I started playing golf because I got a great deal on golf clubs. When I asked Tom if $220 for an entire set of clubs including the bag was a good deal, he said “Why are you asking me that? You don’t even play golf.” So I replied “Well maybe I’ll start if that’s a good deal on clubs.” He rolled his eyes and said “Why don’t you just get me a set, I actually play golf and need new clubs.” So I got us both a set. That was 16 years ago and I’m still playing with those clubs.
Although I like the game of golf I am really just a hacker and even though Tom has been playing his entire life, he is too. So when we were recently in St. Andrews, Scotland, of course we had to play a round of golf. We weren’t good enough to get on the Old Course at St. Andrews, you need a handicap that I will never see, but we were good enough to play at Kingsbarns where they don’t check your handicap. It turns out that Kingsbarns is where the Women’s British Open will be held this year in August, so I was really excited. When you’re watching that tournament, just think that I actually played the course.
The day of the game arrived. It was cloudy and cold but not raining. On the way to the course at 6 AM with no breakfast or coffee I sunk into my thoughts for the upcoming day. “Why am I even playing here? I’m not good enough to justify all this money for one golf game, my handicap is so high, my game is so inconsistent that if I play well one round, I’ll be terrible the next. Wait, did I play well my last round of golf? Oh no, I did! That means I’ll be terrible today. I’ve never had a caddie before, he or she will be so depressed. I’m playing with three men, one of whom I’ve not met and is a high school golf coach. I’m playing with rented clubs. The day has already become a disaster!” Of course I was expressing these thoughts to Tom who counseled me that we were paying the caddy so he’d be nice and that I needed to think POSITIVE swing thoughts not negative.
We got to the course and Kevin and Tommy were already there. I gave Kevin a hug as I know him and Tommy seemed like a nice guy. So we got our clubs and our bucket of balls and went to the practice range where I tried to hit my rented clubs. Every one I pulled out I couldn’t hit. Because the first shot I was going to hit would be with a driver my last practice shot was with a driver. Naturally it dribbled off the tee to about 50 yards. It was time to go. When I met my caddie he was not the friendliest so I am sure he drew the short straw among our caddies and got the girl. In the picture, the guy in the background is my caddie. Note the folded arms. Not good body language.
Standing at the first tee, with 3 men and 3 caddies watching, my heart pounding, I closed my eyes and swung the club. It landed in the fairway and went over 100 yards! None of the men had hit into the fairway and I could see my caddie breathe a sigh of relief. There were pot bunkers everywhere and Tom was in most of them all day. To the point where his caddie started complaining about having to rake so much and muttering about charging extra for it. On hole #7, I passed by Tom’s caddie raking the 8th pot bunker Tom had hit into. He looked up at me longingly, wishing I’m sure, he had drawn the short straw and gotten the girl as I was playing the best round I’d had in years.
I found myself walking next to Tom going to hole #9 and said “Why aren’t you hitting any of your long clubs, the woods?”
“My caddie won’t give me one” he said, pouting.
Laughing, I said “See, negative thoughts do work!”
There were three of us in the same bunker at one point and Tom said “closest to the pin getting out wins and the other two buy the beer.” Tom’s caddie looked at the other caddies and said” closest to the pin rakes” betting against Tom. Tom won and his caddie had to rake, much to the delight of us all. Do any of you readers remember seeing Robin Williams and his take on golf in Scotland? If you’d like to refresh, here is the link but beware there is profanity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcnFbCCgTo4
We celebrated our day with dinner at a restaurant where the food turned out to be fabulous. We were even inspired to try the national dish, haggis. Haggis is everywhere. You can get a burger with haggis, chicken stuffed with it, appetizers of haggis which ours was. There are haggis and whiskey bars, odes and monuments to haggis. Ours came with neeps and tatties. I recommend that you google haggis. It was actually pretty good. Skip the neeps.
Does anyone out there have a golf story they’d like to share?