Golf at the Indianapolis 500

It’s called the Brickyard, and it’s super cool. You start out somewhere outside the race track, and in the middle, several holes are right inside the center of the track. It’s a popular place, and it was busy that day.

The course is really nice. Lush grass, well tended. The carts had GPS. It’s a tough course too, but Mr. Demonic’s friend is a good golfer, who likes nice, tough courses. Me, I could putz around on a city course, and I’d be just as happy.

I was amazed at how big the place was. The track seems to go on forever, and there are plenty of boxes lined along the way. Likewise, the inside of the track is massive. I’m not much for racing, so I wasn’t aware.

Friday, there were several cars racing. Why, I don’t know. I always thought they only raced the 500, but obviously they use the track all year long. When we crossed over to the inside of the track, we could watch them as they sped around.

Now, for updates on my golf game:

1. The weather was very nice, so I couldn’t use that as an excuse.

2. My back wasn’t hurting, so I couldn’t use that excuse.

3. I have a great set of golf clubs (Lady Callaways), so I couldn’t use that excuse.

4. I had Arby’s for lunch, so I couldn’t use the excuse that I was hungry. It was a junior sandwich, so I couldn’t use the excuse that I was overfull.

5. I had plenty of drugs (Benadryl and Motrin), so I couldn’t use that excuse.

Let’s just say that I hit some good shots, but I hit more bad ones than good. I always feel guilty when I golf on a nice course with thick grass, such as the Brickyard. That is because I tend to hack up the course.

Perhaps I should get out on the course more than once every two months.

Gone Golfing

I’m going to be gone this weekend.

Golfing. It’s supposed to be restful.

I stink at golf. I am prepared to be most frustrated.

Oh, well. Someone has to be in the bunker…

It’s True What They Say About Golf

There’s this adage implying that a bad day at the golf course is better than a good day at work.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Actually, since there are rarely any good days at work, a bad day anywhere else doing anything else would be better than working.

I know. I have a bad attitude. This is particularly treacherous since I own the business. I also realize that my bad attitude sparks more negativity. That is why I’ve been excusing myself from the office and going home to write. Or, I’ll go home and mow the lawn or dig up more grass for my garden. I thought I would miss being “in the loop” but I don’t really.

So yesterday, we decided to golf. It was a nice day, not too hot and not too chilly. There was a hint of bad weather, as we were getting reports from the Left Coast of our state saying that the area there was under tornado warnings and penny-sized hail. (Hail is flat like a penny? Since when?)

I am happy to report that I made a couple of really brilliant shots. I also whiffed the ball a couple of times. My short game sucks. I was only in the bunker, twice, which was nice. It was so humid yesterday that the greens were soft and spongy, thus slowing down the ball, and so my putting really stunk.

Right as we were approaching the ninth green, the clouds descended and roiled around. It looked a lot like a tornado to me. I forfeited my hole and headed for the safety of the cart (which isn’t very safe at all, but beats standing out in the open with a metal putter in your hand), while my husband decided to finish out the hole. It was tough. The wind picked up and blew him all around. However, after a short pit stop at the clubhouse rounding the turn, the sun came out. Go figure.

The rest of the day was picture perfect. Even with a score up in the 120s, it was good.

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.

Parents as Dorks

Today, during an email exchange with MIB, we discussed the views of children of their parents. I mentioned that his children may someday consider him a “dork.” He did not agree, stating that he didn’t see his own father as a dork. I thought that was unusual, because I have considered my own parents pretty dorky at times, and I know that my own children think of me and their father as colossal dorks right now.

Really, it’s a rite of passage.

Somewhere after the blush pales of Mommy and Daddy being All-Powerful-And-All Wondrous (which is usually sometime toward the end of elementary school and definitely by middle school), children will turn on you. Okay, maybe not all children, but many do. I did it. Mine did to us. My children caught on right away that we weren’t God, we were just a couple of human beings, and totally imperfect ones at that.

In my parents’ case, it was when I noticed that my father called all of my friends “Suzy Q.” This name was equally given to both male and female friends – my dad made no distinction as to gender. At the time, it was embarrassing. Now, I think it’s kind of cute. One of my friends from high school still visits him from time to time, and he still calls her Suzy Q.

For my children, I guess I’ve been the paragon of dorkyness. I’ve set the gold standard of dork. I’ve got dork down to a science.

Here are some (admitted) examples of my dorkyness:

1. It could have been when I started liking the boy group, Hanson, after my daughter started to listen to them. As soon as I became enamored of them, she dropped them like a hot potato.

