A golfing I will go. Oh, no!
I recently went golfing with my family at the local golf club. It had been a few months since I had the opportunity (translation: it was too dang hot) to get out and hit the links. We’ve been members of this particular club for a few years now, but I’ve been re-thinking our membership of late. Do we really want to be members of a club that would let someone like me join? I mean, really? It’s a good thing we don’t have to prove our prowess on the course for membership or they would have never let me in, or at least doubled my dues.
I’ve been playing at golf for years now, and I still don’t have all the terminology down. I can never remember what a mulligan is. I thought it was an Irish stew. And how about bogey? Is that anything like the guy who lurks around at night trying to scare the bejesus out of you? I don’t need him. My game already does that.
Anyway, maybe golfing isn’t the correct word for what I do on a golf course. But I try. Really, I do. My golf game can go a couple of ways. Most of the time, when I tee off, my ball will head for the hills (literally, on some courses), the sand trap, or the water.
Sometimes, it will either (a) go a long way, which would be great if it weren’t for the fact that I’m playing on one fairway and it’s headed for another, or (b) stay in the right fairway, but travel about 10 feet from the tee box, if I’m lucky.
When I do get close to the green I’ll either (a) hit it so hard it sails way over and onto the next fairway, or (b) land so far away from the green it looks like I could have kicked it and made it go farther.
When I finally get on the green, the fun really begins. The makers of golf courses seem to think it’s hilarious to make the greens all bumpy and hilly so it’s impossible to make the ball come within three feet of the ‘pin’ — the annoying pole with the flapping flag that lets you know you will never make it. This is known — at least to my ball — as the “death drop.” My ball will do anything to avoid going in, which is probably why my family enacted the three-putt rule. I guess they got tired of trying to play golf in the dark.
Somehow, I always end up looking about as natural as a fish out of water when I’m near a golf course, which, ironically, is where most of my golf balls end up — in the water.
But I’m good for the economy, since I spend all my time appeasing the golf gods by sacrificing a dozen or so balls each round to the water hazards, the tall grass, the ‘mystery’ holes that seem dotted around the course, and the yards of the people insane enough to buy a house on a golf course. Are these people nuts? If they saw me play, they would sell immediately or, at the very least, invest in a football helmet to wear in their back yards. I guess they can always sell all the balls that land in their yard. I told you I was good for the economy.
So, in order to speed up play, keep up with the rest of my fellow players, and not end up with a 99 on my scorecard (for nine holes!)
I made my own set of rules that apply only to me.
• Any swing that misses the ball altogether doesn’t count, since it was obviously a practice swing.
• Any ball that travels less than 10 feet is an automatic do-over.
• If any ball flies off in the wrong direction for more than 10 feet, it obviously doesn’t count and I’m allowed to throw it back and start over.
• If my second try over water fails, I get a drop on the other side and the water balls don’t count.
• If the grass/dirt travels farther than my ball, I get to place my ball where the grass/dirt landed, as long as it’s farther than 10 feet from the start.
• If I land in any sand trap, it’s an automatic toss to the green since, if I attempted to hit it out, there would be no sand left in the trap. It would all be on the green.
• I never record a number higher than eight for any hole.
Maybe I should bite the ball (instead of bullet. Get it?) and hire an instructor. Do you think they would have any brave enough to take me as a student? Probably not.
Oh, well. I’ll just keep swinging.
Debi Harris lives in Lawton.