When you first pick up a golf club you hope to God that you hit the ball. When you get onto the golf course for the first time you just hope not to embarrass yourself. After you`ve played a bit you start keeping track of your scores hoping that you`ll get close enough to 100 that you can taste double digits. I remember justifying my scores as value for the money (greens fee $45 / 110 strokes = .41/shot).
When you break 100 for the first time you tell everyone you meet about you accomplishment. You start playing a lot more regularly now because you want to be one of those people that shoots in the 90s all of the time. That is until the first time you shoot 89. Now you feel like a player. You start buying Golf Digest every month and you begin watching the golf channel more than HGTV.
Once you`re scoring regularly in the 80`s you begin registering your scores for a handicap. You now play at least once a week and you begin practicing in earnest. You realize that you`re spending way too much on Golf Digest so you subscribe to the magazine. Since you are now saving so much off the news stand price you can justify subscribing to Golf magazine as well. At this point you also start to realize that you`re a golf snob and have stopped playing the dusty $35 local tracks that you scored your first triumphs on. You now need greater challenges to your game so you start paying attention to yardages and slope ratings (anything below 123 is not worth the bother anymore). Of course you are now paying close to $100 per round so you regularly play 36 to get a perceived lower rate after paying the replay cost.
Once you`ve shot an honest round in the 70s it`s all over. You are now officially the best golfer among your friends. You can`t show up at the course in any old shirt and shirts. No, you now have to consider brands. You no longer play a mix of clubs because that wouldn`t suit a player of your caliber. Though you`re not sponsored you certainly look like you are with a bag full of Callaway`s and Dunning Golf from head to toe.
Now, let`s say you can play a consistent game in the mid-70s. What`s your next goal. It sure would be nice to break 60, even just once. So maybe you do that. Maybe you do it even twice. How consistency can you really shoot that score. Let`s say you get your handicap down to a 4. How low can it really go?
What is your goal now? It took you a long time to get to this stage. But now your body is beginning to break down. You watch helplessly as your scores (and you handicap) begins to creep back up. You begin to realize that the only hope that you have of shooting your age is to have the round of your life when you`re 86 “ if you even reach 86!
Why`d you ever start playing this godforsaken game? Golf is life! Golf for your life!
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To see a drive soar in the sky and
After 300 yards of flight, to land.
To watch as pitches bite and roll
Close to the pin, or in the hole!
To draw a shot from right to left,
Or when required be just as deft
At fades and hooks and cuts.
To always hole those six foot putts.
To splash it out from any sand
And one of two to be canned.
To rifle a 2 iron with aim thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s keen,
Or hit a 3 wood on the green.
To flop it over any bump
And not have any lie one stump.
To lag it to within two feet,
And always be the one to beat.
This is golf dreaming. And why not?
Such pleasure is not dearly bought.
It does not cost a dime or cent,
Or in your bankbook make a dent.
Whereas to hone your game for real,
Takes lots of time and lots of zeal,
Lots of practice and lots of dosh,
It all seems too much, by gosh!
Once your game completely breaks down, and you realize you will likely never be in the 70’s ever again, and after the intial fight to try and fix everything, you relax and enjoy the game for what it is. A pleasant day away from the realiteis of all around you.
Think Ireland, I bet you don’t remember it rained 3 times in our final round.