The Wide Angle: Giving golf a futile try

Published 10:15 am Thursday, July 2, 2020

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A long time back, at the ripe old age of teen, I tried the game of golf. 

I’ve told stories on occasion about the ineptitude I displayed on the course, much like I’ve shared with you often of my ineptitude of a great many things.

Over time, I’ve tried and failed a long line of items that includes dating, being socially cool, being awkward, being weird, being … hold on, wrong list. Those are mostly things I excelled at, except dating and being socially cool. 

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Clearly, I got over the dating part as I’m in a very long term relationship, but in all reality I was a dweeb in my teen years. Not a dork or a doofus, but I mostly certainly was a dweeb. The difference being I embraced the dweebiness coursing through these veins a long time ago.

But none of this is the point of golfing, where my ineptitude shone through in spectacular fashion.

Clubs were not so much used to hit the ball, but rather club to death any kind of game I might have had.

Now, before you golf nuts get over excited and start shouting at me that the more I play the better I will get. It’s not true. I didn’t get better at dating over time and didn’t get better at golfing over time either.

Your logic is poor and wrong and I’ll thank you to stop bringing up my dating history. 

Either way, I was not only bad at golfing, I didn’t really enjoy the game itself. I tried for the longest to pretend to enjoy the sport, but I found hitting the ball and then chasing it in a zig-zagged chaotic fashion tedious and poor use of time.

Yes, I know … time, practice, better, but just stop and listen. I don’t like the game of golf. I realized that quite early on in the experiment phase of link walking.

The reality is, sometimes you just aren’t going to get good at something. Okay fine, sometimes I’m not ever going to get good at some things.

For about two years, long enough for my parents to start threatening me with getting my own clubs, I tried the game of golf, hacking away at the Slayton Country Club like a broken weed eater. More often than not, the divots went further than the ball and when I did somehow and rather miraculously connect with the ball in such a way as to send it careening down the fairway, it usually took a hard and sudden turn to the right or slashing turn to the left. It was so bad, I worried about hurting people on other fairways.

Thus the criss crossing across the links. I am willing to bet I pounded out more miles on the golf course than any other person using that course. It was horrible, and let’s not count having to wade through the creek to find the ball I inevitably lost.

I hesitate to say just how much money in balls alone I cost my parents, though on the plus side I didn’t wreck any clubs, though I supposed that might have been them being nice.

Gradually, I began turning my parents down and finally quit going all together. I had better things to do like … stuff and things.

For years I refused to entertain the thought of visiting golf courses other than to cover golf meets and cross country meets, though I’m disappointed in officials of either sport to recognize the uniqueness of combining the two sports. Cross golfing, where cross country runners blazed through the course in near record times while a golf meet was happening.

Either way, it wasn’t until a certain summer, deep in my run for the Huron Plainsman that I returned to the game of golf, when myself and coworker and then photographer Brent McCown and I took up a challenge by a pair of athletic trainers we were friends with to a game of golf. 

The stakes were high. So high, I fail to remember what they were, but they were high.

We met on the links of Broadland Creek Golf Course with more alcohol than was probably needed, and I should say that it ultimately played a part. I don’t mean to celebrate, but I would be lying to you if it wasn’t a factor. 

We won’t talk that much about it, but yes it was the reason why I had to collect my ball off a fairway that was two fairway’s adjacent to us, but to be fair I could have done that without extra drink.

Either way, it should come as no surprise that we lost, which really was to be expected. If you haven’t guessed by now, I was bad at golf.

I suppose one thing came from this, however.

I now have an appreciation for golf carts.