Since mid-January, my friends and I have been trying to organize a trip to Florida (and later Atlanta) for a weekend of golf. With the snow piling up around us and what seemed like years before we would ever return to the links, a friend suggested the trip and I instantly agreed. Unfortunately, the limited availability of one friend in particular (and a retired guy no less) pushed back what had originally been an early February trip into late March and had shifted our original Florida destination to Atlanta.
Lucky for him, things worked out just fine. Two weeks ago we decided to call off the trip, fearing that we would be boarding a plane during the last week in March just as the golf courses in the area began opening for business.
And that’s exactly what happened.
On Thursday, with temperatures approaching 70 degrees, my friend and I went golfing for the first time this season. A local course opened 9 of its 27 holes and we took advantage of the good weather and squeezed in a round after work.
I can’t tell you how happy it made me to play golf again. Sometime in mid-January I awoke with the realization that I will probably want to move to Florida when I retire. The change of seasons is nice for the first forty years or so, but after that, it’s a drag.
Unfortunately, not everything about my golf outing was perfect. Two weeks ago I discovered that my driver and hybrids had been stolen from my golf bag, either while it was in lying in the backseat of my car or sitting in my garage. Having failed to replace any of the stolen clubs yet, I hit a 6-iron off the tee and still managed to shoot a 47, which would have qualified as one of my lowest scores of last season and one of my lowest scores of all time. I had two pars and four bogies, and I even managed to hit the flag with my chip shot on the first hole.
I’m not sure how to feel about this. After fives months away from the game and hampered by the loss of three important clubs, I managed to shoot one of my best rounds of golf ever on a soggy, brown course.
This is either a sign of things to come or yet another ridiculous moment in my ridiculously inconsistent game.
I also had the good fortune of extracting my ball from a snow drift on the third hole, the first (and perhaps last) time that has happened in the four years that I have been playing the game.
I’m still distraught over the loss of the clubs and the audacity of someone to steal a man’s driver, but the sub-50 round managed to ease my pain a bit. My friend, Tom, has been telling me to throw away my driver for the past two years and just take an iron off the tee (this is the same guy who started me off by having me hit a 2-iron off the tee, so I never know if I should trust him), and while I’m not about to do that, it sure was nice to be sitting in the fairway on most holes.
I’m assuming that it’s all down hill from here.
But it’s golf, so it’s still going to be great.