We were on the par 5 17th hole at Royal Porthcawl, a championship links
course overlooking the Bristol Channel and Swansea Bay in southern
Tiger Woods stepped up and launched a rifle shot so very, very far down the fairway. He hit it so long his ball could have landed in England. Well, maybe not that long. But I’d have to rent a car to ever drive
I knew this Tiger dude was good, but, geez, he followed his tee boom by holing out his second shot for an albatross. Say what? Albatross. That’s golf speak for a 2 on a par 5.
My drive resembled a marshmallow musket shot, sort of soft and puffy. And my fairway wood second still landed shy of Tiger’s drive. So thanks
Tiger, for splashing insult on my long-held feelings of golf impotence. I ended up taking a 7 on the 17th and finished with my usual high 80s
Oh, did I mention that Tiger and I weren’t playing together or even in the same year at Royal Porthcawl? Tiger’s fete came during a practice round at the 1995 Walker Cup matches, pitting top U.S. amateurs against the best ams from Great Britain and Ireland.
I took my shot two years later, playing Royal Porthcawl on a buddies’ golf trip through Scotland, England and Wales. The reason I know where Tiger’s drive landed is because Porthcawl course officials marked the spot with a plaque.
Incidentally, Porthcawl officials tell me Tiger’s plaque no longer exists. They removed it years ago because it slowed up play. Golfers
would hit extra shots from the plaque site to see if they could match Tiger’s albatross.
The only plaque I’ve ever owned also is being removed--at my next dental appointment in two weeks.