I did it again. I sit here typing with sunburnt arms and chaffed ankles because I haven’t bought golf shoes and went in boat shoes. I played what I have no doubt, was the worst game of golf of my life. That being said I spent at least 10-12 holes laughing my ass off. I can’t remember a time when I was less stressed and played with such terrible and happy go lucky players. To be fair, there were more than a few beers involved on their end.
I remember the very first time I played golf. It was during finals week in my sophomore year in college. There was a small, and mostly dirt covered, golf course right across the street from the school. A friend insisted we go and take a break from all of the midnight cramming sessions. I hadn’t slept much in the past week or so and didn’t like the idea of sweating in the Florida sun for hours on end after. But somehow he convinced me to go. I could feel myself dreading it as we paid and got our things settled into the cart. The last time I had swung a club I looked like Daffy Duck, spinning in circles with the ball still sitting on the Tee. I must have hit the ball half a dozen times before I got anywhere near the green. My buddy never complained, he gave me a few tips here or there, but mostly he told me to keep trying. About the time we hit the third hole, it was becoming apparent we were taking to long according to golf etiquette. Not long after I missed another shot a Ranger, someone who monitors the course and players among other things, pulled up beside us and abruptly started scolding us about taking to long and holding up other players. My buddy tried to politely explain that it was my first time playing and after hearing this the Ranger started shouting that I didn’t belong on the course if that was the case. I will never forget what came next. All six feet and two inches of my friend jumped out of the golf cart and started yelling back.
“We paid just like everyone else to be here, and if you don’t like it, then you can tell the owner to give us our money back, otherwise go fuck yourself.”
The Ranger drove off, and we finished our game. I felt more than a little proud that day. It was the first time I could remember someone standing up for me. Needless to say, I am not any better at golf, but I have loved parts of it ever since.
I don’t think golf will lead me to murder anytime soon. However, it has led me to spend quite a bit on balls and caused me to go into a cursing fit more than a few times. If someone can stand up for me to play the game, the least I can do is keep trying. At least until I hit someone and then, probably very quickly afterward, get hit back.
It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.
– Mark Twain