Did I mention that we played golf the other day? Like golf as in not miniature golf? Well, it wasn’t a real course, it was a pitch and putt, but it wasn’t mini-golf, that’s the point.
I used to play in an annual tournament with my father and the church group he volunteers with. My father, brother, and I would also sneak out every now and then and play on our own. John and I actually took a lesson at one point. I had my own set of clubs, but they were just an old set my father had retired.
I was not good. I was not okay. I was a step above the guy who just shows up and tries to play and doesn’t know what he’s doing and holds everyone up as he screws up left and right. I was better than that guy, but only a little bit better.
I enjoyed it for the most part, but golf is a game of frustration, and the line between enjoyment and loathing is really, really thin. There came a day when the frustration level put me onto the wrong side of that line and that was it. I was done. I never played again.
My step son Harry has always had an interest. Someone took him to a driving range when he was really little and the seed was kinda planted. Last week he said he wanted to go to a driving range again. He, Jen, and I went. We rented a single club, bought a small bucket of balls and went at it. I tried to show him what I knew, but I don’t know a lot and I forget most of what I once new. I could see when he was doing things wrong, but I don’t have the ability to correct him, so we just hacked away.
He had a few good drives. Straight, line drives that didn’t go very far, but went far enough. I also had the occasional good drive. Nothing terribly long, I hit around 100 yards a couple of times, but surprisingly straight. I’d say one shot out of five was decent. I was surprised.
As we were wrapping up we remembered that Kimballs in Westford had a little nine hole pitch and putt course to go along with the world’s greatest ice cream. We gave it a shot on Sunday. We rented a pitching wedge and a putter each and went at it. The holes were short. I think the longest was 70-80 yards. Even with a wedge I was on the green in two or three shots most of the time, and sometimes I was on the green in one. It was weird. I wasn’t god-awful.
Harry, again without any actual knowledge of what he was doing, hit a few great shots on the early holes and then learned a fundamental truth of golf. When you think you have it figured out, that’s the moment you lose it completely. After a couple of good holes he started having tons of trouble. He seemed to be getting annoyed. Remember that thin line between fun and hatred? He was skating on that line. On the last couple of holes he stopped thinking about what he was doing and that let him make a couple of good shots. He was back on the fun side again.
I would say that it was probably about 16-17 years ago that I declared I had played my last game of golf, and then there I was a-pitchin’ and a-puttin’. Never say never, kids. Never say never.