Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fore-get It

When I was growing up my cousin's town had an annual Junk Day where folks could put out anything they didn't want for the trash men to pick up. This is why I've only played golf once.

On Junk Day my cousin Philip and I would roam around his town, looking for treasures others were throwing out. One year, when we were probably 12 or 13, we hit the jackpot. Or, rather, several jackpots.

In one person's trash we found an old, but still decent looking, golf club. A few doors down we found another. Within an hour we probably had a dozen clubs of various types and sizes. (We even found and took a couple of left-handed clubs, for goodness knows what reason.)

By the end of the afternoon we felt like we had enough different woods and irons — we didn't really know the differences, though they mostly had different numbers — along with a putter (we knew what that one was) to actually try to play.

Luckily, there was a Par 3 (some places might call it an Executive Course or a Pitch 'N Putt) course nearby. Off we went, with the clubs tied to our bicycles. We had no golf bag, but we had plenty of clubs.

At the course we ran into a problem: on busy days the owner insisted on groups of four players, and there were only two of us. Fortune smiled upon us, in the form of two guys, both in their early 20's, who were in the same predicament and were willing to go together as a foursome.

I don't remember them asking us if we'd ever played before, but they could probably tell by our fine collection of clubs that we were new to the game. As we approached the first hole we politely told them they could go first, thinking we could watch them and learn what to do.

At the first hole one of them set up his ball and swung. Hole in one. He was thrilled.

At the second hold the other one went first. He swung. Hole in one.

Philip and I looked at each other. Then we looked at our golf partners. "I don't think we're the right guys for you," Philip said. "You should play with someone better."

And we left. I haven't played golf since. I can't speak for Philip.

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