Recently I played golf with a nice young woman from our club who I’d never met. She loved the game, but she only played for fun. She didn’t even keep score; she enjoyed the outdoors, scenery and company of friends more than the sport.
At the beginning of the round, she asked me if I ever did any golf betting. I mentioned that my golfguy and I would play match play from time to time, but we never could figure out what to play for. She told me that she and her partner always played for ice cream, but that she had to give that up because she was gaining too much weight. Haha…
That was the beginning of one of the most relaxing 9 holes of golf for me in a long time. I was sad to see her pack it in at the turn, but it was starting to rain, so I could certainly understand why she hit the clubhouse early.
I have been working hard at lowering my handicap this year – I’m at the gym 4 days a week (one of which is with a personal trainer), I take weekly golf lessons, I practice at least twice a week on the range and I’ve been reading all the best golf books, like Pia Nilsson, Lynn Marriott’s, “Every Shot Must Have a Purpose”.
But playing with Grace (even her name is peaceful), I realized that I was starting to take this “game” too seriously. Golf may be a sport, but it is still a game that is supposed to be fun. So the last 9 holes I put on my rain gear, propped up my umbrella and scored my best round of the season. We were so soaked at the end of 18 (we finished in the dark too) that it took 3 days to dry out my water logged bag.
On the drive home I started thinking about other wonderful golf experiences I’ve had and the one that popped into my head first was playing Chambers Bay last year with two golf guys who really knew how to have a good time.
It was a beautiful, hot summer day and we were excited to be golfing the 2015 home of the US Open. We thought we’d be playing some pretty serious golf given the venue and the cost, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. We ended up having two talented, but fun-loving caddies (mine looked just like Fluff)
and some pretty outrageous company (two “players”, David and Erik who took golf betting and trash talking to a whole new level).
From the first hole where the “boys” sauntered up late with Bloody Marys in hand, to the last, we witnessed some amazing golf shots and even more amazing “shots at one other”.
On the first par 3, they were already tired of betting against each other, so they made their caddies play and bet on them. It was too funny.
By the 10th hole, David decided he needed to bring me and my golfguy into the “game” and so on my backswing he yelled out, “Hey Gayle, is your shirt un-tucked?” I could not believe it. Frankly, I was shocked.
But I stepped back, nervously laughed and tried to recover myself. I ended up hitting a pretty decent ball — the longest off the tee and in the fairway (David was in the crap). So my Fluff (Ed) called out to David, “Hey Dave, I didn’t want to say anything, but…didn’t you talk to her on her drive there?” David lied, “No!” and told Ed to stop that [trash talking].
The next hole, the same thing happened; David yelled out during my backswing. But this time, I wasn’t so composed afterward and proceeded to duck hook my ball into the fescue. David’s buddy, Erik came over to apologize. After all, we were complete strangers; he had no idea how I would react. But I assured him, I would get my revenge.
I didn’t have to wait long. It was the 12th hole and the money on the fairway between the boys was in the hundreds of dollars. David was down in the winnings and looking pretty darn serious. So he stepped up to his ball, did his little waggle and during his back swing I yelled out, “Hey David, is your fly down?” which received a raving ovation from the crowd. Even David broke up laughing.
From that moment on, we were all trash talking each other, including our caddies and bets were becoming more outrageous with every hole. It was one of the most fun rounds of golf I have ever played.
I haven’t golfed since my round with Grace last weekend, but the memory of that day and Chambers Bay has been with me all week. I hope to carry the same feeling of playfulness into next weekend where we’ll be golfing at two of the most spectacular courses BC has to offer – Sagebrush and Tobiano. I’ve already decided that we’re going to play for “something” and bring more fun into our two rounds. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that introduces a little trash into our games as well. I can’t wait!
But the big question is…what should we play for? I hope my golfguy picks ice cream. I’m going for a new 3-wood.
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