I’ve got another confession to make: I’m not good at golf.
Not that you’d expect a new player to be a decent ball striker in two months. Golf is hard—the hardest sport I’ve ever played, by a long shot.
I love a good challenge, so despite averaging a bogey (or worse, sometimes) per hole, I’m committed to getting better. It won’t happen overnight, but over the course of several years, perhaps, it will.
It took me a couple years to gain proficiency in disc golf, a niche sport that shares most of the same rules as ball golf. In five years, I was a good player. Ten years into the sport, I was very good, routinely out-throwing the best discers in the area, some of whom were half my age.
So, I’m expecting a similar progression with ball golf (or, just “golf,” as most of the world knows it). If I keep playing twice a week, I hope to be good in five years and maybe even very good in 10.
But for now, I’m riding the struggle bus. Pars are a cause for celebration, and birdies are oh so elusive, especially at Oakwoods Country Club, where I’m getting my reps in.
“Golf is a good walk spoiled” is a famous quip popularly attributed to Mark Twain but probably coined by someone else. Either way, it sums up the sport’s challenges that have prompted hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions?) to pick up but later drop their clubs because, well, golf is hard.
Walking the course at Oakwoods is, for me, a relaxing experience and great exercise. I say walk, but more accurately it’s walking while pushing my six-wheeled cart, which is actually the frame of a double baby stroller that I repurposed for golf.
Over the course of a couple hours, I can log about three and a half miles on the course while getting in nine holes of golf. Nothing against riding a golf cart, but the game just feels so much purer, for me, navigating the course on my feet—like the pros do, I might add.
Every hole doesn’t go as planned, obviously, but I refrain from getting flustered because the process is, as explained earlier, a multi-year adventure. I understand you have to put in the proper amount of time to obtain the desired results.
What I like most about golf (both versions, actually), is that, outside of tournaments, the only opponent you face is yourself. The struggle is to beat the course, to try and lower your score, as opposed to team sports where the end goal is to beat your opponent.
It’s that internal competitive spirit that draws me back to the course even if I stunk it up a couple days ago. It’s the thought that, one day, you will birdie that par 3 that has confounded you to date and claimed many of your balls to a watery grave.
I can’t say enough about how the staff at Oakwoods have worked their tails off to make it an outstanding course. They’ve treated this new member with nothing but warm hospitality and friendliness.
Off the course, the obsession with golf doesn’t stop for me. Whereas before I would watch golf’s four major championships on TV, now I tune in for every round I can watch on the PGA Tour. I usually pick up something useful every time I watch the pros make this difficult game look so easy.
Golf is hard. But me taking a giant liking to the gentleman’s game was easy.