Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Still addicted to a crazy game
Posted by John McHale
I just finished another Spring Golf Trip, lost another couple dozen lost balls, donated another $100 to a low-handicapper's kid's college fund … and I still want more.
It's a stupid, expensive, frustrating game and as rusty and jerky as my swing can be I'd much rather be flailing away at a Titleist right now than writing this blog.
I and 11 friends played eight rounds in five days last week on a golf trip in Pinehurst, N.C. No, we didn't play the resort courses this year, but some other tough tracks like The Pit and Tobacco Road.
The golf wasn't always pretty and the better players won out despite the avalanche of strokes some of us humble hackers received, but I wanted to keep playing.
The only real stress is carried by the organizer. This year it was my friend Alex. Organizing 12 idiots and getting them to pay on time can be a pain in the neck, so I'm glad he had the highlight shot of the trip, a near hole-in-one at Tobacco Road. As you can see by this photo of where his ball hit near the left of the cup, he came within millimeters of jarring it. A pretty cool shot!
The game is wonderful stress relief from your everyday druthers. After two or three rounds into the trip I thought of nothing except golf.
I've read stories that service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan that have set up driving ranges and makeshift courses as kind of an escape. Their stresses dwarf anything in my life, yet many of them enjoy the release from smacking drive after drive at the range. Many groups have set up methods to send them balls and clubs and other golf equipment. PGA Tour pros have also visited the troops.
A story that has gotten a lot of play is that of F-16 pilot and golf professional Dan Rooney, who created Patriot Day last Sept. 1. That Saturday golfers were asked to pay an extra $1 on their public-course green fee. That dollar went to the Fallen Heroes Foundation. Patriot Day will be renewed this Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 29 - 31.
So on Labor Day when you tee it up, throw in an extra buck for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.