I like golf.
If I were to base the previous statement on my first experience golfing it would read quite the opposite. I was in my early twenties when I golfed for the first time. I was very apprehensive because I was going to go with the boy I was dating at the time. First time downhill skiing didn’t go entirely well with this same boyfriend and I didn’t want the same guilt fest to occur during this first foray into golf. When I skied for the first time, I didn’t know how even walk in ski boots let alone turn and stop while darting down the hill at breakneck speed… using only my face to stop myself. The boy got frustrated because it was taking so long for me to “get the hang of it”, and would sigh heavily looking longingly down the hill dreaming of breaking free from his obligatory “boyfriend” duty. So when he proposed golf I figured “sure, the force of gravity almost exclusively works on the little white ball and not my body so it should be a lovely, relaxing experience.”
If there were three strikes in golf I’d be out at every teeing area and the amount of divots I left behind resembled that of a minefield. The fact the course was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by farmer’s fields away from public view made the experience somewhat less humiliating. But the look of exasperation on the boyfriend’s face didn’t exactly help my swing. My frustration level was so high that I had to let golf “go” for a few years.
Now, for the last few years I’ve taken a few lessons and started golfing again, this time with a group of friends whose only sense of competition is personal. There is no rolling of the eyes or heavy sighs when it takes me a couple of swings to hit the ball (and I’m happy to report the incidents of this happening are getting fewer and farther between), There is no mocking when I get so frustrated with myself that I have to pick up my golf ball and give myself a “timeout” for a hole or two. I never feel embarrassed or inadequate or inferior. When my drive makes it to the putting green or I make a really long putt just once in a game
I am legitimately happy.
It’s a game where I’ve learned to really REALLY appreciate the small successes as well as the fresh air, the walk and the good camaraderie. Tuesday evening golf has become one of the highlights of my summer.
Now if I can only get a handle on downhill skiing.