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Where the deer and the nincompoop play
Every day as I drive to work, I pass a driving range. Before you make the assumption I know the difference between a birdie and a bogey, let me assure you that I had to ask someone what the place was called where all the golfers were swinging their bats, because I thought it was a putting green. My dear friend gave a deep sigh, told me they are called clubs, and then proceeded to explain the difference between a green and a range. (Did I mention she is a saint?)
There was a moment, as I asked yet another golf-clueless question, when I thought she was going to use the club on me (thank goodness for bunkers, is all I have to say!) but because people who play golf are for the most part pretty refined, she refrained. I know they are refined because they have a tee time. Iâ€™m hoping someday to get invited to a high tee time because I like the little sandwiches.
When I was growing up, my father loved to watch Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus play. At that time in our lives, he was still actively supporting a growing family, so he didnâ€™t have the money or time to actually become a golfer. Being a terrific father, he did the next best thing. In the summertime he would take us to play miniature golf.
Even as a 10-year-old I knew I had what it took when I could get a golf ball to pass through the blades of a windmill, or chipmunkâ€™s teeth, or across the moat into the castle to make a hole in one. Are there handicaps in golf? Because, if there are, it should definitely be noted my hands were usually stuck to the club as a direct result of the cotton candy or other sugar-coated treat Iâ€™d snatched from one of my tantrum-throwing siblings. Jeez, talk about poor sports!
As I became a pre-teen, golfing lost its allure. Sure, I would still go on group outings to the local miniature golf course if boys were involved, but my heart just wasnâ€™t in it. My disdain had nothing much to do with the game itself. I simply was such a maven of style I wouldnâ€™t be caught dead wearing any of the clothing Iâ€™d seen most golfers sport. Admittedly, at that time most of the golfers I saw were men â€“ but really â€“ bright orange or green plaid with white shoes? Are you kidding me?
And while Iâ€™m on the subject of shoes, I suppose that also has something to do with why I began to earnestly look for something other than golf. To my mind, shoes with sharp, spikey objects attached to the bottom just make no sense (unless they are 4 inch heels!) Heck, Iâ€™d already tried wearing my tap shoes to the Saturday matinee. Believe me, those in attendance were less than enthusiastic each time I â€śquietlyâ€ť made my way to either the bathroom or snack bar. Shuffle ball step, shuffle ball change â€¦ shuffle ball â€¦ run for your life because someone is chasing you up the aisle.
Did I ever find a sporting pastime that met my requisite need for fashionable attire? Iâ€™m afraid not, although I dabbled in volleyball, tennis, bicycling â€“ even fencing (now thereâ€™s a sport that could definitely use some fashion tips, if you ask me). Tennis seemed to provide the best possibility of looking fabulous and wearing great shoes. Unfortunately for me, I have no natural athletic ability, so my game was more than a bit lacking. Fortunately for me, tennis shoes have been acceptable foot gear for as long as I can remember, so I can reap the rewards without actually having to break a sweat.
I did recently sign up for a golf outing where the proceeds were going to benefit our local breast cancer resource center. I figured even I could dust off my old plaid pants to help a worthy cause. Imagine my surprise when I showed up and saw women wearing really fashionable outfits. Well, okay, they were fashionable for someone riding around in a funny little cart.
Did I discover a long-buried calling to the gentlemens’ sport? No! But I did have a good time meeting women who really love and understand the game. And I loved how hard they laughed when I inadvertently spent the first 9 holes talking in whispers because I thought that was how everyone spoke on a golf course. In my defense, Iâ€™d only ever seen it on television! When someone finally asked me why I was whispering, I was grateful not to have a replay of my run up the movie theater aisle. Bless their hearts â€“ not one of them chased me with her club or cart!
Tee time anyone?