Planet Golf — 25 September 2013 by Jim Street
Breaking the 100-shot barrier — at last!

By Lary Street
Special to Golferswest.com

I have been playing golf since 1990 and had never broken 100. Oh, I came close a few times, once needing a 10 or less on the final hole to shoot 99. I made an 11.

But the “magic number” was reached on September 17, 2013, at Cerbat Cliffs golf course in Kingman, Ariz.

I shot a 99!

Looking back at that day, I am trying to determine what I was doing different than before.  What I found was that I was more relaxed and my swings were slow and controlled.  I was driving the ball farther and straighter than ever before and more consistently.

I did this even on the shots from the fairway and as a result, I was reaching the greens in regulation more often than usual.

Even though the greens were tricky to putt on, by being on the green sooner allowed my three putts only giving me a bogie instead of a double or triple bogey.

On the 15th hole, my drive and approach shot to the green were not good. I was just off the green sitting 5 when I was able to chip the ball in the hole for a double-bogey 6.

Lary stayed away from shots like this

Lary stayed away from shots like this

When I got to the 18th hole, I was at 92. All I needed was another double-bogey and my goal of breaking 100 would be fulfilled. In front of me was a 478 yard par 5.

I hit a great drive far down the center of the fairway.  I took my 5 wood hit it to the right of the green and it rolled all the way back to a brick wall.  Fortunately, I was able to get a club on it and advance it a little so I could chip it up to the green.

That chip came up short on the slope on the side of the green. I am now sitting at 4 and the putter is still in my bag.  My next chip stayed on the fringe now I am sitting 5.

I putt from there and ended up 6 feet below and now needing to sink this putt to shoot a 99.  I made my best putting stoke that day and sank the putt for a 7 and a final score of 99.

The moral of this round: relax, swing easy, and be lucky once in a while.

So now that I have reached double figures for the first time, my next goal is to do it on my home course in Boulder City (Nev.). None of my friends there have seen me break 100 and at least for now, they will just have to believe me when I say: “I did it!!!!”

 

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Jim Street

Jim’s 40-year sportswriting career started with the San Jose Mercury-News in 1970 and ended on a full-time basis on October 31, 2010 following a 10-year stint with MLB.com. He grew up in Dorris, Calif., several long drives from the nearest golf course. His first tee shot was a week before being inducted into the Army in 1968. Upon his return from Vietnam, where he was a war correspondent for the 9th Infantry Division, Jim took up golf semi-seriously while working for the Mercury-News and covered numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1982, when Tom Watson made the shot of his life on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. Jim also covered several Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournaments, the women’s U.S. Open, and other golfing events in the San Francisco area. He has a 17-handicap, never had a hole-in-one, although once he came within two inches of an ace, and witnessed the first round Ken Griffey Jr. ever played – at Arizona State during Spring Training in 1990. Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Pinehurst No. 2, Spyglass Hill, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, Medinah, Chambers Bay, North Berwick in Scotland, and Princeville are among the courses he has had the pleasure of playing. Hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a strong part of Jim’s game, but he is known (in his own mind) as the best putter not on tour. Most of Jim’s writing career was spent covering Major League baseball, a tenure that started with the Oakland Athletics, who won 101 games in 1971, and ended with the Seattle Mariners, who lost 101 games in 2010. Symmetry is a wonderful thing. He currently lives in Seattle and vacations in Arizona (and other warm climates) as much as possible.

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