As I was catching up on golf headlines this month I noted a recurring theme; miracle shots. While it’s a term that often gets thrown around in golf, these stories got me thinking about what we’re trying to accomplish with National Match Play.
The first story I saw was an interview with Jordan Spieth, who holed out some incredible shots to card two eagles over six holes in the second round of the Scottish Open. He followed that with another miracle shot for an eagle the following day. When a reporter asked about Spieth’s seeming penchant for miracle shots, he gave an interesting answer.
“Yeah, I try to believe that I have a knack for just getting it in the hole however I can, and some days that means ball-striking, and some days that means scrambling. I think the ability to try to find a way to shoot lower scores and willing it in has some effect,” Spieth said. “Had my fair share of breaks over the years. The ones that go in with the right speed are the ones that I walk away even happier with.”
Another miracle shot of note took place in a casual round at Sea Island in St. Simons Island, GA. In this case, the golfer was Ben Griffin, a 26-year-old pro on the Korn Ferry Tour. While there was nothing but pride riding on the shot, Griffin (who started his round on 10), came to the par-4 ninth hole sitting at 12 under. After a solid drive, Griffin’s approach from the fairway turned into a miracle shot that bounded into the hole for a score of 13 under and a magical round of 59.
On top of his incredible round, Griffin’s story as a pro golfer is also something of a miracle. Consider that just a year ago, he’d earned less than $3,500 in nine starts on the Korn Ferry Tour and was working for a mortgage company. In 2022, Griffin is in third place in the KFT standings and will likely be playing on the PGA Tour next season.
The last miracle shot was a creative, scrambling save at the Valspar Championship that helped PGA tour player Wesley Bryan keep his Tour card in his last tournament on a medical exemption. That save saw Bryan play a shot from his knees while choked down on an iron to punch out of a lie beneath a shrub to salvage a bogey four. Bryan would birdie the next hole to make the cut and keep his Tour card.
While all these “miracle shot” examples come from touring pros, what struck me is the fact that anyone who swings a golf club is capable of that same type of “miracle.” It may not be the last stroke in a round of 59 and it may not be in a professional tournament, but holing out from anywhere on the course is possible for any golfer of any skill level. Granted, pro golfers may have more time to practice and enjoy a slight edge in precision and confidence, but while they don’t get all the publicity, I’d bet amateur golfers hit as many “miracle shots” as the pros.
The point of all this is to reiterate my goal that National Match Play is for every golfer. Via our age/handicap adjustment system, golfers of all skill levels can have the fun and excitement of competing head-to-head, without the need for miracle shots. You don’t need to be a big shot. You just need the desire to give it your best shot.
Ready to give National Match Play a shot? Now is the time. Sign-ups are open now, so tee up a partner and sign-up for free today. Some National Match Play Regions are filling up fast, so enter today and I hope to see you on the course soon!