puzzle partnership

Content provided by Scott Kubie, CLS Senior Portfolio Manager

Last week, my wife, son, and I joined my brother-in-law for a friendly golf competition at the Jaycee Golf Course in Cape Girardeau, MO. Given that none of us play enough golf to be good we decided to play a pair of nine hole, two-person scrambles. I played the first nine with my wife and the second with my son, Raef. Raef played from the yellow tees, which are between the men’s and women’s tees.

After switching partners at the turn, I stepped up to the number 10 tee, examined the 150 yard carry needed to clear the lake in front of me, thought confident thoughts, and hit the ball right in the water. It wasn’t even close. My next words were, “Son, I think we’re taking your tee shot this hole.” Raef came through and hit a nice shot from a tee box that had to carry 10 yards of water and we scored a par.

The next hole was a par five and I hit a better drive than Raef did, but not enough to overcome the 150 yard difference in tee boxes. Using his drive, I hit a five iron on the green and rolled in a big, bending 20 footer for eagle. Momentum was building.

Unfortunately, we bogeyed the next hole and moved to the pivotal 13th tee, where I promptly ground a ball into the turf then ended 30 yards short of the yellow tees. This time I encouragingly said, “If you miss the ball we are still taking your drive.” Raef steps up to the tee and hits his best drive of the day. We birdied that hole and kept playing good team golf the rest of the round.

Individually, I played well enough to be a bogey golfer for the day. Raef may have been close to double-bogey, but probably a little worse. Together we finished at four under par. Adding his skills and tee placement to mine was worth around 13 strokes, almost 1.5 strokes per hole.

I was reminded that partners don’t have to be perfect, they just have to cover our weak spots. When they do it makes a big difference.