MY LIFE - A perfect day of golf
MY LIFE - A perfect day of golf
It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining.¬?The sky was breathtakingly blue with not a cloud in sight.¬?And although it was still a bit on the chilly side with a breeze that made it feel even cooler, the morning forecast predicted temperatures would climb to near 60 by noon.¬?In short, it was the kind of day that makes you glad to be alive, and if your clubs just happen to be in the car and you are heading for the golf course, well, things just don't get much better than that.
Not to paint it too purple, I was feeling good right down to the marrow of my bones with a sensation akin to having reached, at least for the moment, the peak of Maslow's Self Actualization scale.
In short, life was good.
Let me confess right now that I am a really bad golfer, and that's OK. It's not that I don't try, but that I am untutored in the finer points of the game, having decided some time ago to forego lessons.¬?I could either pay for lessons or pay to play.¬?I opted to just get out there and play. I can't say that I've been sorry.¬?Being out there with the sun on my back and the wind in my hair, following the ball wherever it leads me on a nice long walk around the course fills me with a sense of well-being.
I didn't start golfing until after I retired and my sister Bev's brother-in-law Champ offered to teach us the basics of the game.¬?I started with a mismatched bag of old clubs that I had bought for $10 at a yard sale (my brother-in-law Marcel said I should have offered them less) and a three-pack of yellow Sponge Bob Square Pants golf balls that I had bought on sale at WalMart.
Over the years I have slowly upgraded, first with a brand new $99 set of K-Mart clubs bought with birthday money the first year, a much better almost new golf bag acquired when a friend of my daughter's had one left in the basement after she and her husband divorced, a pair of wonderful fairway woods that my friend Cindi gave me, and last but not least, my beloved Big Bertha driver, bought on eBay.
I am almost embarrassed to admit that my original little box of balls lasted me for about two years, mainly because I never hit the ball farther than I could see it.¬?Adding Big Bertha to the mix changed all that.¬?With a bit of practice I was soon able to whack a ball way the heck into the distance, beyond the trees, over the fence, and into the thorny bushes or the stream that rushes along one side of the course.¬?Thanks to my improved drive I seem to lose an average of two balls per game (note to self: buy a ball retriever).¬?I love the yellow balls, but finding them locally has proven to be difficult, so I now order them, two dozen at a time, from a place in Lafayette, La.
Alas, although my long game has improved, my putting remains pathetic.¬?I can sometimes get on the green in two, but coaxing the ball into the hole often takes 3, 4, or more tries, but I am working on it.¬?And while I am aware that buying a Stradivarius won't enable me to play like a virtuoso, neither will buying a better putter, but I want a new putter anyway, maybe one with better balance or a better feel.¬?I found one I really liked at Dick's last year, but foolishly didn't take it right away and now I will have to go back and start from scratch all over again, an intimidating experience since I always feel totally inadequate and out of place just walking into the place.¬?
But meanwhile, back at the ranch, yesterday was lovely.¬?After missing all of last year because of a broken thumb, being back was even sweeter than usual.¬?It was actually my third time out this year.¬?I had been there one day earlier and once the week before, by myself each time, having decided at the last minute to simply grab the clubs and go.¬?It was glorious.
About one hour each time, briskly moving along, keeping score (which I don't usually do) to better gauge any improvement, shedding my light jacket halfway through, racking up "activity points" while I was at it for my Weight Watcher goal, huffing, puffing, mildly sweating, and loving every minute.
My goal is to get out there at least once a week, and if I can pare my score down from a pathetic 53 (almost double par for the course), all the better. To my way of thinking, however, even doubling par but getting a good walk in is ever so much better than spending the time "exercising" in a gym or marching along the sidewalks in town with one eye on traffic and another on the lookout for obstacles in my path. I hate "exercise," but I really do love the game of golf.
I've got to run now.¬?It's 66 degrees, the sun is shining, and I'm outta here.¬? ¬? ¬? ¬? ¬?¬?
Rhea Bouchard Powers is a writer from Cumberland.