photos courtesy of Ralph Pamphrey
Well in spite of all of these seemingly derogatory comments on the game of golf, I'd still rather play a round of golf than do almost anything else I can think of. I really enjoy the things its has to offer me; being outside on a beautiful day, the company of good friends, and the chance (slim as it might be) to shoot the round of a lifetime. Of course you know the saying, "A bad day of golf is still better than a good day of work." Well I certainly believe that to be true and I've had some pretty bad days of golf. It is certainly one of the most frustrating and humbling activities I've ever tried (a lot lot kids if you think about it).
Golf does require a certain amount of physical ability but less so than in many other sports. Golf is played between your ears, and that can can really make things interesting. You can hit a drive that goes long and straight then walk up to the ball, get ready for your next shot and duff it 10 feet (you know a shot where the divot goes farther than the ball). Was it because you got it in your mind after that great drive that you know how to play this game, or did you completely lose your concentration. Who knows, that's the humbling part of the game, if you start to think you've got it beat the very next swing can prove you wrong. And yet we keep coming back, I think for me its because there was one good drive, one good chip, or one good putt and that's what I remember and so I try again.
There is a Zen aspect to the game of golf as there is to everything in life, the following is a true story and it highlights some of that aspect of the game. It's a pretty nice Saturday moring and I golfing with 2 out of 3 people I usually golf with, my friend Dennis Calkins and his son Dan, my son Adam couldn't make it. We ended up with a single joining us to fill out the foursome. I had just purchased a new club (a driving iron) in my never ending quest to find the one item that will fix my game once and for all. I hadn't had a chance to practice with the new club, but what the heck, well I shank the heck out of my drive one the first 4 holes, growing more and more frustrated with each hole. Of course my consternation isn't limited to just the drives, bu now I am having one of the worst rounds of my life, of course I'm not bright enough to put the damn thing back in my bag and go back to my 3 wood, that would make sense.
So we come to the second par 3 on the front 9, hole number 8, a straight 140 yard shot with the green slightly lower that the tee box. I take out my 7 iron, look the shot over, its a little windy (coming back into my face) and if you're long you end up down a nasty hill. I opt to hit a punch shot, I hit the ball and it's right on line for the flag, but with the kind of morning I'm having I figure it's going to be long and go down the hill, so I turn around, blurt out an expletive or 2 and toss my club at the cart, as I'm doing this I hear Dennis say it went in the hole. I told him I didn't think that was very funny, but he said he wasn't kidding. Well we walked up to the hole and lo and behold my ball is in the cup, a hole-in-one, and I didn't even see it. Think maybe there was a lesson in there somewhere, I sure do. Golf is so like life, it's filled with lots of little ironies.
Well I'll probably never know what the secret is if there is one, but you can bet I'll keep trying. Below I've put listed some of my favorite golf links, I hope you enjoy them.
PGA Tour When I want to follow the pro tours (PGA, LPGA, and Senior) I use this link
EZLinks When I want to book a tee time this is one of the links I use
TeeMaster This is the other link I use to reserve tee times
USGA Home Page I'm a member of the US Golf Association so here is a link to their home page
Mainestock Photography Since Ralph was gracious enough to let me use his pictures, here's his site
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