To My Surprise I Enjoyed a Round of Golf
My golf game has improved dramatically due to serendipity and practice.
As reported in the July 31 2014 Empire Press I would accept invitations to play with foursomes if they’d tolerate me picking up any bad fairway drives (mostly all my drives) and dropping my ball near their better ball locations. I’d announce my honest estimate of the number of strokes it would take me to catch up, shots I wouldn’t enjoy duffing down the fairway while they waited.
Serendipity led me to find a certificate for a round at Highlander, a Scottish Links golf course. Our golfer son planned to visit Labor Day weekend and Scottish links are among his favorite courses. He jumped at my invitation.
I invited a friend, Don, who’s encouraged me to play golf. He invited his son. Golf must be more addictive than I realize if people are willing to endure a game with my level of play.
My game improved! Out of respect for the other players I reluctantly practiced on the driving range twice for half-an-hour. Practice after my one golf lesson last year hadn’t improved my drives, so I’d quit practicing. The first day I discovered how to hit the ball in the air without a slice. The second day I hit longer drives.
Highlander is intimidating. It website proclaims the course “showcases three new canyon-carry holes ingeniously carved into the sheer cliffside above the Columbia River.”
I’ve lost balls in each ingenious canyon. I see views of the Columbia from my condo.
My confidence inspired me to tee-up the first drive in front of our foursome on the first tee despite its mini-chasm that’s swallowed every one of my previous drives. The last time I carried my ball to the other side and accepted the penalty.
I drove over the chasm. Another drive landed close to mine. My drive on the second hole drove my son to say, “That’s the best I’ve ever seen you hit.”
It may have been the best I’ve ever hit.
Of course that didn’t last, but I cleared water that I’d stubbornly dunked three balls into on my last round. My fuzzy score with reasonably estimated imaginary strokes and appropriate penalties was 18 strokes less than my average. My son’s score beat mine by over 30 strokes.
Don’s son picked his ball off one fairway and said, “I’ve enjoyed this hole enough.” He’s my kind of golfing partner.
We finished in four fun-filled hours instead of five humiliating hours for me. Afterward Don said, “Anytime your son comes over to play, we’d enjoy playing with you.”
At a party three days later, Don announced to his golf buddies in my presence, “Jim’s improved! He’s better.”
None of them invited me to play a round.
This winter I’ll be contemplating my golfing future.