It’s that time of year again. It’s the time of year when everyone gets back out on the course and starts to tear it up. They tear it up because they’re really good at golf, or they’re like me and literally tear up the course.
The title of this post is misleading because I don’t really hate golf. I love it. I just suck at it, therefore, I hate it. I hate to lose. I hate to waste money and I hate it when I have a few great holes going and all of the sudden chunk a shot 20 feet. It’s the most frustrating game on Earth.
I literally don’t understand how I can suck so bad at this game. The ball doesn’t even move. When I was younger, if someone threw a fastball anywhere near the plate, I could turn it around with my eyes closed no matter how hard they threw it. I could also hit it anywhere I wanted. The golf ball is just sitting there. It doesn’t make sense. Sure, I didn’t pick up a golf club until I graduated high school, but it’s been nearly 20 years now. I’ve had lessons, I’ve practiced, I watch golf all the time and I still can hardly break 100….on a good day. I just don’t get it.
Beyond the fact that I’m not good, I have a few other issues with golf. First, there are people with zero athletic ability that can go out and crush a golf course. I’m not saying athletic ability is a must in order to do something, but I know people that couldn’t have played any other sport if their life depended on it, yet they step on the course and look like Tiger, while I look like a seven year old just learning the game. I’ll be honest, even though I consider myself a humble person, that hurts my ego a bit. I played sports at a pretty high level. Being terrible at a sport stings.
Another major issue I have with the game is how openly people cheat. Sure, none of us are professionals and everyone can use a foot-fluff from time to time (that’s cheating too, by the way), but not counting strokes is ridiculous. For example, I golf with my buddy (I’ll leave his name out to protect his cheating ways) and he has a rule. You can’t go over double par. This means if you’re on a par three hole and shoot a 10, you only write down a six on the scorecard. What the hell? If you do this a couple times during a round, you could shave off about a dozen strokes. Then, when you talk to someone after the round you say: “I did ok today. I shot a 94.” That’s a lie, but everyone seems to accept it and pat you on the back for a job well done. Who are you trying to impress? If you suck, wear it as a badge of honor. I have a huge badge.
I went golfing a couple weeks ago and shot a 46 on the front nine. I was feeling pretty good about myself as it was my first time out for the year. Then, the wheels came off on the back. They actually did more than come off. They exploded off the car, shot down a hill and wiped out a village of women and children in the process. I shot a 68 on the back. That’s right, a 68. There, I said it. Sure, pros shoot 68 on 18 holes, but I’m not a pro. I’m not even a hack. I’m embarrassing.
Why am I writing about this? I’m writing about this because after the lights go out on the game we grew up playing, in my case football, we can still play golf, and it’s magnificent. It’s both mentally and physically challenging. There are beautiful courses all over the world. While it’s frustrating, it’s also one of the best games on Earth. You can play it forever. You can play by yourself, in small groups or at huge outings.
Next month is our annual alumni golf outing at Western. It’s been a few years since I’ve been able to go and I couldn’t be more excited to see the old boys, talk about how great we used to be and hack up a Michigan course. If we were all getting together to strap on the pads, I’m pretty sure I’d pass. My back couldn’t take it. But with golf, we can get together forever. Am I going to be the ringer on my foursome? I doubt it. The good news is everyone else is pretty much a hack too and golf is typically the last thing we’re worried about when we get together. Here’s to many years of misery on the course.