They say golf is like life, and vice versa, which augers poorly for both at times, but you should never give up hope.
I had the unpleasant experience of losing my phone recently, made all the more unfortunate as I was playing golf at the time.
It hadn't been the best round. I'd just registered my latest double quadruple bogey coming off the seventh. My golf partner, meanwhile, had been shooting the lights out and taken to offering advice on my stance, my swing and my grip. Fair to say I was starting to lose my grip
I'd lost the ball I'd swore the hole before I'd never lose, and that had really hurt. It was a familiar golfing cascade. Rather than obsess about a good score, I'd decided to focus on keeping my ball in sight.
It was the last thought I had as my next tee shot veered off the fairway and directly into the swamp never to be seen again, except maybe by turtles. Veer is probably a misleading word. It was never missing the swamp.
It got me thinking - so much fairway to aim for, so little swamp to hit, and yet I nailed the swamp, again. Vale dear Niblick. Seemed everything I aspired to, I missed. Golf as life, life as golf - my confidence was eroding faster than Stockton beach.
To take my mind off matters coming off the seventh, I reached for my phone - the modern-day comfort blanket. Sure enough, the phone wasn't there. Not on the second, third or even after what my wife might call a thorough, panic-ridden girl's look. Seems it had fallen out of my buggy.
I suddenly realised there was something worse than my golf game. And it wasn't the prospect of logging a ticket at work explaining why I shouldn't pay for a new phone.
There was now potentially my entire digital identity laying out there on the golf course waiting to be hacked worse than I'd been hacking golf that day.
What was I going to do? Certainly not call my phone on my phone, because I no longer had my phone, and I was pretty sure phone calls didn't work like that anyhow. But my mate had his phone, so he took a break from analysing my game and made a call.
It seemed an eternity till we got an answer and when we did thankfully it wasn't "leave a message". A human being responded and to my relief there were no hostage demands.
Seems some teens had miraculously found the phone near the swamp before even more miraculously passing it to some golfers who handed it in at the pro shop.
Talk about restoring faith in humanity, not to mention teenagers. From the lowest of lows I went to the highest of highs, and I had golf to thank for it. Who'd thought that coming off the seventh?
The turnaround in fortunes reminded me of inspirational British octogenarian Captain Sir Tom Moore who lived by the mantra "tomorrow will be a better day" right up until the day they buried him.
All ironies aside, Captain Sir Tom's words rang true with the unlikely salvation of my phone. In life, as in golf, there really is no expiry date on optimism. And with that, I got up on the eighth and drove one straight into the bunker.