I was the World’s Worst Golfer.
I once shot a 91…. ON NINE HOLES
New to the game I had… no… idea… it would be so difficult to learn. Why didn’t anyone warn me? Grrrr.
So I entered a tournament (at a course I had never played) and decided that morning that I would magically shoot 95. Mind you, I had never had such a low score. I didn’t have an official handicap at the time but my scores in my 18-hole golf league hovered around 130 and I had only played about 3 times in total with this group of ladies.
I had been playing for a scant year or two (summers only) and actually thought that I could decide what I wanted to score and then go out and make it happen. Pffttth. Fool.
On the first tee I stood over my shot, nervous as hell but determined, lined up and thought to myself: Here we go; the first shot of the 95 that I am going to shoot today! Despite a crappy game overall I could really whale on the ball when I made contact. I swung like a maniac intent to make contact and drive it into the stratosphere. I was going to show this ball and everyone else who was boss! LOLOL.
I topped it.
11 holes later things hadn’t gotten much better. I had a few decent shots but overall it was a real crap shoot as far as what would happen when I stepped up to the ball. I was clueless but I don’t give up for anything so I fought, fought, fought all day and was actually disappointed when shots didn’t go my way (about 92% of the time) because I have such ruthless determination. In the two years of playing I had at this point I NEVER thought of quitting. I loved it too much; had too many goals; knew I never would.
I stood over the ball after a pretty good hole (I think I carded a 6) on the next tee ready for my game to finally start to improve for the day. However, 4 shots later I was off to the right somewhere, in the rough, hot, and aggravated, having advanced the ball only about 50 yards from the tee box.
The Following is my actual internal dialog as I approached the ball for my next shot:
Me: That’s it. I have to quit this game. I can’t do this. It’s that simple.
A voice in my head: But what about this league and everyone you’re playing with?
Me: I will finish this round to be nice but when I am done I will just have to tell the nice ladies who run it and invited me to join that I won’t be playing anymore. I’m sorry.
Voice: But what about all of your dreams and plans with this game?
Me: Yea, I know, but it’s just not working. I just can’t do it.
Voice (urgent): But you had plans! You wanted to be a pro or an amateur pro from the very first time you swung the club! Remember the “Aha” moment you had?!?!
Me (feeling resigned): Well I guess I’ll just have to find something else.
Me (very sad): Too bad, I had such hopes…
This all happened in the time it took to walk from my previously duffed shot to the one I had to make… about 15 seconds. I was completely alone; everyone else got tired of hanging around watching me struggle so they were up by the green already. I was alone with my hand-me-down ratty old 3-iron.
I walked up to my ball 100% defeated and resigned to quitting the game altogether. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. I wondered what I would say to my husband I but I knew he would understand. I just couldn’t do it.
I was hot, alone, frustrated, and mostly very, very sad. I had to let go of something I loved dearly. I stood over my shot looking at the green and thinking “too bad.”
Then something amazing happened. I swung the club and connected like I never ever had before. And I mean NEVER. It was the best shot I had ever hit in my entire life. The ball landed next to the green and sat patiently waiting for me to chip and putt.
To this day that is the only shot I remember making that entire year.
I was astonished. Where did that come from? All my hopes and dreams did a 180 degree turn. I was immediately on board again. That shot came exactly when I needed it to. I was back to loving golf and making plans for the future. Although I went on to shoot well over a hundred that day (114? 125? No idea, really…) It didn’t matter; I didn’t care about how many other holes I blew or what else bad happened.
It didn’t matter what I shot that day because I knew I loved it enough to work at it and that I WOULD for certain get better.
In the end I got the strange sense that golf did not want me to quit.♣
Photo: efired / 123rf