I’ve played golf for a while...since I was maybe in my mid-twenties. I had no interest in the game until I went to work for Big Oil, and actually not until I began working with the pipeline folks who took golf very seriously. Pipeline was mostly a men’s work group. Working in IT, of course, even that was probably 80% men in those days. But once assigned and dedicated to work on pipeline applications, I can only think of a hand-full of women who worked in that group. As such, because nearly every group-wide meeting involved an afternoon of golf with beer followed by a day-long meeting, I learned to play golf.
Once I became reasonably skilled with the game, I LOVED to play golf. In fact, I was a golf addict once upon a time. I played every opportunity and even played competitively on an amateur level. During a several-year period in my life, I hung with a group of women – like eight of us, who played several times a week together for years. Those were good times. We had a blast because we played strictly for fun and socializing. Men might “pretend” to play that way, but men are just too competitive to play like that. Like, you rarely see a woman get mad and throw a golf club on the course, but men do it all the time. (That’s not to insinuate that we women don’t say our fair share of cuss words).
|It never rains here (and other myths)|
One thing I know is that golf is a head game. If you’re mind isn’t on the game, you won’t be able to play worth a shit. If you start thinking negatively (like about a bad shot you just made), it’s going to screw up your next shot. If you’re thinking about anything other than where you want the ball to go when you strike it, chances are good that the ball will find itself somewhere difficult or unfortunate. One of the fun things about golf is pure luck. For example, when you hit a ball that hits a tree squarely – well that’s unfortunate because obviously you’re trying to avoid obstacles. More often than not, the ball hits the tree and goes somewhere awful. But sometimes, good fortune smiles on you – you hit a tree and the ball ricochets off the branches and lands two feet from the pin, or somewhere near the green at least. That’s what makes the game fun.
Someone and I were playing golf this evening. It was getting late, nearly 7:45 PM so the sun was almost below the hills. We were on the 17th tee and could see something unusual in the fairway. It was obviously an animal – we realized it was a skunk. The fairway is fairly narrow and the skunk seemed to be meandering around in the area where we normally hit what either one of us would consider to be a decent drive. We had nobody behind us so we waited several minutes to see if the skunk would move on...it didn’t. Finally, Someone hit his drive and it landed a good 50 yards beyond the skunk in the middle of the fairway. He was pleased and told me that if I hit into the skunk, I should take the cart and he would wait by the cart path. I busted a marvelous drive, one of my best of the day, that rolled well beyond Someone’s ball (beyond Mr. Skunk) and stopped about 30 yards from the green. The skunk ran off when it heard us coming – I will say it looked healthy with a beautiful coat – not like the scraggly ones we see in town. Based on our drives on that hole, the skunk brought us extraordinary luck, or perhaps it just gave us incentive and reason to focus on our game.