I’ve been playing golf regularly for 40 years now. Yet even today, I carry first tee anxiety with me to every course I visit. Put a pond, sand trap, utility shed, neighbor’s backyard, or church cemetery where nobody would hit it. I’ll find it. Pour a cup of water on the cart path. I’ll land in it.
“Persistence Personified.” If you click onto professional golfer Jay Delsing’s webpage, you’ll find those two words scrawled across the top. Makes sense, really. That’s because the very likable pro from Missouri sits atop the all-time record list with a staggering 565 PGA TOUR starts without a win.
Business and family decisions between my dad and me almost always begin with him saying, “Let’s not put the cart before the horse.” I thought about that the other day while leafing through a popular golf magazine.
Golf is a game of contradictions. Chop down to make the ball go up. Aim left to hit it right. Lowest score wins. Make a hole-in-one and you have to buy the drinks. If you and I can’t make sense of this silly game, just imagine what those who don’t play must think.
Currently I’m on the 16th tee box at Chockoyotte CC in Weldon, NC… light breeze over my left shoulder… hole bends sharply right 200-225 yards down the fairway… a small pond guards the left corner… and I don’t have a damn clue what to do.
It’s been postulated that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. If so, it’s safe to assume I drive in the fast lane and hit every pothole possible whenever I play golf. I can only imagine the celestial tug-of-war that ensues between the heavenly angles and their fallen comrades when I make a tee time.
New Year’s resolutions are a holiday tradition. It’s the perfect opportunity to make promises you can’t possibly keep. Exercise more. Drink less. Golfers start each new season with much more lofty goals. Practice more. Cuss less. There is one resolution, however, I intend to keep this year. Under no circumstances will I ever invite my wife to caddie for me again.
I’d been laying the groundwork for weeks. A compliment here, a gentle brush of the shoulder, there. Volunteering to help with the dusting and vacuuming was a strategic maneuver. Insisting we must spend more time with her mother, borderline brilliant. Agreeing to watch a Hallmark Channel movie instead of Friday night wrasslin’ and the trap was set.
Have you ever wondered what knucklehead came up with the bright idea of putting houses and condos on golf courses? If you play like I do, the thought probably pops into your head several times each round.
Okay, I admit it. I absolutely love playing golf with someone who is having a really crappy day. First, it makes me feel a lot better about my own ineptitude. And second, you never know what outlandish excuses you’ll hear… ones that you can store away for your own personal use later.