My favorite round of golf in 2017 wasn’t a full round. It wasn’t even a full 9 holes. Don’t ask me what I shot, because I didn’t keep score.
It was Thanksgiving Day, and in keeping with my tradition of the last few years, I took advantage of the relatively mild weather and empty tee boxes to squeeze in one last trip around the links. The location has to be kept secret, as this is not an entirely sanctioned activity. Let’s just say there’s a course that looks the other way on Turkey Day for people who want to get out and swing the wrenches on a day when the course is “closed.”
But 11/23/17 was a little different. Instead of going solo or inviting a friend, I asked my daughter to accompany me. She took the game up for real last year, playing in the PGA Junior League program with some other muni-kids at the Brookline Golf Course (Putterham, to those of us who have been around for a while).
To be fair, I didn’t really “ask.” It was more like I “told” my 11 year old that she would not be spending Thanksgiving morning in her pajamas and eating cinnamon rolls. Instead, I told her to get dressed – warmly, in layers – and get ready to head out by 9am. After all, we had to be home in time to watch the Lions lose and settle in for a 3000 calorie meal.
It’s not that she fought me on it, but I was more excited than she was for two reasons; first, her game is lot like mine. She loves it, but has to work for everything. This is a kind way of saying we both stink. It must be genetic, as neither one of us possess inherent ability, skill or aptitude for the game. Playing golf for us is a struggle. And while I’ve come to terms with it, for her, the struggle is still very real.
Secondly, I was excited because I had never played golf with her before. Sure, we’d been to the range and the practice green, and I’d followed her around the course during her matches against other PGA Junior League kids. But this was our first chance to tee it up together.
I won’t give you a shot by shot or even a hole by hole account of our time on the course, except for one swing. On the first hole, a long par 4, my daughter was already 4 strokes into the round and still 150 yards away from the green. I could feel the frustration and bad energy settling over her, and we’d only just begun.
And then it happened. She absolutely flushed a 5 iron off a tight lie that not only settled softly in front of the green, but set the tuning fork off in her 57 pound frame. Her face lit up, and we locked in on the moment. That’s why we came.
We spent the rest of the morning trying to recapture that moment, but as every golfer knows, it only truly happens once in a round. And that’s if you’re lucky. We glimpsed it a few times, but we never got a hold of it. And that’s ok. That moment is still the one that will bring us back.
I only hope that it happens before next Thanksgiving.
-- By Rob "Hardy" Poole, 98.5 The Sports Hub