My Golf Story

My Golf Story

October 12, 2009 at 9:17am

My significant other and I took his15-year-old son and his son’s best friend to practice shooting balls into the tree-lined grass a few weeks ago. You know, I’m not a golfer; none of us really are, but Duane is very practiced and methodological. He’s good. He shoots these beautiful balls far and wide to literally disappear into the white background of the sky and clouds. He tries to instruct me so that I can shoot, too, although, you know I really couldn’t care a flying fig… or even a brazil nut. I see it that not caring is better than frustrating myself with my poor eye-hand coordination and depth perception. Besides, I measure my success in other ways… 

So of course I’m trying to humor him and at the same time keep myself entertained so I don’t get bored. Using the golf club as a Rockette stick and Mary Poppin’s umbrella already done and old, I set myself to deciding that I’m going to try to hit the ball like he does. I want MY ball to do that, too; to look like a large fleck of snow that disappears mid-fall. He gives me a club that looks like it has an engorged tumor on its heel and says I’ll get the ball to fly best with that one. 

I try this angle and that angle, only twisting myself around and completely missing the ball. He tells me how to stand and swing, and it seems wrong, disjointed, and uncomfortable. That CAN’T be right. I use my equally weak skill of geometrical analysis and carefully place the golf club just so. I miss the ball completely again. Duane is somewhat patiently waiting for his turn, but I want to bond with my space. I tell him to not mind me; there’s a pod thing open next to mine. You play yours and I’ll play mine… 

With him off my shoulder, I proceed to have more fun and not be afraid to try new things. I’m just blindly swinging many so we can finish and go on to see a movie or something more exciting. Only a few balls left, with most of mine just a few feet from where we are standing. How pathetic. He says we’re not allowed to reach over into the grass to re-do a swing… 

I hear myself repeating a rendition of “Edelweiss” over and over: “♪♫small and white may you fly so high, into the sky forever. ♪ Edelweiss, ball so nice, soon you’ll be in the air, the air… ♫” My body is swaying with the flow of the beautiful song, and my stick is, too. My entire energy is soaring with the song and the sky. I swing looking at the clouds, and my gaze moves poetically towards my stick, my body, gaze and club moving like a slow but wide pendulum. I swing it high, then low, then wide, my refrain caressing my whole pod area like a low, soft wind. “♫soft and white, it’s not night… ♪” Duane’s finished now, lips turned up into helpless disgruntlement behind me. His teenage son and friend are looking at me with that impassive “we’re done, crazy lady” look. But I continue nonplussed. I feel the melody envelop my soul, the stick, the ball, the sky. “♪small not wide, ♫ ball so nigh…” I am one with my motion, completely emulating the feeling I have, overcome with Julie Andrews’ heartfeltness. I feel my Grandma Perron’s presence. I care less about where the ball goes and more that I enjoy this one last turn. I want to savor it like a fine mousse covered with ganache splinters. And then I finally let it hit. It’s a bird. It’s a flying lunch milk. No. It’s my golf ball. And I see it for a split second in front of the green of a tree, then it disappears into the paper- colored sky. And it’s beautiful. Just the way I wanted it, just the way the song makes me feel. I feel a gasp seep out of my slightly curled lips and my eyes widen in an emotional awakening. A mist comes over them. The song, my swing, my spirit and the ball are in a beautifully synchronized decrescendo. I am clemped up. I stare yonder for a pregnant moment, then turn towards Duane and the teenagers in awe. Wow, look at that! “Did you see that?” 

The teenagers take a step after Duane, club thing swung over his shoulder. In an almost Clark Griswold voice, he announces “Yup, ya ready?” I grab my empty plastic bucket. “Let’s go.” I gingerly followed in step, traipsing over the melody, my face frozen in wistfulness. 

I believe the moral to this story is that if we completely emulate what we want, we will have success. I will keep experimenting with this theory and keep you updated.


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