Saturday, August 05, 2006

Golf, and How I'm Not Good at It

There used to be a Putt Putt golf course on Lake City Way, right across the street from the Italian Spaghetti House. I think it was on 98th or something. Anyway, I went there a few times. I don't really remember it very well, but I know I went there at least one time with my next-door neighbor Erick Jones (yes, the "ck" is correct--he was quite proud of the fact that he had both consonants in his name). I also remember being there once and hearing the theme song to "Welcome Back Kotter" over the p.a. system.

I was never very good at putt putt (aka miniture golf). This fact has never bothered me much.

My first exprience with real golf was just a couple years ago--long after the Putt Putt course had turned into a Royal Fork, then a King's Table, then who knows what. My friend Brent Felt got himself married, and all the guys went and played golf the morning after the bachelor party. I spent most of the time driving the cart, but at one point someone put a driver in my hand and I took a swing. The club hit the ground about a foot behind the ball, skipped up and smacked the ball from a weird angle, sending it off into the bushes a few feet to the side of the tee. I gave up and got back behind the wheel.

It has been a few years since then, and I've not touched a club, or even thought about it. Yesterday, however, my friend, Ben, asked if I wanted to get some beers and go out to a driving range near Nan Liao (a town on the coast). So we got some beers and went out there.

I sucked.

Well, to be fair, I sucked really bad at first, but then sucked a little less later. This was with an iron. It wasn't until later that we switched to drivers, and then my sucking reached its zenith.

I was having real trouble getting the ball in the air. I got off a few nice shots, but for the most part I was hitting grounders down the first base line. Then, just when I was feeling like I'd got the swing under control, I smacked a ball nice and square, but the head of the club broke off and sailed out thirty yards or so into the range. They had to make everyone stop hitting balls so that I could run out and grab the head of the club. I brought the broken club into the pro shop (from where I borrowed it) and they took it back and neglected to offer me a new club.

At least they didn't ban me.

I'm sticking to bowling from now on.

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