Land of One Thousand Golf Balls

By now, some of you know that I golf, albeit not very seriously. If you knew me, if you saw my somewhat tiny frame, my thin arms and skinny bow-legs, you would know that I’m as far away from being an athlete as the 800 pound man. However, there is more to golf than trying to achieve par or better. (In my case, I’m just trying to keep it below double-par.) I golf in order to commune with nature. There’s nothing so splendid as being on the golf course on a beautiful summer (or spring or fall) day, surrounded by nature. Sure, the occasional swear word from the party before us (or ours) can upset the grandeur, but all in all, it’s a venture worth playing hookie from work.

The added bonus is that the golfer can achieve some sort of exercise. My husband, Mr. Demonic, is a spoiled golfer. He likes the uber-nice courses with 90 degree rules and plenty of beverage girls, and so he enjoys motoring his own golf cart. A cart is generally needed on courses like these, because it can be a very long walk between holes. However, once on the fairway, I usually walk the distance to the flag, and let him drive the cart. The reason is two-fold: one, he likes driving, and two, my ball doesn’t go very far, so walking is usually the best bet. And there is where I get my exercise, that and whacking at the ball eight times in 425 yards.

There’s another benefit to walking. That is, to find a cache of stray balls. If it’s hot out, I tend to hit into the comfort of leafy trees. I don’t mind hitting balls out of the rough or the woods, in fact, I’ve pretty much perfected it to a fine art. When I first started golfing, I would sometimes never make it onto a fairway, and instead would spend the entire time in the rough. Eighteen holes of rough makes for a pretty vigorous workout. But when looking for your own ball under a canopy of oak trees, you tend to find a lot of balls belonging to someone else.

In many cases, the balls are in perfect condition, having only been hit once. Sometimes there are scuffs from tree-contact, and sometimes they’re buried, but for the most part, I only find flawless balls. I have a theory about this. I’m thinking since most of the balls are Titlelists or Calloway Reds or Blues, men are hitting them. Most men who go to expensive golf courses can afford to do so, probably more so than we can. Many men are foolishly vain and won’t go tracking into the woods or rough to retrieve their ball – they’ll just break out a new one.

In my case, I hate to buy golf balls. I tend to lose them in water anyway. (One time, I was so frustrated at not hitting my ball over a little creek on a par 3 to the green only 80 yards away that I hit nine balls into the water until the tenth one finally came up dry.) I save my brand new pretty pink Pinnacles for holes with no water hazards. For the rest of my game, I use found balls.

When my husband was a new golfer, he also spent a lot of time in the woods. If the pace of play was slow, he’d stay in the woods and look for balls with me. Same for my son. They’d come back with their bags so loaded with balls, you could barely lift them. Now that both have improved, it is only me who spends time in the rough looking for balls, either my own or others.

I happened to think about this as I backed my car into the garage yesterday. We have literally hundreds of golf balls now, stored in big tubs, old dresser drawers, and boxes in the garage. I can barely get my car in there. There’s no way I can lose that many in the creek, even if I golfed every day this summer and tried hard to lose them. The last time we had a garage sale, I cleaned up a few hundred and sold half of them for ten cents a piece. Mr. Demonic was mad when I told him, but we still have an arsenal of balls left over.

I think it’s time to pray hard for spring. If anyone needs any balls, just let me know.

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6 Responses

  1. There is no such thing as “perfect balls”.

  2. I tend to be a ball scavenger. I try never to buy golf balls.

  3. I like this idea of wandering around in a park. One of the things that I liked about going fishing was the wandering and exploring of wilderness. At some point, I realized that that’s what I really liked about it and have dispensed with the fishing pole. Among other things, not having anything to carry means that one’s hands are free for holding.

    I remember finding golf balls as a child. That was a fun game. I also remember myths about what was inside golf balls: poison. I remember Martians under a piece of plywood too. I think that may have been pure fantasy though.

  4. Wow. I’ve never considered playing golf as a way of communing with nature, being surrounded inevitably by (non-native) neatly mowed Kentucky bluegrass on ground that’s been viciously graded by heavy equipment into pretty little rolling mounds; fake little ponds; sand traps with sand that’s probably been driven in from another state; and occasional (non-native) ornamental trees.

    Sorry I’m ornery today. 😉

  5. Well, teaspoon, if you live in the big, dirty city, a nice golf course is about as close to nature as anyone is going to get. Our favorite course was carved out of a stand of pine trees now owned by the Catholic church, planted during the Roosevelt years, as part the WPA. It’s hilly, and very beautiful.

  6. I don’t get golf. Never played, don’t intend to.

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