My First Birdie
By jpjeffery on 11/22/11
Jeff Jeffery, the author of this here guest column, is an avid golfer who, like the majority of us, is trying to get better at the game he loves. He started a blog in order to share the ups and the downs with others. If you're interested in reading about a fellow oobers experience on the golf course, you can check it out at Enjoy!

It happens to all of us, sooner or later. The magical time arrives, you don’t really know when it will happen, or who with, or what you’re doing, and you probably end up fumbling your way through it, but it happens. There’s a sense of elation at the time, followed by some sense of relief. Yes, it’s your first time: Your first birdie.
It's Wednesday, 18th May 2011 and I have a day off work to play a round of 18 holes at Beckenham Place Park with my usual playing partner Bill Colins.


A scratchy start of 26 over the first three holes but then 34 over the next six (including a par and a bogey). Total: 60. My previous best over the same holes was 56 so no reason to get excited.


A good opening to the back nine with 25 shots over the first five holes, but normal service resumed with an 8 on the par 4 15th (Stroke Index 1, so give me a break!) 33 strokes so far. Still nothing to suggest what was to come.

Then we come to the par 4 16th. The green is at the far end of a valley so the tee-shot landing area is way downhill, which obviously helps with getting a little extra distance but a ditch halfway along makes the decision of how to tee off interesting. Even trying to lay off short of that ditch introduces some risk though as the ball could just roll down the hill and in to it. This hole practically demands a good tee shot.

But as I'd hit five fairways already, including the previous two, I feel confident so opt for my 3 wood to get the ball over the ditch. And it works. The ball sails straight and over for 239 yards. I never usually hit the ball this far.

When I get to the ball the green is now uphill and is raised, with three bunkers guarding the front. With 100 yards to go I need distance (for me that's distance) and loft. I choose my 7 iron. I just want to get over those bunkers!

Concentrating on not trying to do too much and trust the loft of the club, I remember to 'swing smooth' and make good contact. The ball arches majestically, MAJESTICALLY I say! and straight. Even Bill is impressed. First bounce is on the green. I can hardly believe what I am seeing.

Greedy as all golfers are I then had the gall to be disappointed as the ball seems to keep on rolling through the green. But this ungratefulness didn't last too long though as I remember my initial aim: I am past and above the bunkers.

On reaching the ball I find it is still on the green after all. Not by much, perhaps only two or three inches. I was happy to have a GIR though and line up my putt to just get it within two feet of the hole for a par opportunity. The shot is downhill too so I am not really trying to get the ball to drop but just to prevent it from running away.

At first I think I've mis-hit it (perhaps I did!). I think I've under-hit the ball and it is going to stop short, but the slope keeps it going, then right at the end - mercy! - the ball tails left...and in. I am amazed!

Bill, as usual not paying full attention, appreciates the putt then asked what I'd scored. "That was my first birdie, you plank!" Bless him.

If I'd just not scored a 12 on the 18th (I think I ran out of steam) I might have broken, or at least got close to, 110. Still, 116 remains my best score over 18.
I didn't keep the ball.

So why am I writing this, six months later? Well, today, at the same course, I scored my second birdie, this time on the 6th, a par 4. On my own this time, not that Bill would have noticed anyway, and on the way to a new best score over those opening nine holes of 46.

So perhaps that first birdie wasn't a fluke after all.

This was written by Jeff Jeffery, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

photo by SimonDoggett

[ comments ]
CeeBee says:
You're completely hooked and on your way bud.
jrbizzle says:
I still remember your first post or two here. Congratulations jpj, take pride in that birdie, and get some more soon.
bkuehn1952 says:
Well done. I wish I could remember my first birdie.
homermania says:
Good bird.
falcon50driver says:
Good going, your first hole in one can't be that far off.
SteveMM says:
Thumbs up! My game is in the same range as yours -- good at times, but inconsistent. It's good to see someone else on here who isn't upset when they don't break 80 or 90 :)
Banker85 says:
My first birdie was 2 years ago on a par 5. I was short of the green by 70 or so yards for my third and hit it to about 3 feet for basically a tap in. I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the round.
dottomm says:
Uh oh. Birdies are clearly a gateway drug. Becareful. Before you know it you'll be doing birdies everyday and it will be even more difficult to quit.
jpjeffery says:
Thanks all. And a public thank you to Oobgolf for publishing the article.

CeeBee: So true. So true.
jrbizzle: You remember my first dodgy posts? Cool! :) (I'm easily impressed). As for the birdies, well, I'm up to two now.
bkuehn1952 & homermania: Thank you.
merlin3driver: Calm down!
SteveMM: You have a significant advantage over me. Your handicap is at least coming down...
Banker85: Sweet work. First one on a 5 is good going.
dottomm: Anyone got any eagle? *sniff*

(Note to self: Stop trying to be funny all the damn time!)

Now, what's the weather up to this Sunday? Oh. Rain. Darn...
Mr_X says:
I have spent a week now trying to remember my fist birdie. It was really bugging me that I couldn't remember it. Then it hit me last night. My first birdie was on the 190 yard par three 9th hole at Oak Meadows in Addison, IL. I think this was 4 years ago, maybe 5. I had a 15 mph head wind into the rather elevated green. I knocked a 5 wood to 4 feet. Thanks for helping me remember Jeff.
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