The Best Day
                                                        8-5-2012


Is there a better way to spend the day than at your favorite golf course?  Maybe there is, but a day on your favorite
course has to be near the very tipity-top of the list.

Today, I played a round at Rivermont.  Rivermont is my home club in Atlanta and it is a very affordable, private golf
club.  The vibe of The ‘mont is low key, laid back and all about the golf.  The architecture is very strategic, angles
and the pin placements of the day are very important, and the greens are spectacular.

I don’t have a regular group that I play with, rather I show up when my schedule dictates I can and I get paired up
with random members that happen to be playing when I am on that given day.  Well, today I got over to The ‘mont
after Church let out on Sunday afternoon and got paired up with some guys playing their semi-final match in the
club’s Match Play Championship.  Our fourth was a big-hitting friend of one of the match play participants.  Prior to
getting out to play this Sunday, I had a fairly routine and stressful week at work, the business of being a husband
and father also took a bit of a toll on me, and I was looking very much forward to my weekend round of golf.  I
actually had headed out to the course on Saturday but after two holes in an absolute down pour, I had to head
back to the clubhouse.  It was a shame and I was a bit bummed out.  I knew I needed my golf to relieve some stress,
but it wasn’t meant to be on that particular Saturday.  Nevertheless, Sunday was sunny and the weather was
perfect.

Frankly, I didn’t start out playing well.  I bogeyed the first two holes and on the par 5 second hole, I actually topped
3 shots in a row before getting up and down to save that second bogey.  The front nine ended with a score a 43
with two doubles.  I was hitting it well and putting fairly well, but my short game was really good…but, of course, I
made a couple major mistakes...which is pretty standard for my game.  Meanwhile, the official match being played
was pretty one sided.  One of the players, who had a +1 index, was really, really playing well.  And his opponent, a
9, was not nearly as sharp.  In fact, he was 5 down after the first 9 holes.

At the turn, I passed a buddy of mine at the Half Way House.  I teased him a bit, he teased me back.  I got a
Gatorade and went to the 10th hole.  On the back, I eliminated all my big blow ups…except on one hole…and
carded a 40.  I was pretty pleased with my play, but I was happy on a level much higher than posting a decent
score.  I felt at home, I felt relaxed, I felt stress-free.  In short, I was happy.  The Match being played ended on hole
14.  The 9 handicap 3 putted a par 3 green and sealed his own fate.  But he handled it well and played the
remaining holes with a smile on his face.  The +1 handled his win with grace and among our group there was
absolutely no tension.  Well, except for the +1’s long-hitting friend.  He was struggling with his short game and he
was none too pleased.  Brad Klein, the Golfweek Guru, is famous for the following quote, “It isn’t how well you play,
but how well you handle how you play.”  I always strive to remember this quote when the wheels are falling off my
golf game, which, unfortunately, happens all too often for my taste.  Perhaps the fourth in our group needs to read
a bit more of what Brad Klein writes.  But, oh well, no one is perfect and we all have bad days.  And in the end, we
simply must press on.

After we holed out on 18, we all shook hands and went our separate ways.  The 9 ‘capper was quick to get out of
there as he wanted to spend some time with his son, I think they were going to try to get some evening fishing in
before the Sun set.  I went to the clubhouse to grab a Coke, chat with my friends at the club, and then get home to
my family.  

The reason I am taking the time to describe my day to you is that the sense of contentment I had on that drive
home was wonderful.  I guess I’d describe it as peaceful.  In fact, as I type these words now I retain that sense of
peace and happiness.  The stress of the work week was erased by my 4 hours on the course and now I am set to
begin another week’s work with a great big smile on my face.  And I owe it all to the great game of golf.   There is no
question that my life is much better for having the golf in it, I trust yours is as well.


-Golf has no other justification for existence than to heighten the joy of living, to diminish this is
to defeat the purpose of golf.  MAX BEHR