Posts Tagged ‘misadventure’

My First Golf Game

Every once in a while, as in, this is the first time, I like to write a lighthearted entry. I hope you enjoy. If not, I hope you were able to waste enough time to put off doing what you really should be doing right now.

I did not ever go golfing, for real, until well into my adult life. I had been to driving ranges many times. I even went with my then soon to be father in law and a couple of guys right before my marriage, but I just rode in the cart and drank beer.

My friend Joel, the husband of a co-worker when I lived in Birmingham was a novice golfer, though compared to me, he was Tiger Woods. Somehow or another we either invited ourselves or got invited, or were the result of a lost bet of some guys and arranged a foursome at a course on Super Bowl Sunday.

Since I was not a golfer by any stretch of the imagination, that meant, like most men do, I must quickly compensate somehow. So, the night before my golf debut, I went to the local sporting goods store to buy a set of clubs. Of course, I also bought a couple dozen balls, the gloves, a windbreaker, a visor, maybe even some golf shoes.

The big day arrives. Joel and I arrive at the golf club. Obviously, being the pretend expert I was, we promptly parked in a golf cart parking space. I went into the clubhouse, where, shockingly, they had a pro shop. A PRO SHOP! Why would I be wearing this store bought crap when I could be wearing PRO SHOP level gear?! I quickly bought a new windbreaker, new visor, but kept whatever shoes I currently was wearing.

After I changed, and drank what I thought was the required amount of vodka before teeing off and we went to our golf carts. Imagine my surprise to discover my car being stared at by several course employees wondering what idiot parked there. I made my way to them as calmly as I could and told them I would help look for the idiot while I was on the course.

One minor note. Driving a golf cart while drinking is about as hard as driving a car while drinking. The only real advantage, in the golf cart, you are not always worried about a cop pulling you over for “weaving.”

So we get to Tee 1. Of course, there was no way in hell I was going to tee off first, so I fiddled around tying my shoe, pouring more vodka, counting the geese, loading my gun, or whatever else I could do until it was decided the order of play, I was fourth.

While the first two, obvious actual golfers, were taking their first shot, I noticed Joel was taking practice swings. Of course, that is what I should be doing also! So I got out the club that looked closest to the ones everyone else was using. Now, it must be noted, I have NEVER actually been golfing. BUT, I had been to the range, many times. In fact, my drive was really not that bad. But, I was overly nervous and for the life of me, I could not get a good practice swing in.

Nothing seemed right. The club seemed “off.” I double checked the others, they were approaching their ball just like I always did on the range. They seemed to be holding the club the same way as I always did. Then I thought of something. More than one club looked like the ones they were using, so I grabbed a different one from my $99.99 set bought less than 14 hours prior. Still odd. Still wrong.

By this time Joel was putting his ball on his tee. (Damn it, I knew I forgot something) My time was running out. I better figure out what the heck is wrong, in a few short seconds Joel would be swinging and oddly, everyone would be expecting me to do something similar to what all three of them did as easily as I poured vodka.

Joel hit a perfect drive straight down the middle, a shot Tiger himself would have been proud. Or maybe he hooked it back to the clubhouse, I have no recollection because the moment he went into his back swing was the exact moment I solved my problem. I bought left handed clubs. (I am NOT left handed)

Now, I do not recall if I ever told anyone this was my first attempt at a real golf game. I do know I LOOKED like I have been many times, or maybe I just looked like a catalog model reject, but I had ‘the stuff” for the game. Everything except clubs. (I found some used tees around the tee box, so no one knew I forgot to buy those) Joel was kind enough to let me borrow his clubs for the round. I think I said I must have had some shift in handedness or something.

After that, we had a pretty good round. It was my first time, so my score was a respectable 103 or something. But, we decided nine holes was enough and we never went to the back nine and instead, sat in the clubhouse while the other two guys made bets on the length of the national anthem to be sung at the game, and I waited for a shift change so I could get my car out of the illegal spot.

I never returned to that course, but, Joel and I did have many great golf adventures. A good commentary of our adventures; many drivers of roads near courses, and cows, are glad to know I no longer live in them there parts.