It’s hard to imagine what my life was like before I started golfing 4 years ago. Hard to imagine what i did when I had a couple free hours after work, or an entire Sunday without anything on the schedule. What did I think about when I was standing in line waiting for a sandwich…because it definitely wasn’t my swing. What did I want my future to look like?
Four years ago, if you were to tell me I would end up working for a golf company, looking for any excuse or reason to get out on the course and whack a little ball, I probably would’ve laughed in your face. I would have mentioned something about rich dudes driving around in golf carts. I would have maybe said something about how golf is soft, hockey is a real man’s sport…
Four years ago, I was oblivious to the way a simple game was going to reshape my life in so many positive ways. When my friend mentioned she was going to the driving range with her golf crazed father, I decided to tag along. Just for jokes, I said.
About halfway through that first bucket, on that first fateful day of my golfing career is when it happened. I was using a borrowed 7-iron, covered in rust and with a torn, old grip that looked like it came off a tennis racket from the 50’s. I pulled the club back, my sides aching from the unfamiliar rotation of the golf swing, my ankle sore from my skate shoes digging just under the bone on every finish. I swung hard and connected cleanly with ball. It traveled what seemed like miles into the air, and fell softly near the 130-yard flag. Boom. I was hooked. My life forever changed by one single golf swing.
Since that first day at the driving range, golf has seeped into every single aspect of my life. I started working out to improve my golf swing. I now describe distances by club selection- it’s about a 9-iron away from here. I now determine the size of a building by how many holes it can fit- you could probably get a par 4 and two par 3’s in there. When I see huge fields with lush rolling hills, I think about how I might be able to bank a shot off that berm and onto the green, which would probably be somewhere over there. The four seasons have morphed into two; golf season and not golf season.
It’s funny, the way the game can influence your mindset. My buddy recently tore a ligament in his knee playing hockey during “not golf season”. He was in strangely good spirits after visiting his doctor. He happily announced that he should be back at 100% in time for the golf season. It didn’t matter that he could barely even drive his car, or that he resembled an old man as he waddled from one spot to the next, cane in hand. He realized that he could now focus on his short game without being distracted by his irons or driver. He chalked it up to allowing his body to rest so he could be in top shape when golf season rolled in.
Like my buddy, golf has generally added a layer of positivity to my life that is hard to shake. It gives me way to see the silver lining in situations that at one point may has caused me frustration and grief. As I’m writing this post, it’s pissing down rain, thunder and lighting threatening overhead, and I am stranded in the old maintenance shed at the furthest point on the course from the clubhouse. With mud caked on my shoes and water dripping off the brim of my blue birdie hat, I feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. I feel lucky to be a golfer.