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Archive for the ‘golf’ Category

wellness returning

Hallelujah! I have played golf, and my arm didn’t break when I hit the ball 🙂 I’m tired and my arm feels like it weighs a ton, but I didn’t feel any pain and I played reasonably well considering it was the first time I’ve been out since last year. I even finished all nine holes, though the last couple were a struggle.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get out two or three more times this week and next, and play in my regular league next week.

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watched by a heron

I took this photo with my cellphone, so it’s not the best of quality. I should remember to stick my camera into my golf bag.

Blue heron at the golf course

A great blue heron watched us tee off on the 12th hole while he probed for frogs in the mud.

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Thursday golf league

Golf is such an odd sport. I played as well as I can play — the best I’ve played since I took up the sport several years ago — on the hardest part of the course. And my score was two strokes worse than last week, when I played relatively poorly. Go figure.

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Golf day

Today was the Marlborough Golf League, which plays at Juniper Hill in Northborough, a pretty but somewhat difficult course just down the road from us. I was a sub last year, but this year spouse’s regular partner has taken a new job, so I’ve been pressed into regular play. I anticipate disaster.

Good things about today:

We were prepared to be rained upon, but it didn’t rain. It wasn’t even very cold.
We played against Art and Joe, who are very nice people and always fun to play with.
It was golf 🙂

Bad things:

I played like crap and so did Neil. Art and Joe both played very well. We lost.
It was golf 😀

So all in all, I guess it was good. I’m hitting the ball better this year even though my scores don’t reflect it yet. And it’s fun, which is the most important thing.

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April in New England is sometimes only technically spring, but golf leagues start anyway, so you can find yourself playing in some pretty nasty weather, especially in an after-work league when night is falling by the time you finish your round. We had one of those nights last year — heavy drizzle, just wet enough to make everything miserable but not wet enough or cold enough to call off the round. Even with gloves my hands were freezing. My golf shoes were soaked through. I was having trouble keeping my glasses clear enough to see the ball.

My play matched the weather. Seeing the ball wasn’t a problem — finding it in the woods was. When I did finally find it, I whacked it about 30 yards. Lather, rinse, repeat. It was the worst round since I started playing golf five years earlier. It was getting dark; I was holding everybody up. I picked up on that hole, and on the next one.

By then I had used up all my pep talks, all my positive spin. I couldn’t even say it would be over soon when I was looking at an hour or more before we finished.

The next tee shot dribbled 40 yards down the fairway, bounced off a rock, and disappeared under a bush.

And then — was that a snowflake?

No. More like sleet. Freezing drizzle. Frizzle. Whatever you want to call it. I wanted to just sit down where I was and cry until I became a frozen lump.

But it was my turn, so I trudged over to find my ball. Because in golf, there’s no whining, no crying, and no quitting. Golf’s like that sometimes. Life’s like that sometimes.

A round of golf is, in the cosmic scale, a pretty minor thing. There have been much more important times when all I’ve been able to do is say to myself, “No. I won’t quit. I won’t give up.” Optimism is good, positive thinking is good, looking forward is good. But sometimes that determined “No” is what gets me through.

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where has Bonnie been?

We’ve been on vacation. Very active vacation. We went to the second round of the Duetschebanke golf tournament in Norton and followed Steve Stricker and Adam Scott, among others. We played golf ourselves, here and up in Jefferson NH at the Waumbeck Golf Course. We hiked — I climbed Mt. Starr King and Mt. Waumbeck, and Neil did that plus a hike over the Wildcats. We ate out a lot. It was lots of fun.

Now to get back to work…

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Over the recent holiday weekend, Neil took an extra day off and we went out early to play a full round of golf. Normally we play nine holes for our league or for our weekend outings; we don’t have the time for a full eighteen holes and until recently I haven’t been good enough for it, either.

But this time I did fine — scored 75 for the front 9 and 74 for the back 9, comparable to my recent league scores. I had some pretty bad holes and some excellent ones. It was hot, but that didn’t stop me.

I noticed several differences between playing 9 holes and playing 18. The biggest one was that after 6 holes, I usually start to count down to the end. After 6 holes in this round, I was barely started.

For 9 holes, I usually have either a good day or a bad day. Sometimes I start out poorly and manage to get my act together, but usually it’s all of a piece. Eighteen holes, on the other hand, gave me plenty of time to start poorly, then go up for several holes, and down for several more, and back up at the end.

At about 14 holes, it didn’t feel like we were getting close to the end. It felt like we were going to be playing golf for the rest of eternity. I just wanted to give up and go home. But I didn’t, and the last few holes were some of my best of the round.

And it struck me as we were heading back to the car that there were a lot of similarities between 9 and 18 holes and between writing a short story and writing a novel.

You can just push through a short story. You can’t do that with a novel. It’s too big to hold onto and you have to pace yourself.

The novel will have its ups and downs. There will be times your words are flying straight and true like a great drive, and times when you’re taking five shots to get out of a sand trap.

There will be times when you can’t see the end and you just want to quit.

But if you keep going, you will finish.

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