Golf. Most people either love it or hate it or know nothing about it. I was one of the know nothing about its for most of my life. Now, it’s one of my recent new loves.
It wasn’t until last November when I picked up a club for the first time. I’ve been on this golf journey with my dear friend, Ashley. Thanks to a series of lessons, we’ve been hooked.
Except for one thing: We hadn’t played an actual game.
After completing our lessons and watching the pros, it was time, we decided, to take to the course.
It’s funny what nerves can do. Both of us have smacked the heck out of many a driving range ball. We know the fundamentals, but something about playing.an.actual.game. was just…daunting…for both of us.
With borrowed clubs in tow, we arrived ready for our 11:30 tee time. It was a drizzly day and the sky wasn’t looking promising. But, as any good die-hard golfer would do, with clubs on the back, we hopped on the cart and drove over to the first tee.
“Herrre goes nothin’,” Ashley said, pressing the hot pink tee into the ground.
She lined up and swung. The ball landed right in the middle of the stream.
Two shots later, two more missing balls.
“So, we get 18 holes or 24 balls, whichever comes first,” I joked.
“Your turn,” she said. “This is not the start I was hoping for.”
I put my ball on the tee. Lined up. Swung. And with a big loud whoosh, I whiffed. Twice.
The third time seemed to be a charm for both of us, so we went to grab an iron for our next shot. Only to realize that we had borrowed left-handed clubs.
“Are you kidding me,” Ashley laughed.
I attempted to line up and see if I could swing. Who was I kidding? I can barely hit the ball on my dominant side on a good day. Left-handed clubs wouldn’t do.
At this point, our only option was to back up our cart and borrow a couple of irons to go along with the right-handed putter and driver that we did have.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever backed up a golf cart. But when we backed that puppy up, the beeeeep alerted the entire golf course and surrounding community of exactly where we were and what we were doing.
“Who has to borrow clubs from the pro shop,” I laughed on our way back.
“Us, apparently,” Ashley said.
After finding a couple clubs that would work for the day, we hopped back on the cart for a Take Two, which ended up getting off to a much better start than Take One and with that, we were off.
We cheered at the good shots, cussed at the missed ones and played our way through 12 rainy holes before lightening forced us off the course for the day.
While it started out as a Lucy and Ethel moment, we stumbled, fumbled and laughed our way through it. Our best scores were 4 on a Par 3, our worst wasn’t recorded. We celebrated our first shots, finishing our first hole, my first time driving a golf cart (!), and being brave enough to take to the course.
By the end, the daunting course was not only a lot less daunting, it was a lot of fun.
There can be a lot of humor in stumbling, fumbling and finding our way through the awkwardness of something new. There can be a moment of personal victory in facing something scary head-on. There will always be nerves to get past and challenges along the way, but sometimes, what matters is not so much what the score or outcome may be, just that we are brave enough to take to the course.