Every year I pop into a local golf course. I admire the greens, the spiffy clothes and the good-natured people who gather there and I think, “This is the year I’m going to take up this game.”
Then, after I hack my way around the course, slicing, hooking, shanking, whiffing, topping, trapping and often sending divots farther than the ball, I put my clubs away for another year, sniffing indignantly that golf is not a sport anyway because it doesn’t make you sweat.
I’ll golf with my mother because she only plays one course, never plays the third hole on that course, picks up the ball and moves on if she doesn’t like the way she’s playing and she doesn’t keep score.
I’ll golf with my husband but only if there’s no one golfing behind us who might see me swing.
And I’ll golf with my like-minded friends because we’ve discovered Twilight Golf and on Wednesday evenings this summer we’ve enjoyed a relaxing stroll around the municipal course until we’ve completed nine holes or the sprinklers turn on, whichever comes first.
Yesterday, I golfed with my husband who did not make eye contact with me as he came out of the clubhouse to begin our round.
“They’re backed up,” he said and then turned away as though my barely hearing him would make me more agreeable to what he was about to say. “So we’re golfing with another twosome.”
Turns out two collegiate golfers, one an employee of the course, completed our foursome.
Trapped in the cart as it made its way to the first T, I could only gape.
“It’ll be fine,” said my partner, still without looking at me.
Intimidated by my audience, I dribbled my first T-shot onto the highway access road where a passing motorist chuckled at me as I attempted to retrieve it. I briefly considered hitching a ride.
The young twosome averted their eyes.
Mercifully, things improved a little from then and the three fellas even applauded for me when I parred the eighth hole.
Golf may be the last bastion of chivalry.
I’m not ready for the circuit. I’m not even ready for league play on a slow Sunday night.
But I’m going to keep hacking away at this golf project this summer. I think I’m finally hooked.