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The Joy of Breaking 80

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Played as a single at Crystal Lake Golf Course in Lakeville, MN today - one of the last times I'll play it before we move east. It's a fun course, always in great shape and well conditioned - not overly long but you do need to think your way through it.

 

Anyway, I was paired up with another single - a kid (I call him a kid, he's 37) named Paul. Sometimes when you hook up with someone on the course you just know it's going to be a good day.

 

Anyway, Paul told me about how his family fled Cambodia and the genocide of the Khmer Rouge when he was only 4, and then lived in a refugee camp in Thailand until they were finally able to come to the US when he was about 7. We talked about parenthood and being married to German women (they forget NOTHING. They remember stuff that hasn't even happened yet!). Anyway, Paul showed to be a pretty decent ball striker but told me he had never broke 80 - and that was his goal. He'd been close - 82 was the lowest - but you could tell is was something he wanted.

 

Paul finished the front 9 at 6 over par - so he had 2 strokes to play with (Crystal is a Par 71). He saved a great par on 9 with a great up and down, but he didn't like his chances. I told him to take it one shot at a time and you never know.

 

On the back 9, Paul started par-par-birdie-birdie-birdie. On the par 4 15th he flew his approach about 35 feet long and left his first putt about 7 feet short - and drained it to save par. On 16 he hit driver (not a driver hole) and put it in the weeds of a creek that cut through the fairway. We found it and he did have a shot - and hit the thing about as hard as he could with a wedge and hit the green, leaving an uphill 30 footer. I could tell he started gripping the putter a little tighter because he left his first putt about 15 feet short.

 

Well son of a gun if he didn't drain that one to save par.

 

Paul had a 3-putt bogey on 17 (again, a stranglehold on the putter) so when we got to 18 I mentioned it looked like he was gripping the putter a little tight. He hit a nice drive into the fairway and then his approach to about 18 feet, with a sidehill uphill putt. Again, he left it about 7 feet short - he said he might have gripped it a little tight, and then drained that putt to save par - finishing the 9 at 2-under.

 

We waked off the green and he tallied up his score - an 80 shattering 76.

 

I've never seen a guy so happy with a score ever - he wanted me to sign the card and attest the score so he could show it to his buddies. Dude was walking on air!

 

And the thing is, I had almost as much fun watching Paul shoot his 76 as he did shooting it. What a great moment and it reminds me why this game is so much fun. I told Paul about the forums and I hope he joins up. You guys would like him.

 

There was one downside - he beat me by a stroke! :angry: :angry:

Awesome story just great what makes golf greatest game EVER!!

 

 

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Great story John. It's amazing how often guys who've never broken 80 smash through it when they finally do.

 

 

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Well told story. I still remember the first time I broke all the milestones. Breaking 80 was the sweetest.

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Paul is one of my good friends and is very dedicated to the game.. I am all so glad he was able to break 80 let alone hit 76 - I am 😱. Thanks for keeping him company because we could not join him earlier today. Paul is very excited and the group messages has yet to stop and now that we've read this article, I can say I believe him!! Nice shooting paul and do it when we are around next time buddy :)

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What a great story and wonderful thread. My lowest round ever was totally over shadowed by my league teammate breaking 80 a number of years back.

 

He had done it before. What made this remarkable was that he had significantly advanced Parkinson's. His putter head was shaking through the ball and the thing was still going in.

 

Thanks for reminding us about how much fun the game is!

 

 

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Great story, happy for Paul! It does wonders for personal morale when you accomplish your goal.

 

 

 

 

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That's great for Paul. I'm in the breaking 80 hunt myself. It's crazy how quickly shots can add up and put you out of contention.

 

 

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Great story -- thanks for sharing!

 

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Great story. Congrats to paul..

 

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Awesome for him!! A couple weeks ago I shot my personal best of 77, NINE strokes better than my previous best. Was pretty over the moon when I tallied up my final score! I also found my last few holes I was holding the putter a little tight, and hit the ground before the ball a few times because I knew I had a good score going.

 

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That's fantastic. I played with a buddy this week. He shot 2-over 74 for a life low. He was even on the 17th tee, but some shaky putting, like Paul, betrayed him at the end.

 

He followed it up with a 99 yesterday. He was a mess right from the beginning and his expectations were way too high.

 

Good luck and thanks for sharing.

 

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Great read, Congrats!

80 is a magic number for sure.


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That's fantastic. I played with a buddy this week. He shot 2-over 74 for a life low. He was even on the 17th tee, but some shaky putting, like Paul, betrayed him at the end.

 

He followed it up with a 99 yesterday. He was a mess right from the beginning and his expectations were way too high.

 

Good luck and thanks for sharing.

 

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74 followed by 99 - a reminder of why we don't do this for a living. We'd have skinny kids if we did!

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What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

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Great story. Now he has a new goal. 75. I guess we all love to break goal. Mine is 67. I've shot 70 twice. I doubt it will happen now that I've reached the age of 70 but you now I'm still a single digit handicap. Love those goals.

 

 

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Great story and congrats Paul! 

 

This is bringing back memories, but more to do with the rounds that followed my sub 80 round. A slew of mid to high-80's rounds that crashed me back down to earth. I think I just put too much pressure on myself to hit 70's every time I went out. 

 

Barbajo, moving away from MN? Headed back to NE?

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Barbajo, moving away from MN? Headed back to NE?

 

Yes indeed -- moving to Exeter, NH as soon as we can sell the house. Wife is moving with nearly all our stuff in a couple of weeks. I'm here until closing or first snow -- whichever comes first. 


 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
Follow @golfspybarbajo

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Yes indeed -- moving to Exeter, NH as soon as we can sell the house. Wife is moving with nearly all our stuff in a couple of weeks. I'm here until closing or first snow -- whichever comes first.

So like 3 more days Since it's in MN?

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So like 3 more days Since it's in MN?

 

Har har....

 

We actually had courses open this past February - and in the past they've stayed open until Thanksgiving. A little cold never hurt anyone...


 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
Follow @golfspybarbajo

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Yes indeed -- moving to Exeter, NH as soon as we can sell the house. Wife is moving with nearly all our stuff in a couple of weeks. I'm here until closing or first snow -- whichever comes first. 

I had a shot at getting to Minneapolis, but NH is probably out of the question.  Hope you can make it out west again some day.  Best of luck with the move.  Have you found a course to play yet??


We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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