"Unpleasant or perhaps even dangerous things only happen to others". I'm sure I'm not the only one who goes through life with this basic thought. Because if you should always expect the worst, even the worst, then you should no longer dare to leave the house. Well, actually one should not even leave the bed. The fear of accident or misfortune, of inconvenience and trouble would probably be too great. But since I often not only have to earn a living, but also play a round of golf now and then, I am regularly driven out of bed. And as I am sitting here writing these lines, my credo seems to be true. The poor others.
Yes, that's what I thought again recently, no, that's what I would have thought if I even thought about it when I got out of bed. Instead, it was: bring on the coffee and off to the office. Every little step brought me closer to tee time and soon I was pulling into the parking lot, putting on my golf shoes and strapping my bag onto the cart. My golf partner did the same and after half an hour on the driving range, the round could begin.
It was as usual: wonderful. From the first address of the ball on the first tee, everything was forgotten that didn't have to do with the club, the ball, the hole and me. Well, and my golf partner, of course, since we are and are playing in cheerful competition. The tee shot: well. The approach: okay. The putting: catastrophic. Everything as usual. Until the moment at the fifth hole, when my driver once again wanted something different than I had wished for, hoped for, almost expected, and the ball landed next to the fairway on a tree. To be precise, the ball, tree and hole formed a perfect line. I had virtually snookered myself, about five meters behind the natural obstacle in the form of a birch tree. Even the green could only be reached if the shot not only had good length, but also circled the ball just past the tree. No easy feat for a high handicapper like me.
Pulling the pitching wedge out of the bag, getting a good stance and addressing the ball was almost one. One or two practice swings and another critical look past the tree to the green. That must be manageable. After all, I had already solved more difficult situations well (the multitude of miserable rescue attempts are forgotten, after all, it's always the next shot that counts). My colleague smiled encouragingly at me: "You can do it," I read from his look. And so I lowered my head, took a swing and followed it up with a skillful shot. - Or so I thought.
But unfortunately, in the follow-through, I had once again lifted my head much too early, my gaze too quickly away from the ball. Unfortunately? No, fortunately, at least in this case. Because I heard a loud "plock" and at the same time saw the ball hit the tree. In a fraction of a second, it changed direction, pretty much 180 degrees. It came straight at my head. I had seen this situation before in two or three golf videos, but not so perfectly. In the movies, the ball flew past the player. Unfortunately, it didn't look like that in my case. But what was it like? The dangerous thing always happens only to the others? This situation looked really nasty, as my teammate confirmed to me shortly afterwards. Evil and quite dangerous.
I don't know what the speed of the ball was, I don't know how a skull reacts when hit by a golf ball. And fortunately I didn't have to experience the latter, because: my reflexes still work. I ducked out from under the ball. Not that I thought anything of it or expected it. But without much thought, my body went to its knees, the ball flew just above my head and landed a good bit behind me in the grass. It went well. I must have had a guardian angel.
Like me, my teammate took one deep breath. Must have looked nasty at first, then slightly acrobatic, the act. I was happy not to have to leave the pitch with an ambulance. But very, very deep inside me, a voice said with a slightly ironic tone: "Great job. Another stroke for nothing on the scorecard. And then even further away from the hole than before this feat." Oh, if it weren't for this ambition. But isn't that part of the game somehow? No matter. The rest of the round went off without incident. It was enough for me. As if dangerous things only happen to others....