Well ladies and gentlemen my layoff in golf has finally come to an end. On Sunday I decided to brave less than ideal conditions during my only day off to play some golf! I made my way out to Birkdale Golf Club around 2:00PM to see if I could be squeezed into the tee sheet. Without any warm-up time I was sent to the first tee to join up with a group of three guys. Jeff and Mike were celebrating Mike’s birthday and seemed like good company. Then there was Richard, whom I was lucky enough to share a cart with for the next 4 ½ hours. Now when I say lucky I’m being exceptionally sarcastic but I’ll get to that later.
Richard was most likely in his early 60’s while Jeff and Mike were flirting with the 40 mark at my best guess. All three had been warming up on the range before the start of the round while I was fresh out of the car still tying my shoes and strapping my bag to the cart. The first hole was a simple enough par 4 playing about 390. I took 4-iron out and was immediately dubbed a sandbagger for the play. Driver made no sense off the tee especially without warm up time and seeing that my partners were short-sided right and dead left, the play was logical…so I thought.
One tight discombobulated swing later, I found myself in the right rough under a tree with a middle iron in. A bladed 8, followed by a flubbed bunker shot, a better bunker shot and two putts my first hole in over two months ended with a double-bogey six. My immediate thoughts were that it was going to be a LONG day and I was right, but for the wrong reasons.
After getting loose a few holes later and letting my feel come back to me I managed to get into a groove and hit some good shots. I had never played the course before and enjoyed the track. It’d be a good experience if the course was better maintained but from the appearance of things, the money isn’t flowing in well enough. Thanks a lot recession but I digress!
Now remember when I said it was a LONG day? Well that’s because my cart-companion, Richard, NEVER shut up. Out of all the different types of annoying golfers, Richard was the worst due to his combination of several different types. First and foremost, I wouldn’t be earning any brownie points with my future in laws (die-hard Auburn family) if I didn’t mention the “worst” fact about Richard was that he’s an Alabama fan. However, after playing with Richard I’ve decided to side with Auburn myself. War Damn Eagle!
What made this gentleman hard to handle from the beginning was that he had a story for everything. He had played here, there and everywhere and wanted all of us guys to think he was quite the big shot. I also now regret calling him a gentleman considering many of his stories were of how “big and bad” he was when golfers on the course exhibited bad etiquette.
He also had to brag about his son the football star, daughter the cheerleader and other son the “financial whiz kid” of Wall Street. You could also rely on him to stop at every water hazard, ball retriever in hand, to snag a few water logged Top-Flites for his collection. In between his endless stories and claims of being a six handicap (must be calculated without putts due to his inability to hole out on a single hole) he had talks with Mike and Jeff regarding things that just don’t affect me all that much currently. IRA’s, 401K’s amongst several other “older” adult topics kept me disinterested for most of the day.
It is because of this that I look forward to the College Golf Pass’ new venture in potentially forming a young professional’s golf league next year. While I enjoy meeting new people, especially on the golf course, it’s even better when I actually have things in common with my playing partners outside of just a love for the game.
The ability to network and form new friendships with people my age, particularly with me being in a new city would be a most welcomed opportunity. So stay tuned my diligent readers. Hopefully more updates are coming in the near months for other young professionals. Until then, Sunday has proven that I’m in much need of some serious range time. Birdie chasing never ends does it?!