Golf: Noun. A game in which clubs with wooden or metal heads are used to hit a small, white ball into a number of holes, usually 9 or 18 in succession, situated at various distances over a course having natural or artificial obstacles, the object being to get the ball into each hole in as few strokes as possible.
I wanted to start this article with the definition of golf just so we know how simple and relaxing this game can be.
Yeah, right. If anyone wants golf truly defined, watch the late, great Robin Williams do his fantastic riff on golf. The first time I saw this bit, I was just starting to get serious about the game. And every example of torture he gave spoke to my very core. And I understood that the inventors of this game, those wacky Scotsmen of the 1500’s, were truly a masochistic bunch.
So let’s get this right out in the open. I have a handicap of 20.4. You can look it up on GIHN, I’m in the state of Washington and I belong to Druids Glen Golf Club. To be clear, I can hit the ball a ton, just not very straight. The strongest part of my game (currently…it tends to change at a moment’s notice) is my short game and putting. I may double bogey a lot of holes but once I am on the green, I pretty much 2-putt everything.
I have been shooting in the low to mid 90’s recently and came close to shooting in the 80’s a short while back until I doubled on my last 3 holes and ended up with a 92. Still a solid game for me.
But here’s the thing: The best part of playing golf is not the screaming 300 yarder, the excellent 8-iron from 145 yards out or the sinking of a snaky 25 foot putt (don’t get me wrong, I’ll take em when I can get em.) No, the best part is playing with my closest friends, Rick and Tim and occasionally Tim’s brother Mike.
Tim and Mike are the best golfers of the 4 of us. Rick and I (which has ticked me off because for a while there, I had 3rd locked up) are fairly even. And I suspect Rick will be getting even better now that he as retired and will be getting some lessons. There is always the good natured ribbing on errant shots (ask Rick how he feels about trees) and the atta-boy’s when there is that one great shot off the tee with just a tiny draw that puts you past the rest.
Tim and I played a round at The Home Course in Dupont, WA. This was the round that I was on course to break 90 for the first time…and let me tell you, I didn’t think I’d be anywhere near that when I had a 7 on the first hole with a drive that went maybe 30 yards. But some magic happened and I shot a 41 on the front actually beating Tim who has a 12.5 handicap and he shot a 43.
But it really wasn’t about the score…or the game. It was taking a day off from a hectic work schedule and being with one of my closest friends. Tim is another retiree (out of the 4, I am the only one NOT retired) and loves the game. But here is the thing about my friend. When he goes home to talk about the day with his wife Denyse, he talked about me and how well I played the game. In fact, he gets more excited when others play well more so than for himself. He makes the game enjoyable and this was one of the best rounds of golf I played.
So here is the gig about this section. Sure there may be some articles about professional golf but I am hoping to have folks share what they love about the game, where they like to play, brag about shots and root for others as they reach their personal milestones. Cripes, I may never break 90 in my life but that’s not what I get out of the game. I love being outdoors, being with friends and doing some male bonding. Thankfully, I have a more than understanding wife when it comes to playing. However, I have to make time to take her out on our 1997 Harley Heritage Springer. Luckily, the same guys I play golf with also own Harley’s so there is never a lack of finding others who want to ride.
So share your stories about golf. I’d like to sort them by state so be sure to mention where they are located. One of my goals is to play golf in as many states as I can (including the state of inebriation). So far, I can cross of Michigan, Washington, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and California.
Where have you played?