Holly Henry: Golf - it’s not just for sissies anymoreWhen I registered for this week’s Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce golf outing they handed me a plastic bag.
By: Holly Henry, Lake County News Chronicle
When I registered for this week’s Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce golf outing they handed me a plastic bag. Inside of it were several golf balls and a small package of Band-Aids.
“Do people bleed when they golf?” I asked the cheerful registration gal.
“Sometimes,” she said, still smiling. “Have a great time!”
I should have known right then that it wasn’t a good idea. But it was golf. How hard could it be?
My second inkling that I may be in over my head came when I saw how my teammates were dressed. “Is that what you’re wearing?” one of the guys asked me when I hopped in the golf cart, sporting black capris, somewhat impractical flats and a white T-shirt.
One of the guys was wearing plaid shorts. Both of them were wearing dorky shoes. The last time I saw such shoes, in fact, they were called “saddle shoes” and there was a poodle skirt involved.
OK, despite my inappropriate attire and the fact that I didn’t know a five iron from a pogo stick, I was fairly certain I could smack a little white ball across a field (later known as a fairway) and eventually poke it into the little hole.
I was wrong.
I took six or seven swings with the club (later referred to as a driver) and never made contact. I pretended I was practicing, just like the guys in the dorky shoes had done prior to hitting the ball. “You can actually hit the ball now,” one of them finally commented.
This was going to be a problem.
It was also a problem that they expected me to be quiet. Mind you, these people know I can’t be quiet. What was this? Fishing? At one point I was even “shooshed” by a well-meaning, experienced golfer (I could tell this by her attire). “You shouldn’t make noise while someone is teeing off,” she advised good-naturedly. I swear, no one ever mentioned that when they convinced me to sign up.
Nor did they mention that golfers shouldn’t hang out of the golf cart at any time while it is in motion. Who knew? So when a co-worker, who just happened to be driving the cart, suggested I swoop up a stray ball while the cart was moving, I thought it sounded like harmless fun.
Well let me tell you, there’s a reason for that warning on the cart: “Hanging from or jumping from this golf cart could result in serious injury or death.” They forgot to mention embarrassment. After performing several unrehearsed somersaults and accumulating a variety of grass stains, I landed spread-eagle on the fairway. When I regained my ability to draw air into my lungs, I let out a muffled whimper. Oddly, not one of the folks who were teeing off, and supposedly easily distracted by noise, noticed my cries for help.
In fact, two of my teammates, (who just happen to be senior managers in the company for which I am employed) glanced at me and continued putting nearby.
“Did you happen to notice I was lying on my back on the fairway?” I asked one of them after regaining my composure. No, he said, he hadn’t. He thought I was “resting.” Now, golfers, hands up for anyone out there who has ever sat down on the fairway, mid-game, to take a nap.
Strangely enough, overall, I had a really good time on the golf course. Little of it, however, had to do with golf. I learned a lot. For instance, I used to think of golf as a benign sort of undertaking. Oh, contraire. One can, indeed, actually bleed while doing it.
Take my advice. Golf is not for sissies.
And so dear friends, next year I will once again participate in the chamber event. Only this time I will be a volunteer. Perhaps at registration.
Look for the smiling person handing out the Band-Aids.