What to do when you put(t) yourself in a tough situation on the golf course

So you plan a golf trip for six months, carefully going over every detail. Course maintenance schedules, best routes to take, local hotel availability . . .  no stone unturned.

Then you make the seven-hour drive across three states to get there for the first of five rounds in five days on five different courses in five different cities.

You get all checked in – everything is paid for; golf bags are loaded on the carts – and head to the driving range to hit a small bucket. Little do you know that you will be bathing in your own idiocy in a matter of minutes.

Ten minutes on the driving range to stretch out from the long drive and you are ready to go. The moment you’ve been waiting for since this same trip 51 weeks ago is at hand!

But first, it’s time to roll a few putts on the practice green, just to get the feel in the final minutes before the tee time.

And that’s when you realize just how stupid one human being can be.

There is a club missing from your golf bag.

It might be OK if it were a 5-wood or even one of the wedges. That you could work around fairly easily. But not the most valuable club in anyone’s golf bag – the putter.

You are in Greenville, Ala. Your putter is in Bossier City, La.

At moments like this, you first have to come to the full and complete understanding that there is no one to blame but yourself. You took it out of the bag, you let someone borrow it for a putting contest 24 hours earlier, you are the one responsible for walking off and leaving it.

That was my Saturday. It was also going to be my Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

It’s like sleeping on a bed with only one sheet. Yeah, you can do it, but you’ll never get really comfortable. All you can do is try to make the best of it.

The first set of options for resolution were numerous, starting with: (1) putt with a different club; (2) go buy a putter in the pro shop; (3) borrow a putter from the guys in your group on each green.

(1) I’ve seen it done with a 3 hybrid as well as a sand wedge by really good golfers. Not feasible for my talent level.

(2) That’s a $200 surcharge, plus tax, for being stupid. I did consider it, but now I’d have two putters when I got back.

 (3) Thanks for the offer, guys. And for not just telling me to just go home.

Option #4 proved to be the best: grovel. Every morning when we would check in to a new course, I would give the self-deprecating story about how I’m just a dumb guy from Louisiana and is there any way I could borrow a pitter, even if it’s 20 years old and rescued from the nearby Putt-Putt course?

First day, I think I did get that putter (I was still in shock to ask for anything remotely nice). Next four days, the putters I borrowed looked like they had just been delivered from the factory.

Total cost? $0 (which is significantly less than $200, plus tax).

Plus, I had a ready-made excuse whenever I’d miss a putt. Which is all any golfer really needs.

Contact J.J. at JohnJamesMarshall@yaoo.com