One Hundred Nine. Nine Holes with Dad.
July 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
In high school I had tried to tag along with my dad and uncle one Saturday morning to play golf, but the strictness of the rules of attire found me inappropriately dressed in my collarless shirt and jeans. I had my second chance when one Day One-Oh-Nine I played nine holes of golf with my dad and uncle. And I almost won too.
Dad selected a par three course that wouldn’t be crowded as a perfect first golfer experience. Plus, neither he nor my uncle had played for over a year, so they weren’t exactly eager to clog up the fairway for the more professional golfers lining up behind them (and mostly me).
We arrived at the course at the bright early hour of seven thirty and waited for my Uncle Rob, who was also carrying my aunt’s clubs which I would be borrowing for the day (Thanks Aunt Caroline!). After we had gotten the carts (another first; I’d never driven a golf cart) and stopped them near enough to the first hole on one side of the parking lot, I had a chance to check out the foursome in front of us. I could see why Dad didn’t want to have people queueing up behind us. The men had pretty short shots down the lane and I mentally critiqued their stance and swing based on the teachings of golf pro Ned. Because I just knew I would nail it on my first swing.
My father and uncle went first from the second to last box, and I set up the same. They encouraged me to take a couple of practice swings so they could marvel at my form, which was stilted at best. I set up according to my training and let loose on the ball. Except I never made contact. Laughing nervously I joked that I was just taking another practice swing. After a couple more tries and a ball that merely dribbled off the starting tee green space, I finally sent the ball somewhat toward the hole. We all climbed back into the carts for the second shot.
I pulled out the nine iron for my next swing, and managed to pop the ball towards the green. Shot three got me onto the green and it took four and five to sink the ball. But I was in good company as we all scored a five on that first hole, my score being fairly generous based on my tee performance.
The second hole had the ball sailing from the tees over a small tree-filled ravine. I think that was the point that I realized how hopeless I was with a driver. I tried three different clubs (including my dad’s pricey three wood) and lost several balls into the abyss. Finally my family decided to just set my ball down on the other side.
Where I found the women’s tee box.
At first I was annoyed that the makers of golf courses believed that a woman would need to start from so near a distance to the green compared to men, but by the end of the day those little red painted balls were such a relief. I still scored six strokes on that second hole, but that was more a testament to my poor putting skills than anything else.
The next few holes found me making a few good swings with my irons and pitching wedge, but on the whole not performing as well as my golf mates. However, they did have more experience (though never any lessons).
Until the sixth hole. Where I parred. Since discovering the closer tee, which I had used previously for the second and fifth holes, my game was vastly improving. I was able to omit the dreaded driver from my bag of tricks and begin with a hybrid or six iron. On hole six I think I started with the six iron and sailed the ball over a small tree filled gap and straight onto the green. My dad and uncle were both more surprised and more enthusiastic than I was. It was kind of an awesome feeling. And not only did I par, but I also beat the two of them, which added to the excitement (at least on my end).
From then on it was forward tee for me, and I fared quite well for my first nine hole outing. I parred again on the eighth hole and finished with a respectable score of 43. The men tied for first with a score of 40 each, but I really did feel like the winner that day.I wouldn’t call myself a golfer, but am certainly en route to at least becoming an enthusiast.