2. It could have been after I took my children’s love of Beanie Babies to a new level, by collecting them like a nut job (I still have all of them, stored in the basement, and there are thousands). After I missed getting on TV because I didn’t make it to Nordstrom in time for the televised soccer-mom brawl, they gave up on the little stuffed toy. I didn’t though, which still qualifies me as dork heavy.

3. It could have been when I started my own MySpace page. This didn’t sit well with the offspring. “Why are you on there?” my daughter sputtered. “Well, I’m spying on you,” I answered. “That’s so gay!” she replied, then she stomped off to her room.

4. My fate as queen dork was sealed when I got on Facebook. Ms. Mini D: “What are you doing on Facebook!? It’s for students! YOU’RE not a student!” Me: “Your brother invited me, I couldn’t say no!” Ms. Mini D: “Well, you’re both dorks!”

5. Of course, when I show up at the high school and ask for an audience with the principal (who is an extremely nice woman) that is the absolute end. Only dorky parents would have an actual conversation with school administrators! (Never mind that I am in close contact with several school administrators every day.)

6. When I took up the violin a few years ago, I was pronounced “dork” by sheer choice of instrument.

7. Likewise, when I took up a drawing class and they found out we had nude drawing as part of the class, they collectively said, “EWW!” and christened me dork.

8. And lastly, the Internet. Ever since I’ve been writing online, reading online, and making friends online (some of whom I’ve met), I have attained the status of Ms. Universal Dork. I won’t even try to reconstruct some of the conversation that has been thrown my way.

There’s more. Both my husband and I are dorks because we golf. I’ll admit that traditional golf clothes (especially for women) are exceptionally dorky, which is why I shop elsewhere for similar clothing that defines my body a bit better.

Even a dork has to look good.

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.

Misadventures on the Golf Course Part I

I took up golf about ten years ago. It was about the time that my husband took it up, because I insisted my son take it up. My son was about ten at the time and has never been athletically inclined. He’s now approaching 21 and still not athletically inclined, but he can bang a mean Steinway. He can also golf fairly well.  Golf is the one sport where literally anyone can participate, whether or not you are athletically inclined. In fact, old duffers and youngsters with no clue are usually the best at golf.

Now me, I’m really not very good at golf. In fact, you could say I’m awful. I tend to dig up a lot of fairway. In fact, I hate to hit the ball if it’s on the fairway, because I’m afraid I’ll mess up the grass. I’m fairly decent off the tee, but it depends. Some days I can really nail the putts too. I’ve shown some brilliant moves as well as some downright stinkers. If I’m in a good mood, if I’m not paired up with a Tiger Woods  wannabe, if I’ve had some liquid refreshment beforehand, I can look like a genius. If not, I can look like a blind golfer. I’m not kidding when I say that I can sometimes throw the ball much farther than I can hit it with a golf club.

I have many golf stories, even though I now only golf maybe once a month. Back when my son lived here and was on the golf team in high school, we probably went out a few times a week. We don’t seem to have the time for it anymore, even though he moved away. I don’t do it to beat the pants off my opponent; I like fresh air and the fact that I can do this by myself. The only person I want to beat is me. Some days that’s easier said than done. I’m the kind of person who has always taken two steps forward and one step back.

You have to admit that golf courses are really pretty. They seem to attract a lot of wildlife, too. One time, my son hit a flying goose with a long drive. I’m not sure if the goose survived. It was too bad, because usually he hits straight into the woods. He’s hit balls there and deer have emerged, shaken but alive. Speaking of the woods, it’s usually more fun to hit out of them, plus the bonus is that you can find a lot of stray balls in there. I would not recommend looking for stray balls in Florida, where there are alligators or in the Bahamas, where some of the insects are bigger than my palm.

I once hit my husband in the neck with a ball. The ridiculous thing is that he was in the cart right across from my tee box. Yes, my tee shot went laterally. (I happen to be the only one who can do that.) For a long time after that, when I approached my tee box, he would yell “cover your neck” and proceed to back up to the black tees. Oh, yes, Mr. Demonic is a comedian.

When I first started golfing, I would have my own cart, and Mr. Demonics Senior and Junior would share a cart. This is because Ms. Mini-Demonic doesn’t golf. She thinks the clothes are ugly and make women’s butts look big. When she was younger, she would go just to ride, but now she has other things to do. The other two would circle my ball in the fairway, and proceed to make faces at me while I lined up my shot. If you’ve ever seen Mr. Demonic Junior’s face, you’d know that he’s his own cartoon when it comes to facial features. This would either leave me steaming mad, or laughing so hard I would fall to the ground.

Thinking about golf makes me wish it were nicer out.