Just accept you’re terrible, it’s more fun

What do you do when you can’t agree with your husband about what would make for an enjoyable vacation and haven’t taken a trip anywhere since you were married 25 years ago?

Take up golf of course.

“Where do you want to go for a vacation?” I ask.

“I don’t know, nowhere hot. I don’t want to sweat,” Brian responds.

“No beaches?”

“Seriously? My skin burns faster than a marshmallow.”

“Explore museums? Visit historic landmarks?”


“A national park?”


“Chicken ok for dinner then?”


And that’s as far as our vacation planning goes. 

A year ago, I had the idea that if we took up golf, we could plan a vacation around it. We both like sports, we’re competitive, and it’s a chance to learn something new.

Look out crazy, expensive, exasperating world of golf, here we come!

Step one: Get lessons.

Instructor: When swinging the club remember to keep your weight on your front foot, bend your knee forward, left elbow straight, arms extended at impact, head down, turn your hips, club face straight, eye on the ball, follow through, belly button to the target.

Me: What was the second thing? 

Instructor: Don’t worry about it. Just swing.

Me: Right! (I just swing and miss the ball completely.)

Our instructor didn’t show for our last day of lessons.

Step two: Get fitted for clubs.

Meet professional golfer Patton Kizzire, currently ranked 200th
(the lowest) on the PGA tour. His worst score is Tonya Ranum’s
pipe dream.

Club fitter guy: You need clubs that fit your swing. So, hit balls in the simulator for an hour, the computer analyzes your swing with a bunch of math that will make no sense to you. I will match you up to the proper club and shaft. Now, whenever you slice, hook, top, or chunk the ball it will be entirely your fault, not the club’s. Oh, and I’m going make you buy clubs you didn’t know existed like a 7-wood, and an approach wedge. As an added bonus you’ll have no clue when to use any of them other than your putter which will cost at least $250 AND you’ll still putt like a four-year-old with ADHD.

Me: Wait, did you say math?

Step three: Try new clubs at a driving range.

Me: Argh! Why can’t I hit any of my clubs longer than 100 yards?

Brian: Increase your swing speed.

Me: But when I do that, I forget everything I’m supposed to remember.

Brian: Don’t worry about it. Just swing. (He pauses to observe me.) But don’t forget keep your weight on your front foot, bend your knee forward, left elbow straight, arms extended at impact, head down, turn your hips, club face straight, eye on the ball, follow through, belly button to the target. 

Me: Is it against the rules to just throw the ball?

Step 4: Play golf on a public course.

Me: Here goes nothing! (Deftly swings a gargantuan driver meant for someone with endorsements.)

Brian: Wow! Amazing how you hit the ball 250 yards perfectly straight onto the green! Pray, tell, how did you do it?

Me: I just swung.

Oops, my bad. This is how it actually went:

Me: Here goes nothing! (Swings with same club named above, without the deftly.) 

Brian: (Respectful silence.)

Me: Mulligan! (I run 15 feet, pick up my ball, and re-tee.) Please, God just let me hit the ball sort of straight. (Duffs a 30-foot grounder to the base of a tree trunk.) 

Brian: Well…it’s closer!

As the 2023 golf season approaches faster than my 3-foot putts fly past the cup and roll into the rough, I have learned several lessons about golf that I think will be helpful to the stressed- out new player, the veteran hacker, and those considering taking up the game. 

Lesson #1. Golf is hard. Sure, watch the pros play on TV and it’s easy to feel in awe of their skill, but remember this is their job. They spend hours upon hours practicing. They have coaches perfecting their game and sponsors paying them to be awesome. You don’t. And really, would you want that pressure? Be glad you’re terrible. 

Lesson #2. Golf is not a relaxing game…for anyone. Enjoying a beautiful day in nature is relaxing, only a golfer pays $40 and wants to die.

Lesson #3. Golf is good for you. Last summer, after carrying my bag nine holes and feeling/looking like I’d attempted a triathlon in a polo shirt, I Googled how many calories I burned. Would you believe 765? That’s the equivalent of 10.92 Oreos, 109.285 Hot Tamales, or  ¾ of a triple chocolate lava cake. That’s nothing to shake your putter at! Here’s more: A 2009 Swedish study found that people who play golf have a 40% lower death rate or a five-year increase in life expectancy. However, this is only true if you aren’t a competitive person. If you are, the chances of suicide by golf tee to the jugular increases by 75%. If you’re a wife who gives her husband unsolicited advice about his swing, change that statistic to murder and 98%. 

Lesson #3: Golf is fun. Yes, even with all of golf’s vexations it somehow manages to be fun. But here’s the key: you must accept that you will never play like the pros. Ever. Save yourself the angst and stop searching YouTube videos for “THE essential swing adjustment” or buying the $399 miracle training tool. Forget about being great and just swing…however many times it takes and put yourself down for a six – everyone else is. 

Feel better? Great! Now go play golf and have fun. I’ll see you on the links and just in case, FORE!!!

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