In 1998 I was living in Carson City, Nevada, having left Anchorage, Alaska in 1995. My aging rescued Golden Retriever Hanna, move with me.
Hanna died in March 1998, and I decided I might want to take up the game of golf. I thought to myself if I didn’t like the game I would get another dog. Although the thought of outliving another dog seemed too hard at that time. It took me 15+ years to get another dog. Remember the saying, “If you want a friend in Washington, D.C. get a dog.” However, I had not yet moved to D.C.
So, in April 1998, I phoned a local golf course and asked to take a private lesson. At the driving range the instructor handed me a 7 iron and showed me how to properly grip the club. In golf your grip is key. He dumped a bucket of balls on the ground, hit a couple and said it was my turn. I swung and made great contact. I was able to hit those balls straight and about 100 yards. I came to believe I was a golfer in a former life, maybe even a pro on tour? Golf just seemed natural to me. This coming from someone who flunked Physical Education in 3 years of high school. Yes, a person can flunk PE, especially when you don’t show up, and the mornings you do, you refuse to do stupid Swedish ball routines, (but that is for another post). Back to golf.
That Christmas sister Robin gave me a gift certificate for golf clubs. We went to the local golf shop, accompanied by our cousin David (the only golfer in our family, and David was adopted), and purchased a set of Mitsushiba irons off the rack. I liked the green shafts. What did I know about buying golf clubs? Never heard of or seen anyone play with these irons. I may have bought the only set of clubs they ever made?
However, to this day I am still playing with those irons and love them! I have tried other brand name irons but return to my Mitsushiba. Drivers, putters and woods are another story. I have purchased numerous woods, putters and drivers, mostly on eBay. You could say I am the Imeilda Marcos of golf clubs, not to mention the shoes. Wish I had the same luck as my beloved Mitsushiba irons.
Golf is a very mental game, played on the green between your two ears. Rule No.1 Don’t look at your cell phone. I detest it when other golfers check their phones, or worse don’t silence the ringers. If you are so important, stay off the golf course with your stupid cell phone!
As a single woman playing golf, I often get “the look” approaching the first tee. Three guys waiting to tee off, and they see a woman coming towards them; their faces immediately say, “Oh no, here comes a woman and we are going to have to play with her.” Male golfers think woman talk too much, play slow and they won’t be able to swear. Quite the contrary. I don’t want to talk, I hate slow play, and I spent the majority of my life in the labor movement. The F-Word is my favorite. Golf is also a four letter word.
Golf joke: Why do men hate playing golf with woman? Because they don’t want to stop and let her hit from the red tees, because they are in such a hurry to go look for their balls in the woods.
Men try to kill the ball, swinging too hard and too fast, and their drives (more often than not) end up out-of-bounds or in the woods, far from the middle of the fairway. Me, on the other hand (like that 7 iron) hit my ball right down the middle. When I first began playing I thought it was wrong that woman hit from “forward” or red tees. It is a fact of nature woman can’t hit the ball as far the guys, so my drive is usually next to, or even a bit past the guys (with the help of the forward tees). Women (and seniors) get a slight advantage of hitting from the forward tees placed 10 feet or 10 yards ahead.
There are four tee boxes: Champions hit from the Black or “tips”; Blue for younger players that can hit a drive over 250 yards, White where most (weekend) men should play from; and, Red or forward for woman and senior players. We lose distance as we age, but golf is a game for a lifetime.
I am great off the tee! I love the sound of my ball making contact and watching it fly straight into the fairway. I also like out-driving the men. They take me seriously after they see me drive off the 1st tee.
I always ask men if they are okay with me (a woman) joining them, I have only been rejected once. Golf is also about good manners and etiquette. I was fortunate the year I was learning to play that my pal Gene yelled at me – a lot!
“Don’t walk across my line. Don’t cast a shadow on the green, while I am putting. Bring your clubs with you. Pick-up your club. And most of all, keep pace with the golfers in front of you and behind you. Move along, don’t play slow!”
My favorite golf joke comes in handy when a guy has retrieved his ball from the woods.
What is the difference between a golf ball and a G-spot?
A guy will look all day for a golf ball.
Again, I get a look, sometimes accompanied by a laugh.
Yesterday, I walked on as a single and played with 3 guys. Mike’s wife was riding along in their cart. Corey and Justin were best pals and having a great day chiding each other. I played my own game. I was pleased with myself for having never played the course and managing to play 17 holes with the same ball. A new Bridgestone, my favorite brand of balls. On the 18th hole I put that ball in the water and followed it by taking another new ball out of my bad and proceeded to put it in the water in the very same spot. That always seems to happen – hit a bad shot and then repeat the “very same” bad shot. As I was saying, golf is all in your head.
Why I love the game? Being outdoors, preferably walking, the silence of the game, and while you are playing with 3 other people, you are really playing against the course. I won’t talk politics, or for that matter carry on a conversation. I may be a woman, but I don’t like talking on the golf course. Golf is also a meditation.
When a married man returns home from a day of golf, he must frustrate his wife immensely. Wife: How is Charlie? Husband: good. Wife: But what about his divorce? Husband: I didn’t ask.
Five hours on a golf course with your best pal, but the extent of any conversation goes like this: good ball, nice line, your ball is over there by that big tree. I now believe men marry woman who don’t play golf, so they have 5 hours of no conversation, and an excuse to get out of the house.
But the couples I meet playing together give me hope. They enjoy being together in a beautiful surrounding and enjoy a bit of healthy competition. Golf is great FORE play.
I continue to hope to meet the man of my dreams, waiting for me on the first tee. A few years ago, I dated a guy who seemed to love to play golf as much as I did. The golf was great, the sex not so much. Golf takes 4-5 hours to play, sex maybe 15 minutes? So why wasn’t the golf enough? Especially at our age. Oh well.
I am still in search of a guy who wants to travel in an RV, play golf, and…
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