I’m going golfing today. So, why is that a big deal? Well, in my past life (before 24 years of marriage and kids) I was a maniac golfer, usually spending at least 4 hours every day on the golf course and driving range. I was good. I went from a 40 handicap (the highest you can have despite the fact that you may well be more like a 60, which I was) to a 12 handicap in one season. I practiced like a madwoman. I played from the men’s tees except in competition. I did everything I could to improve my game. I am tall (5’10”) so I hit the ball a long way “for a woman”. I am also strong and hit men’s clubs. Guys at the driving range would just stop hitting and watch me smack the ball farther than they were used to seeing a female hit it. I loved the attention. Now keep in mind, this was 24 years ago. Club and ball technology has come a long way since then. Even hackers can knock the cover off a ball these days it seems. It feels like cheating to me, but I’m an “old-timer” now. After a year of playing and practicing so hard it would put Tiger Woods to shame (I played in the winter, in snow, on frozen fairways), my handicap came down to a 6. Not bad for a 24 year-old neophyte who had only taken up the game 18 months earlier. I was planning my future on the women’s tour.
Then life took a turn, as it has occasion to do, and golf took a back seat. I had only expected this hiatus to last a little while. It has lasted 24 years. Oh, I’ve played the occasional round here and there, hit a few range balls over the years, but every foray into that arena only proved frustrating and humiliating. What I was able to coax from my club hitting the ball was something far different than the memory of what used to transpire in my heydey when metal or wood met balata. And golf nowadays (there I go sounding like an old fart) is expensive and S-L-O-W. I remember walking the course, carrying my bag, and playing a round in 3 hours. Now, you’re lucky if they’ll let you walk and, even with a cart, a round takes a minimum of 4 hours. What has happened to my beloved game? So, I basically don’t play anymore. I figure I will take it up again when I retire in 18 or so years.
So, why am I playing today? My oldest son is playing in a company tournament. It’s a scramble so being awful off the tee won’t matter. If I can hit some decent iron shots, make a few putts, I won’t hinder the team too much. My son tells me we have two excellent golfers, one a scratch golfer, and the two of us, both pretty mediocre, in our foursome. I just hope the excellent golfers don’t go nuts playing with a has-been like me. I also hope my slice doesn’t rear its ugly head, endangering the golfers in the other fairways.