Golf is not a walk in the park for this amateur

Many of you are taking your golfing excitement home with you, but I will stay behind as my annual flirtation with the game sputters.

The rest of the year, I don’t pay much attention to golf and certainly don’t play it, but each April I renew my fascination with it.

Years ago, a co-worker and I were going home one night when he asked me whether I wanted some golf clubs.

“Sure,” I said.

I would have responded the same way if he had offered a doghouse or roofing shingles, not because I had a dog or a leaky roof but because a journalist never turns down freebies unless it conflicts with his workaday ethics. Got half a sandwich you don’t want? Sure, hand it over.

So, although I had never stepped onto a golf course with a club in my hand – had not, in fact, ever held a club before – I told Wayne, “Sure.”

“They’re left-handed clubs,” he said by way of apology.

“I’m left-handed,” I said.

“And they’re scratch-and-dent specials,” he explained.

“My hands won’t know the difference,” I said. “Gimme, gimme, gimme.”

After thanking him, I drove home and proudly lugged the clubs, in a cracked old golf bag, inside for my wife to see.

In the morning, she reacted as I knew she would.

“Get those ugly things out of here!”

“Ugly? They’re finely crafted implements of recreation,” I said. “You’re always telling me I need to get more exercise.”

“Your first exercise is to carry them out of sight,” she said. “You don’t know how to play golf.”

“What a great time to learn,” I said. “Most middle age men invest a fortune in golf equipment before giving up and tossing it into the woods. When that time comes for me, I won’t lose anything but free clubs.

“And look at these little pockets in the bag. Wayne left balls in there, and tees. Everything but instructions, but how hard can golf be?”

I found out when I started knocking balls around in our huge back yard. Retrieving them was a chore, and many of them never showed up again until summer arrived and the mower chewed them up.

That Christmas, my wife warmed to my golfing career and bought me a pitching wedge. A good one. Sure, it was right-handed, but strangely enough, I hit the ball better with it than with my left-handed clubs.

My stepson took me to a par-3 course, and it was fun, but I never graduated to anything bigger. I was still tracking down balls on the bigger acreage and didn’t want to worsen that job on a regulation size and weight golf course. Too much exercise is as bad as too little, I read somewhere.

And so, my clubs reside in the closet, seeing daylight only occasionally in our backyard. I watch the buy guys once a year and notice that their clubs all match. They walk a lot, but, you know, they look so tired.

Reach Glynn Moore at glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

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