This year will be the first in eight or nine years that I will not be competing in the annual Lehigh Valley Amateur at Green Pond Country Club. But I'm still pretty close to the action, as my cell phone bill for September will show.
Whoever said "a man with many friends is truly blessed" obviously did not own a cell phone. Many of my friends are playing in this year's LV Amateur – where the rough is high, the greens are fast and the pressure of competing is wicked – so all week long I’ve been getting texts from them that say things like:
"Kuzy, I dunno know what happened … never got control of my golf ball."
"Was paired with a guy today who had no business even being there… yet he shot a better score than me."
I know from many years of experience that these guys are dealing with a completely different animal at the Lehigh Valley Amateur, an event that great players from Lehigh Valley and beyond on their calendars every year. This is "tournament" golf, which means you’re playing in conditions far more extreme than you’re used to and your ball never behaves the way you want it to.
Hold up, incoming text: "The rough is insane! The greens are like putting on ice."
I've played golf with these guys who've been playing stellar golf all year long, yet when they have to qualify or post a number at the Lehigh Valley Amateur, they crumble. I've done it too.
There goes another alert on my cell … Wow, I can't even repeat that one to you. That guy may not recover until 2011.
Man, pressure does funny things to people. Maybe I'll head on over to Green Pond for the start of match play this weekend, since it's open to the public to watch, and show my buddies a little support. It’ll be like watching a well written horror movie… you want to turn away but you can't.
Are you playing in the Lehigh Valley Amateur this weekend?