Thursday, February 24, 2011

Early Season Golf

Last week we had some really nice weather. Several afternoons the temperature was in the high sixties, blue skies, and little or no wind. It was on one of those afternoons I decided to treat myself to a round of golf. I threw the clubs in the van and headed to the course hoping I would be able to play alone. I’m okay with that, I like myself, and I have also learned a couple of things about early season golf. One being, early in the season there are two types of golfers. Category one, those, like myself, who just want to get outside and see if they can still hit that stupid little white ball after several months of not even holding a golf club. Then there is category two – those are the ones who are convinced if they get started early and help enough other people with their game they will be invited to join the PGA (Professional Golfers' Association).

At the course I knew I could play the par three course alone but I really wanted to play the nine hole course. I went in paid my green fees and to my amazement was told I could proceed to the tee box and commence play. “Commence play” has always made me laugh. Arriving at the tee box I was pretty excited. Then my hopes and dreams were shattered when over the loud speaker I heard, “Mr. Campbell will you hold up please sir. Mr. (Whoever) will be joining you.” Okay, I resided myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be playing alone but I was still hoping I would get teamed up with another category one player.

A man around thirty-five or so walked up, stuck out his hand and said, “Hi. My name is Matthew - not Matt - Matthew.” Okay that might be an awkward introduction but I can respect it. His name is Matthew and that’s what he wanted to be called.

I quickly discovered Matthew was a category two golfer. On the first hole I took out my five wood, had a couple practice swings, and started to approach my ball. That’s when Matthew said, “Say, Ralph, I don’t know if you realize it but you have your five wood not your driver.” I explained to him I had my five wood because I hate my driver. He just stared at me.

On the fourth hole we had settled into our game but Matthew was restless and felt the urge to give me some more advice when I took out my 7 iron. Matthew told me instead of my 7 iron I should really use my 8 iron because it would lay up better. I told him there were several clubs in my bag I have never used - the eight iron was one of them. He shook his head and walked away while telling me I should use all the clubs in the bag.

By the 7th hole there is very little idle chit-chat between Matthew and I. It’s a par four hole and for the first time in my life I am on the green in two strokes. Granted I had a long putt, probably 25 -30 yards but this is the best I have ever played this hole. I'm standing behind my ball looking at the hole. That’s when Matthew told me I should kneel down to get "a better feel of the green". This is when I realized Matthew and I would never be good friends. I told Matthew, "You know you need to realize a couple things. First, at my age you don't kneel any more than you have to because it hard to get back up. Secondly, I'm not that tall. I doubt if the extra foot I'd get from kneeling down would change the perspective all that much." Then I walked up took my putt and to my astonishment the ball fell in the hole!! Got my first birdie of the year on a hole that has always caused me problems.

I walked up, took the ball out of the cup, looked at Matthew and said, "That's why you should never kneel down.”

We finished our round and I was relieved to find out Matthew may still be invited to join the PGA – I mean he did beat me by three strokes.


Blogger Cliff said...

Good post Ralph. Life is indeed too short to be playing golf with guys like Matt. er Mathew.
If I remember correctly, 7 is the two teared green or were you somewhere other than Highlands?

2:37 PM  
Blogger Lanny said...

ooh and then you'll get to say you knew him when he was just a ... jerk.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

Although he probably meant well, he sounds so annoying! I love the end of the story, though. :)

5:16 PM  
Blogger Peruby said...

He was probably trying to psyche you out hoping to make you play poorly. So glad it backfired!

5:03 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I'm glad you were able to get to play some golf Ralph, and sounds like you did wonderfully well.

I thought of that joke I sent you about manure and how that "other" word for it started on the golf course!

9:39 PM  

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