The Eagle That Didn't Fly

Okay! Kickin off Golf Stories is the story I introduced back on the site’s Homepage about the Hole-Out Eagle for a Net Birdie that then became a Bogey.

We actually had five guys playing and did not wish to violate the course policy against fivesomes, so we played in a staggered format where two guys would tee off and head out, then the other three would follow fairly

The hole we were playing was the fifth hole at Shadow Lakes Golf Course in Brentwood California. This hole has a pond that sits straight ahead about 230 yards from the elevated tee and the fairway shifts to the left and then heads straight up to the green (as you can see in the picture above). The smart tee shot requires a lay-up (short of the water) unless you're brave enough to target the thin landing strip beside the pond to the left. I've tried that risk and reward shot a few times. A few with success, but also a few with miserable failure.

This day I opted for the safe play of the lay-up tee shot and pulled my five iron into the dry creek bed that splits this and another fairway down the right side (I’m a left-handed golfer). The creek bed is dry and usually an easy place to find a ball, and knowing my five iron was not enough club to reach the pond, I knew it had to be in the creek bed. Well, after a futile search for a few minutes that saw all four of my playing partners already reach the green I decided to simply drop a ball outside the dry creek bed about 165 yards from the hole. (The guy you can see standing in the dry creek bed in the picture is approximately the spot at which I dropped my ball, but just a few feet over to the left just outside the creek bed)

An eight iron later and the guys on the green were screaming that it went in the hole. I never saw it as my shot had to fly over the pond and the tall reeds circling the pond obscured my view of what was happening on the green. (* Note - The tall reeds that usually encircle this pond during the warmer months were all cut back when this picture was taken)

Well, this is where it gets interesting!!

As I get into my cart and start heading to the green I see one of my buddies (who had been one of the two to tee off first) driving back towards me. When he gets to me, he tells me that he played my ball out of the dry creek bed. So, now he has to take his penalties and replay his ball as having been lost in the hazard and also having played the wrong ball. Meanwhile I have to play the ball he replaced for me (as near to the spot from where he hit it as he can remember), and I get to play on with no penalty. My next shot sails the green and I chip back on and two-putt for a bogey.

And that is how my 165 yard hole-out for an eagle net birdie very quickly became a bogey.

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