About 20 years ago, I knew an avid golfer. Every Saturday morning, like clockwork, he would wake up bright and early, and head out to a golf course to play a few rounds. And every Saturday afternoon, like clockwork, he would be in a foul mood, enraged at his performance.
“Okay, seriously, I do not get it,” I said one day. “Why do you play every week? I mean, the game clearly ticks you off. Do you enjoy being angry? This doesn’t seem like a lot of fun for you.”
“It is a frustrating game,” he admitted. But then his face changed: his brow softened, and his eyes got all dreamy. “But, man,” he practically whispered, “when you do hit that one great shot? It’s sublime.”
I shook my head at him in amazement. He was talking about one shot out of, what, hundreds? As far as I was concerned, the man made absolutely no sense.
It was in this highly skeptical frame of mind that I read the invitation from Westin Stonebriar in my email inbox last week.
“Would you and your family like to have a golf lesson while you’re staying with us?”
Hayell no, I thought, and then caught myself. I wasn’t particularly keen on golf, but perhaps my husband Marcus would be more open to the idea. I mean, not that he had ever played golf before to my knowledge, but he is from Great Britain, after all, the land where the sport was invented. Maybe it’s in his blood.
I called him at work.
“Hey. The Westin wants to know if you and Alex would like a golf lesson while we’re there.”
“Like, the sport?”
“I don’t play golf.”
“Hence the reason they’re offering you a lesson.”
“Why the hell not,” I was stunned to hear him say. “Sure. Alex and I will take a lesson.”
So Saturday morning after breakfast, the three of us hitched a ride on a golf cart and headed to the driving range to meet golf pro Mike Kiesling, the PGA Director of Golf at the Stonebriar Country Club. He’s a really warm, congenial guy who clearly enjoys working with kids — so Alex took to him immediately.
And yes, Marcus seemed to enjoy his lesson as well:
They were out there for an hour, swinging their clubs (bats? No, I’m sure it’s clubs) over and over again, thrilled when the balls actually caught some air. They practiced their chip shots and putts, and I spent the time shagging balls, which, incredibly, is not as rude an activity as it sounds. By the end of the lesson, I’m happy to report that both Marcus and Alex were sold on the sport, but particularly Alex: to the point that she had me Googling for local golf lessons near our house, while she and her father combed eBay to price used golf clubs.
And in truth, after watching her face light up every time she made a decent shot, I finally got it.
Maybe even I’ll take a golf lesson one day.
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