Mid-Week Tangent: what I learned at my first pitch & putt

I was less calm and tranquil than this setting. Damn you golf!

Over the weekend, I played my first 9-hole round of par 3 golf. It was comical at times, given that I’ve never done anything more with a golf club than putt or chip (poorly), and yet also a tremendous amount of fun. It even had a good dose of terror.  Let me explain that part…

We selected a course that claimed to be perfect for beginners, which happened to be in a pretty rural setting.  When we arrived there was no one there, including in the little office where you were supposed to pay. It looked like a scene out of Wrong Turn (one of my personal favourite bad horror movies), as in a place where we may be murdered at any given moment, our corpses churned into fertilizer to keep the greens lush so as to lure future victims, and our car stowed behind the numerous trucks, trees and tool sheds to the side of the property such that every last trace of us vanished. Thankfully we weren’t murdered, and the lack of other golfers was actually ideal as no one was there to witness my ridiculous first attempts at swinging a golf club.

I am told that I didn’t play an abysmal round for a first timer, though I’m inclined to disagree with that assessment.  Let’s just say that I only made par once. Personally, I consider my greatest feat to be my avoiding a frustrated-rage spiral any time I hit a particularly bad shot, which was often. If you knew me, you would know this was, in fact, somewhat of a miracle. And now, with all of one not-even-full round of not-even-real golf under my belt, I am sharing my “wisdom” for any others contemplating their first foray into golf:

–It is bloody hard to get ball in the air: I had many a “runner”, as I called them (i.e. balls that barely gained flight but had some serious roll to them once they hit the ground…which was about four feet in front of me).

–Connected to above, you absolutely can lodge two balls in a row into a very, very muddy bank roughly ten front in front of the tee: Related to this, it is unpleasant removing caked-on mud from golf balls when you fail to bring a golf towel.

–You will absolutely need mulligans: After smashing two balls into a mud bank, I was at risk of a mortifyingly bad score instead of the merely embarrassing score I ended up with.

–Do not take your favourite flaming pink golf balls that your lovely boyfriend gave you for Christmas to encourage you to learn to golf:  You will lose at least one. Mine has been donated to an impossibly thick patch of weeds near the fourth hole green.

–Practice swings are not a total waste of time even for the unskilled: I had been taking all these practice swings which supposedly “looked good” only to hit ridiculously bad shots. I figured why bother with the extra step. That is precisely when I lost my favourite ball in the aforementioned weeds. Karma.

–Double bogies will feel like major victories: You may even jump up and down, which is completely unwarranted given the context. A par will feel unimaginably wonderful, once again ridiculous given the inconsequential nature of the situation.

Despite all of this, I will be back out there again, although I’ll at least spend some time at the driving range before the next round.



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