Once asked to give his definition of golf, Mark Twain responded "A good walk spoiled." Sometimes I have to agree with the famous writer.
I used to golf a lot, almost every day, and I got to be pretty good. Of course, then came a job, marriage and other responsibilities and the lack of time and expense put an end to my golf. But recently on an afternoon off, I decided that it was time to play again.
I hadn't played in over three years so I expected a little rust. I was playing with my dad, though, who had last played three years ago as well, so I figured we would be on an even playing field.
As I prepared to hit the first tee shot I did my normal warm-up: one practice swing. Yep, after three years of not swinging a club one time I decided one practice swing would loosen me up just enough for that first tee shot. After all, I didn't want to overdo it.
Standing over the tiny white ball I asked myself a question. Not what am I doing here but, why does this stupid little ball have dimples? I then took a swing and of course, whiffed. I looked around and nobody seemed to notice or were too nice to laugh so I played it off as a practice swing.
Now as I stood back over the ball I was beginning to sweat and it wasn't because of the 100-degree-heat either. Wanting to keep the ball down the middle I swung and sure enough, the ball went down the middle.
And just my luck I only had to walk 25 yards to get to my ball which was sitting right out in the middle of the fairway. Of course my dad drove the ball right down the middle about a 175 yards past my ball. This the same man who once drilled me in the back with a stray drive.
After my short walk I prepared to hit my stupid little dimpled ball again. This time though, the ball isn't going to go just a short distance, that was a promise. Whack was the sound it made followed by another a second later. Those who have golfed before know that sound was my ball hitting a stupid tree.
Now, I don't know who invented the game of golf but I would really like to have a conversation with them. Namely, why is the ball and hole so small and if that isn't hard enough, why put obstacles like trees and sand in the way? Didn't they know the game was hard enough?
Now, I am hitting my next shot out of the trees while my dad hit his shot up by the green. I can already see it is going to be a long afternoon as I hack my ball from out of the jungle to where you ask, right under another tree.
As I make my way to the stupid, scratched up, dimpled ball, Twain's quote starts ringing in my head as it continues to do as I finally get my ball to the green which is still about 5.6 miles from the hole.
My dad patiently waits (he had already finished the hole with a five) while I finally get the ball to the hole and then in the hole. Eight shots it takes me to hit the stupid, scratched up, dimpled ball 400 yards into a stupid little hole. Ahh, how I had missed the great game of golf.
Of course, when I got to the cart and it was time for me to write down the scores, somehow the pencil lead broke. Don't ask me how that happened. I'm just glad golf courses don't invest in ink pens.
After finishing the first hole though I had 17 more to go. This brought to mind another Mark Twain quote: "History may not repeat itself, but it may rhyme a lot."