December 1, 2010
By Gator17 BRONZE, Glendale, Arizona
Gator17 BRONZE, Glendale, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Gathering around the eighteenth green are ten girls resting their exhausted bodies on their Ping golf bags that lay scattered along the greenside bunker. Half the girls stand slumped over in their purple golf uniforms and the others stand decorated in blue and gold. It was, no surprise, another squelching hot day in the Arizona desert as the sun began to disappear to the west; the match would soon be finished. Each team focused their eyes down the never ending fairway to see a speck of hope in their school colors on the eighteenth tee box. However, between the tee box and the green the landscape was a world filled with obstacles, decisions, risk and reward. They had just completed the final hole and were looking back on what I was moments from facing.
I pick a few of the shortly trimmed blades of grass and lift them into the air and the wind takes hold of each blade and carries it to the West. West is towards the water that has been strategically placed in order to prohibit any clear shot of the green. The crystal clear water hazard was enormous and ready to engulf any ball that declared itself brave enough to intrude its path. However, my mind seemed to forget the price I would pay just for peering over the edge, but it was so tempting. This “reused water” was more than refreshing it was a canvas of color. The pink and purple sunset reflections that are painted across the glass like surface had not been disturbed since the group in front of us had plunged their unfortunate ball into the water. Each ripple echoed the fact that a penalty stroke was added to the total score. Water would be the least of my worries as I approached the green, but the dense forest to my left began triggered the eruption of butterflies in my stomach.
Most courses line the fairway with stakes but London Bridge Golf Course took it to the extreme, as each one foot red stake transformed into a twisted trunk that supports colossal branches. Like the clear water, the shade is calling out, drawing me closer. I resist. The trees are a maze that is impossible to escape. Every angle is blocked off by a new tree. There is no hope in getting out, like a snared bear in the wild. So instead, I focus in on my target, the center of the fairway, just past the bunkers. It was of the utmost importance that the ball landed beyond the sand traps. Each grain of sand would enclose around any ball that dared to enter. The Titleist 3 would become subject to sinking sand, making removing the ball from the sand’s clenches near impossible. Sand was made for the beach, and yet it was in the middle of my hole.
My tee sinks into the ground as my ball settles into place on top of the thin pure white ball prop. The driver, a club of power and aggression, is pulled from my bag and set up to the ball. The emotional rollercoaster racing through my body and wanting to succeed for my team, coupled with the silence of those in the gallery began producing adrenaline that is like fuel for a jet. My shaking hands have now gathered sweat in each crevice. Each finger curls around the pink and black grip of the club, with nerves pulsing through every vain. I was in need of one perfect drive, in order to end with one perfect hole, in order to have one perfect round.

The ball soared through the air; I have never executed a drive so precisely. Adrenaline started pumping as I held my finish and watched the ball roll out to the left center of the fairway, two-hundred and thirty two yards away from the tee box. As the ball slowly came to a stop, my body began to soothe itself in a brief moment of relief. The opponent, a senior from Lake Havasu Girls Golf Team, was still glowing in confidence. She thought the match was in the bag. Long strands of her brown hair were sporadically placed among the blonde locks that she has slicked back into a pony tail. One would think she played basketball as she towered over not only me but over both teams. She, a modern day Goliath, dared to challenge me. Her strength and size intimated me, yet I had a deep yearning to defeat the giant. She drew the club up to her backswing and as her arms, hips and entire body rotated towards her target line the club generated speed, enough speed to hit not only the Titleist 2 ball off the tee but also snap the tee in half. The air was quiet and still as her ball blasted off the tee and slowly faded towards the trap, as it grazed the edge of the fairway and kicked into the water.
As we left the tee box and headed for our second shot, I could feel a bit more swagger in my tired body knowing that I had just been granted an opportunity by her mistake.
Passing the first set of bunkers in route to my ball, I looked into them with great thanks that I had avoided them. The thick sand and severity of the bunker depth is jail for a golf ball.
Only forty yards from my ball I began to visualize my second shot as the surroundings became totally silent. My nostrils began to flail as a whiff of the putrid water was picked up by the breeze. Thankfully this directed my attention to my opponent taking her penalty drop. Eyes back on my ball. Focusing on my shot. My hand grazed over each of my once sparkling irons that I had cleaned the night before; yet, each groove was jam packed with dirt, proof of today’s battle. Routinely I snatched up my five wood. Knowing that a clean ball strike would land my ball just shy of the eighteenth green with an opportunity to go up and down for a birdie and the match.
My body jumped back on the emotional highway, as I focused on my breathing and alignment to execute the shot. Breathe in…1…2…3. Breathe out…1…2…3. The club struck the ball in a textbook way as the ball tracked perfectly to the green and was released with enough top spin to roll onto the thinly trimmed blades of luscious green grass in a position to putt. I grabbed my bag as my body was jolted forward with energy and momentum unmatched to anything I had ever experienced. Although filled with a renewed sense of energy and power, I could feel my legs lumbering to carry my bag and I to the green. I am exhausted but refuse to give up. My opponent’s shot from the water drop was an absolute bomb, like I read about in my monthly subscription to Golf Magazine. Her ball landed on the smooth putting surface. Just twenty feet from mine. As we approached the green, I could see my team giving me quiet cheers, and thumbs up knowing I was in position to close this match and possibly make an Eagle putt. The tear of the Velcro, as I stripped my left hand of the comforting sweat infested glove, signaled my brain that I was preparing to putt. That signal set off an alarm of nerves and my hands began to tremble. Back and through, there was a ding in my club that sends shock through my body as I realize that it would not reach the hole. However, I had snuggled the ball up close enough to tap it in for a birdie. Emotions began to over flow as I realized my opponent had no chance.
Upon realizing she was “unfortunately” cutting off the blood flow to my fingers, she released my hand. We congratulated each other; her blue eyes pierced mine with anger and disappointment. Disappointment in herself. My sharpie boxed in two small numbers, a three and an eight, a thirty eight, my best score yet. The nerves left my body with my sweat and I began to glow. I had done it, the team had done it. This place where the grass meets my spiked cleats, had brought me to state. Had brought me to my destiny.

The author's comments:
Golf is my passion and my life. I will be the best and nothing less!

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