From the Braver Institute
Somehow I have managed to make it this far in life having never played golf. In fact it was just a year ago that I first set foot on the grounds of a country club. The experience got me thinking that I should give the game a try someday.
That some day arrived recently, when I was asked to join a group of people for a round of golf. I had never been asked to play before, and not being one to slam the door in the face of opportunity, I agreed. I also made it clear that I had never played golf in my life.
Now the idea that I had never played before was met with some skepticism as I had fair knowledge of the principles of the game, and had displayed some slight ability with a putter. Furthermore, I possess a baseball cap that reads “Nike Golf.” I hate wearing baseball caps, but since my favorite hat now resides with the fish at the bottom of the Indian River, I wear the Nike cap occasionally.
I don’t claim to be a great putter, but I must admit that I have spent a fair amount of time playing minigolf. At one time, my big sister Sorta and I put some effort into the idea of opening our own mini-golf course and had traveled the region playing the courses available to get an idea if this was something we really wanted to do. That is the closest thing I had ever done to anything that would resemble the game of golf.
My only other experience with golf was as an adolescent. My best friend Denny and I would borrow a couple of his dad’s irons and drive golf balls from one end to another of a sandy, mile-long, clear-cut area near our houses we called the airstrip. It was supposed to be an airfield, but never was. I guess it was our country club.
Contemplating opening a minigolf course or knocking a golf ball around the worlds biggest sand trap doesn’t count as real golf experience, but being the troublemaker that I am, I decided to play into the idea that I might be lying about having no golf experience.
The Nike Golf hat had been given to me by a friend whose sonin law is big into golf and is also a big guy, like me. She also gave me a pile of never worn clothing in case there was something I could use. Much of it was golf-wear. There were polo shirts and shorts with names like Callaway, Greg Norman, and Ashworth. I had kept them as knock around clothing, but had never worn any of it. Now was my chance. Going into this golf outing I was already set with the uniform.
I had asked my companions if the golf course had clubs to rent, and was told that they did. This question did much to give the impression that I didn’t own a set of clubs, which was completely true. However, the day before the outing I had the idea that I should show up with my own clubs, which would bolster the idea that I was lying about having never played. But I wasn’t going to spring for a new set of clubs just to play a round of golf—what if I hated it? I would be stuck with a set of clubs I would never use again. Besides, new clubs would only mean that I had bought new clubs. If I showed up with an older, used set, it would give the impression that I had them for a long time.
I stopped into a second-hand store owned by a guy I know fairly well, to see if he had any clubs. By chance he did have a used set and he let me have them for fifteen bucks. What a deal. A pair of golf shoes would have completed my ensemble, but I knew there was no chance of finding a pair in my size without special ordering them.
The next day when I showed up at the course wearing my golf outfit and carrying my own wellused clubs, my companions were sure I had been lying to them. I assured them once again that I had never played before, and stated that I would be lucky to even hit the ball.
On the first tee I took a couple of practice swings and then fully expected to see the ball sitting on the tee after my real swing. WHACK! My ball went screaming down the fairway and out of sight, much to my surprise.
It was the first time I had ever played golf in my life, but it definitely will not be the last.
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