I was that close to winning a brand-new car.
No, I wasn't on The Price is Right . And no, I didn't buy a raffle ticket. All I had to do was hit a golf shot.
At The Aiken Golf Club, there are certain prizes the club awards to golfers who achieve the ultimate feat -- a hole-in-one. One hole's prize is an LCD television; another's is a free plane ride for two.
At the par-3, 16th hole, the prize is a 2010 Honda Accord. The reward is great, but the task isn't an easy one because even the mid-tee plays about 180-190 yards.
While playing in a charity tournament benefiting the Kiwanis Club of Aiken, I pulled out my 3-iron for the 190-yard shot. I proceeded to hit the shot of my life.
The ball headed straight to the pin. As you can guess, the ball didn't go in. Instead, it cozied oh, so close, stopping about 3 feet away.
When our group walked up to the green, we saw the ball mark about a foot away from the hole. That made the close call that much harder to swallow.
A new car would've been great, but to dwell on the scenario would be ridiculous. How could I be upset about a missed opportunity when, 10 minutes earlier, I had no idea it would happen?
It reminds me of a bit from comedian Louis C.K. in which he points out that technology has spoiled society.
He told a story about a guy sitting next to him on an airplane using wireless Internet. When the Internet stopped working temporarily, the guy was inconsolable.
"How quickly the world owes him something he knew existed only 10 seconds ago," the comedian joked.
So very true. It's amazing to think that we now have access to wireless Internet at 30,000 feet. But do we take things for granted once they're introduced to us?
In a way, that guy on the plane was me, for a couple of hours anyway.
But I've gotten over it.
Pondering it later, I thought of two things.
First, a hole-in-one is tough to achieve and there is certainly an element of luck involved. Especially for players who don't consistently produce great golf shots, like me, there are really only so many chances throughout a golfing career to get one. Yet I've read about several children playing for the first time who have made a hole-in-one. Go figure.
Secondly, the golf shot helped me remember that life is so much better with these moments of excitement, even if they don't lead to any tangible reward.
Say, for example, that your favorite sports team makes it all the way to the championship game, but it can't quite seal the deal.
Now, of course there's some disappointment there. But how about the feelings of joy, exhilaration, maybe even utter relief at certain points along the way? How about the memories that will last far longer than a trophy would.
Championships -- and new cars -- are great. Near-misses, as aggravating as they can be, are not so bad.
Local Ponytails softball team is worthy of praise
The Ponytails World Series started Saturday at Patriots Park, and Columbia County's host team has already started the process of trying to overcome a field of 10 other teams from 10 states across the Southeast.
Of course, the local team likely will have much more support than the out-of-town teams will. Columbia County's squad certainly made one local fan during a recent fundraiser.
The outing featured members of the 11- and 12-year-old team busing tables at Stevi B's Pizza. One woman was so impressed by the team's hard work and positive attitude that she donated a tip of $50.
The same woman made a point to tell the team members why she appreciated their behavior as much as she did. In the past, she had been so put off by another team's pompous attitude during its fundraiser that she donated a single dollar bill to their cause.
I say go out and cheer for this team during the World Series.
I have a feeling their newest fan -- and donor -- will be doing just that.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.