If you’ve ever played golf, you know the “golf gods” can be a capricious bunch.

They give and they take … sometimes on the same hole.

A friendly kick from a tree that lands in the fairway can be followed by a stroke that is gently laid to rest in a fairway divot.

A beautifully hit approach shot on the green – apparently intended for a public-friendly tap-in – lands centimeters from its destination and rolls back into a green bunker.

As we’ve seen many times on the PGA Tour, an impeccable approach shot at the perfect distance hits the flagstick and ricochets into a nearby water hazard.

A putt holds its intended line to the hole … only to lip in such a shocking and amazing way that you stop in time as if you had just seen the ghost of Old Tom Morris.

Situations like this are all too common on the golf course. When it happens to a play partner, it can lead to kneeled laughter and endless ridicule.

Experienced players, however, can only smile crookedly and knowingly in memory of their own bloody experiences … and for fear of redirecting the gaze of the golf gods to their fragile game.

In the spirit of trick or treating, this month we wanted to share some thoughts on the scariest experiences one can have on the golf course, followed by the many “goodies” that quickly erase them from our memories and keep us coming back again and again.

It’s the Trick or Treat edition of Golf Talk.

First the tricks.

– First tee with spectators. (Veteran or newbie, old or young, experienced or not, public or private facility … this is generally considered to be the scariest shot in golf.

– A 3-foot putt that means something

– Entering a new club for the first time

– Cart path only

– Hit a delicate bunker with water for a long time

– Finding out that you left a club somewhere in the field

– Have a golf ball with multiple holes left to play with

– Play without “gimme” putts

– A dribbler from the tee

– A thunderstorm stops the game

– A punch-out shot that won’t come out

– Approaching the 18th green with a gallery observation

– A putt on the last hole for a career milestone (that should also be a “treat”!)

– Hit another group … another hole

– The fourth, who is always late or cancels on the way to the course

– The dreaded shaft

– Freshly ventilated green

– A six hour round

– Calculating the “what if” after a series of good holes … almost always followed by a series of apocalyptic holes

Despite these frightening situations, we regularly return to the scene of the crime in order not to come across more sadistic “tricks” of pain and suffering, but on the contrary; For the chance we will be rewarded with the many “goodies” that this wonderful game can put in our goodie bag.

Treats like …

– Go 18 on a nice day

– Do a long putt

– Slam it to tap into it

– A long straight ride

– Observe a chip or putt track up to the hole

– Winning 2 & 1 (2 above with a hole to play) to take the pressure off the last hole

– New things! Clubs, shoes, socks, golf balls, headgear. Somehow and everything.

– Discounts in the golf shop

– A cold drink awaits you at the 19th hole

– Golf friends – old and new

– Golf vacation

– Closest to the pin assignment

– Put on a brand new glove

– Winning a charity scramble tournament

– The expression on your child’s face after punching high and wide

– A career low

– A happy jump

– The views

– First group out or last group in

– A great caddy that informs, entertains and keeps you in the game

– Golf club logos – Salem, Fishers Island, Winged Foot, Sleepy Hollow, Whistling Straits, Augusta National

Whether you played golf for the first time this year or have played your entire life, hopefully you have seen more of the “goodies” than the “tricks”.

If you have any that you’d like to share, email me at [email protected]

Play well!

Chris Garrett is a local who loves to play golf and write about golf. Send comments and column ideas for a future golf talk to [email protected]