Despite Saturday’s cold temperatures, I hit the golf course! I say that like it’s something I do all the time and it may even sound like I know what I’m doing when I’m out there. But au contraire, I am a golfer “in progress!” Since that first game in a cow pasture for charity in 2013, I should be further along than I am. Unfortunately, it hasn’t become anywhere near a priority, so my brain and muscles have to retrain with each succeeding game. Well, at least that sounds like a good excuse for six over par!
I am very fortunate because I have a daughter and gentleman friend who don’t mind spending up to four hours - yes, I did say FOUR - playing nine holes of golf. But for the three of us, it’s less about the game and more about our understanding that life is short, and that our time together is time well spent.
My golf companions don’t play a perfect game but they’re lightyears ahead of me. Neither had played in a year but I believe if they get back out there more frequently, their innate ability will kick in. I don’t have an “innate” anything when it comes to sports but what I lack in natural ability, I try to make up for in enthusiasm and a stick-it-out-to-the-bitter-end attitude. I’ve never hit a ball that goes sailing beautifully into the horizon - mine are more like baseball grounders, but I love that sound when my loved ones’ clubs connect with the ball and it gets lost in the sea of blue sky, white fluffy clouds and green grass.
If I get any kudos at all, it’s for my putting and I can thank my gentleman friend for my favorite putter. He bought it for me at a junk shop in Arkansas four years ago. It’s old and heavy but it feels right. I may not have a favorite golf sweater or golf cap, but I hope that having a favorite putter makes me almost a real golfer. Since putting is the only thing I’m remotely good at, regardless of how long it takes me to get the hole, I insist on hearing the clink of my own ball in the cup!
My golf companions are more knowledgeable about how to hold the club, swing and read the green and they’re pretty consistent in their execution, though not necessarily with the results. For me, every swing is learning all over again, so I’ve decided to concentrate on hitting the ball straight by whatever means possible. I find I lose less balls to the sand and water traps that way. That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it!
That cold and windy Saturday ended with a crock pot of hot taco soup waiting for us at my house. Despite never achieving par on any hole, there were no losers that day – only winners laughing and cussing on Mr. Hassell’s beautiful green for a day in my life well spent.
Connie Clements is a freelance reporter and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.