Game is No Walk in the Park

golf 1


The clouds parted after a steady downpour of rain blanketed the city throughout morning and noon. It was a warm welcome to our arrival at the grounds. I asked myself; 'why in the world am I doing here?' I justified my existence by replying; 'at the encouragement of a good friend'. 


Golf. A past-time for the genteel. If golf is considered a gentleman's game, then I would be a barbarian. Five years ago, I purchased a set of clubs as investment for the future. To date, I have yet to see any yield in the form of proficiency. And by the way, Mr. Woods, the brand that you endorse does not translate into better performance. At least not at my level of skill. 


This was not my first time on the fairway. However, this was the first instance where I was the lone novice in the group. The pressure was on to deliver. Ron, a close friend, talented in many ways, and seasoned golfer, had persuaded me for months to join him for a round of 18 holes. Yours truly, insecure in many ways, and not so physically gifted, had tried convincing Ron for months that this humble body is not a worthy play mate. Den, another friend and regular, masterful with the wood and irons, completed our group of three. Alas, after previous demonstrations of my poor form and fledgling intelligence, Ron was still adamant that we hit the greens together. How can a man neglect the good intentions of another man?


Tee off. I was instantly awestruck at Ron's laser drives. Den's precision shots were feats to behold. Me? Well, I was consistent... consistently bad. I am most intimidated with using the driver. Sure, it is the club with the biggest head, but the longer staff translates into more room for error. So consequently I became faithful to my 7 and 8 irons. 


Regardless of my buddies' guidance and advice, I became a magnet for bunkers and water holes. I lost three balls along the way... one to tall grass, one to a willow tree, and another to a creek. My shots swung consistently to the right and into the 'rough'.. that's golf jargon for 'thick grass', which is a step better than 'tall grass'. To stay focused, I kept telling myself; 'If this is all that the sport if golf can throw at me, then all I'll have to do is practice and get better. How could it get worse than this..?'


Rain. The skies grew dark and the heavens wept. This happened at hole 10. Too late to end at the 9th and still ways away from the final 18. The picturesque scenery of green and blue turned soggy and grey. Never mind. Keep calm and carry on. I had my cap and spray jacket to maintain sanity. 


It was a relief to finish the course. Despite the obstacles and challenges, the bruised ego and blistered thumb, I honestly enjoyed myself. Thank you, Ron and Den for the camaraderie. I will take note of your words of golf wisdom. Admire your expertise. I appreciate your continuous encouragement. And I am sincerely grateful for your patience. Golf truly is a gentleman's game.

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June 2013

© Prakoso Sastrowardoyo 2012