It was a Saturday afternoon in mid-April. Blue skies, perfect temperature; Not too hot, not too cold. I get to the course 20 minutes early to warm up, get a feel for the speed of the greens, see what I’m working with today. Work was a grind this week and I’m really looking forward to beating my best score on this course. I didn’t get any range time in this week but I’m feeling good about my swing. I have my carefully selected polo tucked into my khaki golf pants, with my favourite white golf belt keeping everything together. I’m ready to play.
My buddy Mac shows up and joins me on the putting green for 10 minutes before we hop in the cart and head over to the first tee. After loosening up, we both hit our opening drives…right, way right. We’re about to hop into the cart to commence the ball hunt when a random guy, about our age, maybe 24 or 25, shows up on the tee box and asks to join us. The guy is dressed in a t-shirt, sweatpants, and a snap back hat, with a flat brim. We reluctantly decide to let him join, but I give Mac the sarcastic, “this is gonna be fun…” look and he agrees with a nod. Like, come on, this guy is wearing a t-shirt.
The guy drops his bag on its stand, pulls out his driver and without a tee, smokes a drive off the deck, right down the middle of the fairway. I look at Mac in disbelief, then back at the guy, who turns to me with an outstretched hand and says, “Sorry, I’m Josh by the way.”
The round basically continued that way. We were hitting the ball left and right while Josh was sticking fairways and greens as if golf were easy. We were fixing our swings while Josh was replacing divots and repairing ball marks like he was part of the turf management team. I swear to god, i couldn’t get off the tee for the life of me, and every time I topped a drive, Josh would laugh. At first it really started to piss me off, but that was before I realized; he wasn’t laughing at me, he was laughing at the game of golf itself. it was more the kind of laugh where you could tell he was doing something he loved, even the missed shots and flubbed chips. And he would be the first person to laugh at any shot he, himself, duffed or thinned (he was human, too). Whenever Mac would outdrive him with a 5-Iron, however, Josh would be the first one to send a fist bump.
What struck me the most was how relaxed he was out there, almost as if he didn’t really care about his score. I could tell golf was a huge part of his life, and he seemed happy to just be out on the course playing. At first, I judged him based on his lack of traditional golf apparel. But I quickly realized none of that mattered. This guy, in a t-shirt, had more respect for the course, the game, and the people who allowed us to play, than anyone I’ve ever golfed with before. Josh inspired me with his mantra, “just make sure you’re enjoying yourself out there and your swing, your score, will come with it.” He kept mentioning something about this being the future of the game- The new age of golf. If this is what it’s like, well, count me in, because I’m down to have some fun, and maybe shoot a decent score in the process.
Written By the Thirty6ix Crew.