As I thought about what I would write about during the summer, I sat myself down and told myself I would not write any columns about golfing. By now, all of you know that I play a lot of golf during the spring, summer and fall. Nothing new about that, right? Right.
Well, I am now breaking my promise to myself. I am writing a column about my golf. Well, actually I am writing this column to try to figure out what has happened to my golf game. It has gone somewhere, somewhere into the beyond — beyond the tee, beyond the fairway, beyond the sand trap and definitely beyond the little round hole in the thing called the green.
Wherever my “game” has gone, I can’t seem to find it. Last year I played with a reckless abandon and shot some good scores, at least good scores for a duffer like me. This year I can’t seem to figure out where I have gone wrong.
Last year I stood up on the tee with a certain amount of confidence and bravado and swung my driver, looking as though I knew what I was doing. You stand on the tee to take your first shot on each hole, and that shot can be the most important shot of each hole. The idea, usually, is to get that first shot a good distance in front of you and thereby closer to the little round hole, sort of the promised land, at the end of each hole.
I find myself this year, standing with trepidation on that tee on each hole and wondering silently: Will I hit the ball out in front of me a decent distance; will I hit the ground rather than the ball; will I swing the club so hard that I almost fall over; or will I, this time, dribble the ball off the tee and wonder even more, what is my problem? Actually, I decided at one point this spring the club was the source of my trouble. So, I did as any self-respecting golfer would do, I purchased a new club. Not sure that it has actually helped, but hey, it can’t hurt, right?
Of course, hitting the ball off the tee is just the beginning of my problems. There are all those other shots to worry about along the way. At a recent ladies golf outing, I hit a shot into a sand trap. Not the worst thing that can happen, but certainly not my favorite place to have my ball. With all my other problems this year, hitting sand shots is not working all that well either. Anyway, at the ladies golf outing, one of the special perks at the outing was that you could purchase the right to hit two “second” shots. So, the idea is, if you hit a bad shot, you can, twice, give yourself the opportunity to hit a “second” shot and hopefully hit that second shot well, or at least better.
So, I say to my playing companions at the outing, I am going to use my last “second” shot opportunity. I had used the other one earlier when I sadly hit a shot into a creek on the course. I take my second shot, and as this year has gone, I hit my second shot in the same sand trap as the first one. You can’t blame me for trying, right?
Anyway, that day, as most of the other days this year, did not go too well. It was a fun outing with fun people, but my score did not reflect the “fun” of the day.
So, what is my solution to my problems this year? Like many things in life, I just keep trying, just keep working on my game and hoping that with each new day, I will have a miraculous turnaround for my golfing season.
If my scores do not improve, it will, in the end, be OK. The game, as I have said before, is a vehicle for other things — friendship, fresh air and fun. The game gets me up off the couch I sat on all winter, and it gives me an opportunity for fun with my friends. That’s what it’s all about, right?
Thanks for listening to my sad tale. I will step on that tee tomorrow after discussing my woes with all of you, and I will have a new found confidence. Maybe confidence is the root of my problems — who knows? Certainly not me, but I can’t stop trying, right? Right!
Nita Wyatt of Wyanet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.