What is it about putting a little ball in a little hole 400 yards away that makes this game so frustrating and fun all at the same time?
When I was in school playing football, we always poked fun at the golf team. We would say they were not "real" athletes and downed the game pretty hard.
Then one day I was challenged. I was told I couldn't even hit the ball off the tee. Me, never backing down from a challenge I said, "lets do it."
My friend and I, along with several others, walked to his back yard. He teed up a ball then handed me the driver. "Here you go big boy" he said in his best gay tone, only because I said the game was gay.
Being mister macho man I grabbed the club like a baseball bat and walked right up to the ball and stared swinging.
He was right, the first swing I missed the ball by a mile swinging so hard I spun myself around in a circle. "Your suppose to hit the ball, not dance with it" someone mocked.
The second shook my whole body because I hit full club right into the dirt. I took a step back, listened to the sarcasm coming from the group, I didn't think was all that funny. I hit the ball on my third swing, but it was a little dribble that whent about ten feet. Laughter erupted and I was shamed.
The smallest guy in the group walked up, set the ball on the tee, and spanked that thing so hard I lost it in the clouds. "That's how it's done my giant friend" he said as more laughter was echoing through my ears.
Well that did it for me, I couldn't let something I thought was so simple beat me like that. A week or so later I went and bought a set of clubs and a bunch of balls. For the next year I practiced two to three times a week by hitting balls out into the pasture then chipping them back up the hill. I put flags out and almost had my own course of sorts, but nothing real fancy. I thought I was getting good then I started going to a real golf course and found out real quick I sucked worse than most. The first set of clubs I bought are still at the bottom of a pond at the TWU course in Denton.
I kept my focus, quit throwing the clubs and improved a whole bunch. Before long I was invited to play in some tournaments at some really nice courses around Texas. Then, I just stopped playing.
Three weeks ago was the first time I stepped foot on a golf course in eight years. I can tell you it's not like riding a bike. All my old habits came back and by the 12th hole I could remember why I hated and loved the game so much.
Last weekend I was up in Oklahoma with the wife as my caddy playing a wonderful course for the first time. We had a great time just being out and together. I was paired up with an older couple who put me to shame, but they were polite about it.
I plan on playing at least once a month. I still suck just as bad as I always have, but it's those one or two great shots that keep me coming back for more.
So there you go, My name is MDR and I am a redneck golfer.