Six of One…

A partner's lament after ruining an ace
Lipping Out Six of One 23

We arrived on the 12th tee at Jeffersonville Golf Club as golden hour settled in on a weekday evening in May 2020. Our Tuesday-night league was going strong, but things still felt weird.

Flagsticks stayed in, plastic inserts lined the cups and hand-sanitizer stations outnumbered water coolers. Pennsylvania had only recently reopened golf courses after a six-week COVID-19 shutdown.

Our league plays two-on-two match play, with both scores counting. No gimmes—we hit cups. That night, the 12th was playing 197 yards, the back-left pin guarded by a devilish hump. A stiff breeze blowing into our faces complicated matters. Par would be a great score.

After both of our opponents missed the green, I launched a confident 3-hybrid that never left the stick. But it wasn’t enough club, and my ball dented the face of the hump before trickling slowly back off the front of the green.

Mac was last to hit. He striped a 4-iron on the same line as mine. I remember yelling “Go!” fearing it wouldn’t have enough to crest that damn rise. Instead, his ball landed on the downslope, kicked forward and checked just long. The backspin finally engaged, and Mac responded to my exhortation with his own: “Go in!” 

It did.

I lost my mind, immediately running toward him to celebrate. But before we could chest bump or jump hug, we hit an invisible force field: social distancing. We settled for a vigorous air high-five, cementing our places in the Awkward Golf Celebration Hall of Fame. 

 My heart was still thumping as we got to the green. After the obligatory photos, Mac cleared the scene. Our opponents both got up and down for par, and an aggressive chip left me with at least 15 feet. Blame the adrenaline, Donald Ross or the golf gods…but I three-putted. 

We totaled the scores:

1 + 5 = 6 

3 + 3 = 6 

Yes, Mac made his first-ever ace and didn’t win the hole.

COVID-19 restrictions meant Mac escaped with a criminally light post-round bar tab and even got himself a free drink. From me. For making the worst 5 of my life.

Jake Borer works in pharmaceutical marketing outside Philadelphia. He’s a founding subscriber of TGJ and has been a Broken Tee Society member since 2017.