Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Gift from the Gods

My golf bag held much more than the 14 clubs. It was filled with the disappointing swings, the discouraging putts, the dismembering of my ego. It was a very heavy load to carry around with me. Last season was unrelentingly bad.

I had no earthly reason to expect what happened yesterday. This had to be divine intervention. It was to be my first full round of golf of the season. My only other attempt had ended, mercifully, after but 2 holes, as my aching back gave me an excuse to put away my bag, and all its excess baggage.

Now, the back, if not the mind, had healed enough to let me try it again. I stood at the first tee, renewing acquaintances with many old friends and bad habits. I made certain that I was in the last group, as I would rather the others not see what the next four and one half hours were sure to bring

And then all my diminished expectations, eager to begin their attack, lost their way. The first swing produced an acceptably mediocre result. The second one, and those that followed in succession, failed to locate the inner disgust that was waiting, just below the surface. Good holes and good scores walked hand in hand in this new universe.

My attempts to minimize what was occurring were met with disdain by my playing partners. Embrace your destiny was the message of encouragement. Don't live your failures but your successes was what they said, or at least in this embellished version, is what I heard.

Shots landed with unrelenting frequency near the intended target. The hole, which had seemingly chosen to vanish every time I putted over the last several years, reappeared, remaining in one place and growing ever larger.

When I counted up the numbers at the conclusion of the day, it seemed like I had forgotten to play several of the holes. The figure that stared at me, as I stared at it, made no sense. It was way too small to be attached to my name. But it was.

Whenever a gift like this is handed to me from the gods, my wife's admonition is to stop playing. It can only get worse she says. And while she is almost unerringly correct, I will trudge back out in future days trying to recapture what, for at least one day, I found.

I know that the bag will soon be filled to overflowing with 3 putts, mis-hits and mistakes of every size and shape, but like every golfer who has ever played the game, I live for the days when the only thing I see when I look into my bag is success.


Anonymous said...

Some people can talk for about food for hours on end and some people can talk golf for hours. Putz or putts?

Robert said...

They are both food for thought.