Been There, Done That by Laura Nethken

Published:

I was never really big on golf. I can't see how the die-hards do it, spending every sunny afternoon out on the links. Actually, that's not so bad, getting a little exercise and enjoying the sunshine. It's when I see them out there on cold, miserable rainy days that I get confused.

I've even seen them out there in the middle of a thunderstorm. I'm not going to be the one out there with a metal stick in my hand just daring Mother Nature to pick me off with a lightning strike.

In fact, I think I've only been on a golf course a couple of times in my life. I volunteered once at a fundraiser years ago where all I had to do was sit out there on the sixth hole and sell raffle tickets to the golfers as they came around.

The part they failed to mention to me was that I was basically in a war zone. Balls were whizzing through the air headed for the sixth hole. I had to take shelter in a small stand of trees nearby. Even then I wasn't completely safe. It was a local fundraiser with local golfers. They don't all have the skills of Tiger Woods.

Our oldest son tried his hand at golf when he was growing up. Well, kind of. I used to take him and his clubs to the driving range so he could smack around a couple of buckets of balls.

My job was to critique each shot -- rating it in the categories of high, far and straight. "Yeah, that was really high, but being stuck in the fence over there doesn't help. Try to keep it in the grass at least."

They had signs marking off the yardage, and he did pretty well in that department. Actually, he usually did as good as or better than the grown-ups who were hanging out there.

He even got a hole-in-one once. Too bad it wasn't during a tournament or something. I think they paid like a hundred grand for that. All I know is I was trying to see where it landed so I could give my opinion on high, far and straight, and it just disappeared.

The girl at the counter said he must have gotten a hole-in-one and I should bring him around to the next tournament. For the most part, he just kept it on an amateur level, preferring to bat golf balls around in the back yard and getting the dog to chase them down. The dog didn't like to give them back though, so our son started blasting them over the pine trees in the "back 40," out of the dog's reach.

We had a hard time finding them that way and the woods can get really creepy when you're wandering around looking down for golf balls. I ended up getting kind of disoriented as to where I was and which direction the house was in.

My friend gave him a whole bunch of orange golf balls to play with. She thought they'd be easier to find. Yeah, on the green at the golf course, they're probably awesome. In the woods mixed in with orange and brown leaves, not so much.

The first time I was on a golf course was on our honeymoon. I was driving a '73 Chevy Impala on what I learned was a golf cart path when I came nose to nose with an enraged golfer driving his cart straight at us.

I thought the sheer size of the Impala should've meant we won that argument, but oh no, I was the one who ended up backing down that winding little road.

Whatever. Like I said, I'm not that much into golf. Smack a ball, chase it down, smack it again. Although, I wouldn't mind throwing back a couple of cold ones on the little cart on a sunny afternoon. That part looks like fun.

Copyright 2014 Laura Nethken

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