Thursday, August 28, 2008

Playin' in the Big Leagues

For my sister’s birthday this year, I decided I wanted to give her something that would encourage us to spend some time together, since we’re generally not very good at that. After discussing a few ambitious options- i.e.: kayaking lessons or a small white water rafting class- we settled on a much more realistic option.


I have only golfed once in my life (putt-putt aside). It was a few years ago, and I was with my sister and brother. My sister has her own set of clubs in a fancy bag (don’t be fooled, this is only a façade). My brother had a few clubs that I think he got at garage sale, and he carried them in his own homemade bag that would make Martha Stewart applaud. The bag was made from a pair of old jeans. One leg was tied off at the bottom, and the clubs could rest securely inside. The other leg was looped around and tied to the other leg to form a “P” shape. This leg was the part he wore over his shoulder. Perhaps I should check with him before I publish this post, in case he wants to copywrite his design first. Upon arriving at the golf course, we were told that each golfer needed their own clubs to play, so I carried 3 of Meghan’s clubs around all day. I don’t remember our final scores at the day’s end, but I’m inclined to guess that our skills paralleled our classiness pretty closely.

So, why not give it another go, right? This time we were better prepared, knowing ahead of time that I would need my own set of clubs. My sister still has her fancy set, complete with fancy bag. Her husband has a fancy set too. He also has an ancient, stained, held-together-with-a-belt, sack disguised as a golf bag. Poorly disguised. Guess which one he decided to loan me for the day?
When we arrived at the golf course (I should mention that we originally had reservations at a much fancier club, but the above mentioned brother-in-law forbid us from proceeding with these plans, insisting we had neither the skills nor the class to show our faces on such a course. I thank God for his discernment in the matter.) we decided to purchase a bucket of balls to practice on at the driving range. I set my ball in front of me, stood in the most pro-golfer stance I could manage, and then made quick glances from my ball below out to the driving range ahead, like I’ve seen them do on TV on the rare occasions I’ve watched golf. Finally, I lifted my club behind me while maintaining my proper golf pose, then let it drop towards the ball with ample strength and perfect precision, following my swing all the way through to a finality.

Much to my dismay, my ball still lay at my feet. I tried again and again, missing each time. Finally on about the 7th or 8th attempt, I made contact. The ball flew directly up at a 90 degree angle (maybe an 80 degree angle), and after a few seconds it dropped down about 10 feet in front of us. Meghan’s luck was very similar to mine. She usually made contact on the first attempt, but our balls rarely landed as far as the very closest yardage sign.

Once our practice balls ran out, we reluctantly headed to the first hole. We were disappointed to find that there was a group directly behind us, which meant that we would no doubt be holding them up as we hacked our way out of lakes and marshes. Because of this, we decided to take on this hole with a “speed golf” approach. This is exactly what it sounds like: hit and run, hit and run… no time to set our bags down, much less wait for each other, as is proper etiquette. The end result? We scored 15 and 12 on a par 4 hole… in less than 3 minutes.

We then realized that the people in front of us were quite slow, as were the guys behind us that had intimidated us so. Thus, we decided to slow down and act like we knew what we were doing. It turned out to be a really fun day, and I’m proud to say that we both improved with each hole. Kinda. I still had to take several swings on each new tee, but Meghan was nice enough to only count one.

In the end, we both scored around 90, on a 31 par course (that means we’re less than three times worse than the average person!). We only lost one ball, but found two more. And as far as class goes… well, some things never change.

Thanks for going with me Meghan! I had fun!

1 comment:

Meghan said...

I wondered when I'd see a post about this. I'd say you described the outing with an embarrassing amount of accuracy. The only thing you're missing is a picture of you proudly carrying that retched golf bag (again, sorry about that...I really should have checked to see just what Nick had loaded into the car). I'll email you one of the pics I took that must add it to this post.