Fore!

I had wanted to learn to golf for a couple of years.  It seemed like a game I could enjoy- one where the competition can be fierce, but doesn’t have to be.  A game that people can play as kids, but continue well beyond the age of retirement.  And most of all, a game that requires no running.

In July, I went with my brother Eric and his wife, Colleen when they played nine holes of golf at a course near their home.  Because I don’t golf, I drove the cart, which, by the way, is loads of fun.  I watched them play, noticing how calm and peaceful the course was, and thought how much I would like to learn this game. 

This weekend, after much teasing and cajoling, I got my chance.  I drove to western Massachusetts for the Labor Day weekend, and Eric and Colleen took me for my first golf experience.    Before I left for the weekend, I told my friend Gerry about this, and he wrote me the following email:

10 things to remember about golf:

1. It looks much easier than it is.

2. If it is true that only the mediocre are always at their best, golf is one game where the average “good” player is always at his or her best.  So don’t worry if you aren’t very good.  Very, very few players really are.

3. Sometimes, seeing the Canada Geese along the water hazard on the 5th hole is more rewarding than the game itself.

4. When you see people squatting, studying a green for a left or right break, when they’re done, they probably still don’t have any real clue as to which way the green breaks.

5. How men score: One in the woods, two out of bounds, three in the lateral water hazard, four on the green, and three putts for a five.

6. How women score: I know the highest I can take on a hole is an 8, but I think I got a 12.  I’m not sure though.  Between the penalty strokes and the whiffs, I lost count.

7. Cell phones have no place on a golf course, except in an emergency. 

8. Don’t take too seriously the helpful tips from others in the foursome about how to correct your swing errors.  If they knew, they’d be teaching pros, and they’d hit the ball better than they do.

9. If a teaching pro comes up behind you and puts his arms around you to “help show you how to swing,” he’s trying to pick you up if you’re a woman.  If you’re a man, he’s gay.

10.  Beer will not improve your game, but it does help to make it more relaxing sometimes. 

Have fun! 

After spending the afternoon at the Par 3, which, as far as I am concerned, should be called Par 6, I have this response to Gerry and to all those people who play golf:

1. Gerry is correct- it does look a lot easier than it is.

2.  I am striving to reach the status of “not very good. “  It is an improvement over my current status of “stinks.”

3.  If there is water, my golf ball will find it.

4.  For some people, golf is a serious game. For me, it is an opportunity to give my brother, my sister-in-law, and everyone else on the course a hearty laugh.  Or rather, several hearty laughs.  Especially those guys whom we allowed to play through, since it took me so long to get my ball to the green.

5. There is a lot to think about when golfing: How to lock my left elbow, but keep my right one bent.  How to plant my left foot but lift my right during the swing. How to keep my eye on the ball, even when I fan the stroke.  Oh, and how to remember how many ^&*()&*()_++_)_ strokes it took to get to the %^&*I(O)P_&**ing green.

6.. The sound of the ball dropping into the cup is extremely satisfying.

8.  Spending time outside with two of the people I love most in this world outweighs any embarrassment, although, I’m not sure they feel the same way.

9. I knew I was in trouble when the clubs weren’t even in the car and I started planning for the next time.

10. Two (yes, kids, two) glasses of sangria during dinner afterward  didn’t improve my swing, but they sure went down easy.

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2 Comments

  1. I should have known better than to let Rick and Colleen get ahold of you. Don’t you know that golf is a disease and is very catching? Go back to cheer leading!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Kevin

     /  September 5, 2010

    Garrie – if we can find some clubs, I would love to go out with you. As Mom says, it is a disease, but one I am glad I caught. And, after about ten years of suffering, I still stink, but always have fun – and that for me is what it is all about!

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