I’ve been bitten by the golf bug.
Its nothing like a simple mosquito bite, either. One of those irritating, inflamed bumps that annoy you for a few days and then disappears until your next one.
No, this bug bite is entirely different.
I’ve even had dreams about it and I’ve only been playing since the very end of September last year.
I blame Tom, Mike, Lynn, Miki, and the beautiful local golf course. These 4 individuals encouraged us to put together a team for a fun fund-raiser for the local pond hockey tournament.
Alistair and I didn’t play golf.
There was this one time, back in 1995.
“It will be fun,” they said. “Its just to raise money,” they added. “It’ll be a great send-off for the vet girls,” I heard. “We’ll wear our Dog Days shirts,” was suggested.
So, the Diamonds in the Ruff team was formed and golf (or, something like it) was played.
Alistair broke 2 golf clubs, I did a cartwheel at the “Happy Gilmore” hole and some bevvies were consumed. Lynn and I did so poorly on one hole that we gave up and just drove. The carts, that is.
We won an award for the “most honest” team.
The sad truth is that I fudged a couple of numbers and we still got last.
The strangest thing happened, though- we had a blast.
I blame Alistair, Lynn, Miki and Tim for reinforcing our newfound passion last fall. I, like any addict, sought out their encouragement, knowing they would continue to enable me. Often by joining me.
Without the clinic keeping me busy I would head out on the nearly empty, picturesque, tree-lined course and bang balls around.
Some even went into their holes in less than 10 shots.
Then 9. Then 8.
When people used to ask us if we played golf I would jokingly say that I was going to take it up when I was too old to do anything else.
I secretly rolled my eyes, wondering how anyone could play the game, let alone watch it on TV. (This from a woman who watches curling but I’m Canadian and nobody questions that up there).
We started making par occasionally but then the snow came down and we actually got booted off the course in November… apparently they had anti-fungal treatments on the ground. Who knew?
So we did the unthinkable and watched golf on TV.
We bought videos.
We practiced putting with a golf game my sister-in-law found for us. Christmas was a great haul at the Fyfe house.
I confess that I might have taken this up earlier had I known there was so much shopping involved!
Cute shoes, pink balls, socks with rhinestones, golf clubs with lots of purple, fancy skorts, matching shirts, a spiffy towel, funky gloves…. and a golf cart.
A blinged-out masterpiece with fenders and headlights.
His name is Norman.
The golf pro tells us, “you 3 have fun out there.”
It makes sense that a couple of Fyfes are playing golf. Alistair’s own parents were raised in Scotland, even going to St.Andrew’s. Not that either of them played and we just never bothered.
A lot of hockey players golf but I’m not sure if many figure skaters do. Yet, there are some similarities.
You are often alone inside your head when practicing golf and skating. This leads to discussions with oneself.
On the ice it was ‘I didn’t trace that bracket very well’; ‘Liz has the cutest outfit today’; ‘Point the toe, point the toe, point the toe’; ‘I wonder what’s for supper’; ‘How many calories did I eat at lunch; and, ‘Left arm checked going into the double lutz.’
With golf you can run an entire conversation with yourself much the same way.
‘Thumbs aligned’; ‘I totally love this skort!’; ‘Rotate shoulders and ribcage together’; ‘I wonder if Alistair wants to eat at Lindey’s tonight’ and ‘Eye on the ball, Tanya. Eye on the ball.’
Both sports can get terribly expensive.
Both sports require patience.
You can’t do either sport well wearing a lot of bulky clothing.
I enjoy the similarities and the work ethic involved with both sports. I love that I can improve every single day for every year for the rest of my life. I love being outside in the fresh air with Alistair as we both strive for continual improvement.
I love Norman, Loudmouth skorts, my wine glass covered glove, Michelle Wie, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson’s unorthodox style, Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson (who looks more like Juaquin Phoenix than Juaquin Phoenix) and the fact I can share this game with friends and family when they come to visit.
I love that our trips to Hawaii have a whole new dimension now with the enjoyment of the outstanding, ocean-view golf courses that are usually located at our resorts.
I have even started taking lessons.
I don’t include the group lesson I took on Kauai, where I basically had a shit-eating grin on my face the whole time. I was just so thrilled to have some guidance and drive a cart around a lush, fancy-shmancy, tropical island golf course.
My first real lesson was yesterday.
I’ll admit it. I kind of suck right now.
And yet I still love it! Amazing.
I went and drove balls this afternoon but there were no tee times available with the long weekend. It was wonderful to see so many other people enjoying the course.
Alistair has 4 large round hay bales stacked in Bismarck. He drives golf balls right into them or he works on pitching them overtop. You have to admire his tenacity.
I love that golf is a game for one person or a bunch of people. Skating isn’t like that unless you’re into synchro. In fact, we used to get in trouble if we were standing around talking at the boards.
I also love that golf is a warm-weather game. I spent more than 25 years in a refrigeration system. It got cold.
Don’t get me wrong- I love skating. And skiing. And snow-shoeing. And snowmobiling.
Its just that, given the choice, I’d rather be warm.
An extra bonus is the fact that I get to wear all of the polo shirts I bought for my clinic over the years as well as the fancy slacks I used to wear at the larger clinic I worked at in Bismarck. Who knew my sense of style leaned towards “golf” back then?
I’d like to see more women on the golf course. I know its easier for me to enjoy the game with my partner because we are both at a similar level. We’re also both competitive and athletically driven, which makes us well-matched.
We also can laugh at ourselves and crack jokes as we’re out there.
And Spirit of UB will make a comment or Spirit of Cleo almost always has something to say in her southern drawl, like, “Nice shot, Daddy.”
Its how we roll.
So if you’re driving along the highway & you see us whacking at balls or digging in the tall grasses to find one, go ahead and honk.
Better yet, get out and enjoy the game.
You’re never too old to start something new. Hell, you might even become addicted. As long as you have friends eager to enable you, you’ll do just fine.
We’ve come a long way, Baby!