Growing up I was never much of a fan of golf. There wasn’t anything about it that appealed to me. The game, to me, seemed like a mildly athletic, elitist sort of recreation for people with more money and mistresses than I would ever have. I wanted something a little more hard nosed and athletic. Before Tiger Woods became a household name, I couldn’t tell one pair of funny pants from another. I really like the movie Happy Gilmore but that’s more because Happy was a semi-psychotic hockey goon turned pro-golfer. He was the antithesis of everything I associated with the “sport” of golf. I didn’t consider it a sport.
But all of that may have changed. I recently went golfing with my stepdad over Father’s Day weekend, and I have to say that I actually enjoyed it.
I used to associate golf with uptight, old, white dudes in funny looking clothes, and I still do to a point, but there’s a chance that it might have grown on me a bit. Maybe it was just that I enjoy driving around in golf carts while drinking cold beer on a hot day, but then again maybe it was the game itself that got me. It’s kind of hard to tell at this point. On one hand the opportunity to drink and drive without the chance to hurt anyone or go to jail appeals to me, but on the other hand I almost hit a hole in one!
Sure, I didn’t actually get it, but when that ball was headed towards the hole on that first drive, there was some real excitement. An excitement that I had never experienced on my other golf outings. This was my first time on the links in about 12 years, if my estimations are correct. That’s a long time without swinging a golf club, but much to my surprise, I got a hang of the whole thing quickly.
My stepdad is no pro, and hasn’t been out in more than a year, but after the front 9 I was only losing by 3 strokes. Not bad. Neither of us were very good but we were out there having fun in the sun, all while being mildly athletic and competitive. Our respective strengths kept the match close throughout. He was better on the driving the long ball, while I excelled once putting came into play. I was able to keep it close as he struggled to navigate the green.
There was even one hole that I managed to par, a feat that only I accomplished on the day. By the time we were getting near the end of the back 9, I had started to hit a groove. I had really cleaned my game up and was feeling comfortable out there. All the other times I had gone golfing I remember getting incredibly frustrated. I now realize that it isn’t about hitting the ball as hard as you can, but about hitting it cleanly. This realization helped my game more than I can express.
When all was said and done I beat my stepdad by 5 strokes. It may have been Father’s Day but that doesn’t mean I was about to lose out there. I’m just too much of a competitor. Aside from winning, which I’m a big fan of, I had a lot of fun just playing the game. I’ll have to try it a few more times before I know if it’s really going to stick, but I might just have found my new hobby. But there’s no way I’m wearing those ugly ass pants. Ever.