Thursday, July 06, 2006

New clubs, same old swing

I got a little bonus at work and with a little of that money I bought a starter set of Golf clubs. I have a couple of bags of clubs but they are older then I am and I wanted to get something with not as much rust. Yesterday I got my first chance to go out golfing with my new clubs and it was a rough start. First I went to the driving range to get a feel for the sticks and every shot was a wicked slice to the right. Kate gave me a couple of tips “Arms straight back, not like a baseball bat!” “Butt down like your sitting on a stool” which helped and I was off to the course. We had a foursome of my father in law Tommy, his neighbor Bill, Andy who we picked up at the course, and myself.

The first hole I teed off last and promptly forgot all of Kate’s advice and sent a screamer into the parking lot. I took a drop and had a good enough second shot to be up with the rest. The next hole was an equally bad drive and I wanted to cry. What the hell was I doing here with these guys, I suck at golf and I am just holding them back. They wish I would do the proper thing and fake an injury so they didn’t have to suffer through my horrendous hacking. At one point Bill told me I had the swing of a professional, a professional basketball player. Good Times! After sucking it up for the first 4 holes I finally got a leg up on the mental game and just said screw it, “You suck, so what, just have fun and try to get better.” From there on I started hitting the ball a lot better. I followed a short drive to the right with a 200 yard second shot to the green with a makeable putt for birdy. I limp wrested the putt and finished with a Par and then put the ball back where it was and sunk the same putt.

Meanwhile as I was getting a bit better everyone else was playing surprisingly bad. I was the worst one out there for sure but not by far. Bill is a good golfer that suffered from rust but knew how to talk the game. He would say things like “Let go of it wind!” when you sliced it, or “Looks like your dancing” when you got to the green. He made our fourth, Andy feel at home by saying something apropos one each of his drives. Andy was a 6-4, early 40’s black man with an African accent. He had a cart while the three others of us walked and he would speed ahead to find each of our balls. After 4 hours and an 18th hole at twilight we left the course tired and happy. It was a fine way to spend and evening and there were plenty of great shots to look back on fondly.