Caddie Billy Foster surprises himself with first round in 18 months

Billy Foster recently played his first round of golf in 18 months and surprised himself with his score. Credit: Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

We all remember the feeling of playing golf after a long break and being pleasantly surprised with our score.

Maybe that happened for you during this recent break with the pandemic.

Low expectations always make the game more fun.

Thirty-eight-year veteran looper Billy Foster experienced this bit of good fortune last month when he played his first round of golf in a jaw-dropping 18 months.

The Keighley, West Yorkshire resident — who says he averages playing five to fix rounds a year — took on his local club, Bingley St. Ives.

RELATED: Caddie Billy Foster opting to wait until at least July to rejoin PGA Tour

The unpretentious 6-handicap shocked himself with his 74 (net 68) in his return to action.

“Well, seeing as I’d shanked about 10 of the 20 I hit in the practice net before I teed off I was shocked and relieved,” Foster said.

There is nothing like a warmup gone wrong, but somehow the wily veteran found a way to right the ship for his round.

The next week, Foster didn’t continue his newfound momentum.

“I followed that 74 (his first such score in three years) up with the shanks and probably shot mid 80s my next round, so it was terrible, rubbish,” Foster joked. “(My game’s) gone downhill completely since the 74. I’m a downhill lad, a downhill skier.”

The old saying is, “it’s hard to follow a good round up with another,” but still it had been 18 months for Foster and little mistakes were bound to add up.

The tough thing about our game is once you do post a good score, the temptation is to look ahead and try to beat it next time.

For Foster was that the case?

“No, because I was still aching so much from my first game,” the 54-year-old joked.

“But that’s the game for you, it drives you nuts. That’s why you need to practice and stay on top of it. But if you’re playing once every few months it’s just a very difficult game as I’m finding out.”

Foster figures he’s only played about five rounds a year for the past 15-20 years.

“When you’re caddying you’re involved in golf all the time, then obviously your golf game gets pretty (bad) and you don’t have the enthusiasm to play golf as much as you used to and you want to get away from it,” Foster said.

Foster has found himself on the course more recently with his 17-year-old son Joe.

The two teamed up to win a match this past Saturday at their home club as well with a combined 9-under net score.

Joe’s a 5-handicap.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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