, in between the rock wall and the green. (It’s about 80 yards from the rock wall to the center of the green.)

This player is a real character, a former rodeo cowboy and oil well wildcatter who is now in his eighties. I think he was in his late seventies at the time of the shot I’m describing.

As all of us on the green watched as he addressed the ball, looked up at the green, and then stepped away. “Pull the pin,” he shouted. We all looked at each other in confusion, then looked back at him. “Pull the pin,” he shouted again.

I shrugged, walked over to the hole, pulled the pin, and stepped away. He addressed the ball again and proceeded to hit the ball a few feet short of the hole, where it rolled like a putt and dropped. He then nonchalantly walked toward the green, as if he had just made a three footer rather than a 50 yard wedge shot.

I’d never seen him ask to have the pin pulled before, and haven’t seen him do it since. I have no idea what possessed him to do it then. I’ve seen people make shots from about anywhere, but I’ve never seen them call it like that.

Go figure.



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