When Golf Becomes a Day at the Beach

This weekend, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a couple of games of golf. After all, we had the holiday (Monday) off, and completed all of our outside chores to some satisfaction. The nice thing about having a yard is that eventually you get to enjoy it. I think our target date is the first week of July. The bad thing about having a yard is that it takes an enormous amount of hard work, hence not being able to truly enjoy it until the first week of July.

In the meantime, I dutifully planted my vegetable garden, made color bowls of bright flowers and different lettuce (might as well get a salad out of my efforts), and dug deep into the ground.

In my youth, all of this would have been no work at all. It’s funny how as you get older, you become cognizant of more creaks and aches and pains than you did just five short years ago.

So, to reward ourselves (and to take a break) we decided to hit the links.

I haven’t golfed since last summer. To say I’m rusty would be a complete understatement. To begin with, I’m definitely not an athlete. My golf game is just below mediocre. Most of the time, I hit the ball without the embarrassing wiffed shot swooshing unproductively into the air. Usually, I hit my balls straight, but not very far.

Playing your first game of the season is a humbling experience. Any bad habit you are likely to pick up from five months hibernating indoors will soon become apparent. Playing after two days of strenuous yard work is just plain lunacy. My wrists were sore from digging and pulling up weeds. My hips were sore from continuous squats to the ground. (I’ll tell you in a week or so if they helped lower my excess poundage.)

In addition, have a confession to make: I am a psychologically challenged golfer. As soon as I see water, I hit my ball right into it. As soon as I determine that my ball has to carry over a thicket of raspberry bushes or a marshy bog, it magically beams right toward the center of the muck, as if magnetized by impending doom. If there is a bunker to the left of my shot, I will mis-hit and the ball will laterally travel into trouble.

Not to fear. I have a garage full of errant old golf balls, thanks to the hunter-gatherer instincts of my husband and son, who have diligently found more balls in the woods than I would need in a lifetime of troubled fairways. Personally, I won’t brave the brambles and marshland to retrieve any item that I would put there. Nosiree Bob, not even in the unlikely event of a $100 bill floating out of my bag and landing into the thick of it.

On the other hand, you can’t ignore your ball if it’s lying in the sand. It lays there on the beach, a pristine white (or pink or yellow or purple) Easter egg sticking its tongue out at you, saying “Na, nee, na, nee, naaaaa neeee” just like a petulant preschooler.

Needless to say, this weekend I spent a lot of time in bunkers.

You would think that after visiting every bunker on the course, my short game would have improved a little. I mean, I wielded that sand wedge more times this weekend than Tiger would have if he were just goofing around in the back yard on his way to empty the trash. (Does Tiger empty the trash? I hope so.)

But, no. Let me honestly report that I whacked away in the sand with an abandon I haven’t felt since my toddler days with bucket and shovel. Add to that the fact that I’m short, and some of these bunkers had lips that were a good two feet over the top of my head. However, I resisted an overpowering urge to pick up my ball and toss it over. I think I’m more mature than that now.

Still, I’m not a hot-headed golfer. What’s the use? I know I’m not going to beat anyone with my game. Besides, I’d rather make an expenditure of anger at something worthwhile, like boneheaded politicians. It’s nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air, and when golf becomes a day at the beach, I’ll accept it. It’s better than a day anywhere else.

5 Responses

  1. Years ago I thought I’d teach my daughter a little golf.

    When she whiffed one, I showed her the Vardon grip, a proper swing plane, etc.

    She put one hand on her hip, bowed up, and said, “Now Daddy, I’ve only been on this earth six short years!”

    Told me she did.

    Dr. B

  2. Some things are just fun, whether you’re good at them or not.

    Glad you had a little fun.

  3. I think the best thing about golf is being outdoors and enjoying it. Who cares how good your game is?

  4. Yup, Corina. That’s what I think too!

  5. I don’t get golf.

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