It's all about choices...
Posted Jul 02 2009, 12:16 PM by Cathy Erickson
If you haven't read Sam Johnson's post this week about summer golf, you really should. It's a good read and I hope it makes you laugh a few times. As he has been slow roasting himself in triple digit temperatures, those of us closer to the Canadian border (eh!) have been on a weather roller coaster - just the other day I had a turtleneck on and it's summer!!
While I appreciated Sam's humor, his last sentence really made me think - and it reminded me that I sometimes roll the following question through my head - "If I love golf so much, what in the world am I doing in Minnesota?"
I think that's a question that goes through the minds of many Minnesotans, because you know, Minneapolis, Minnesota has the largest number of golfers per capita than any other city in the United States!!
But then I start remembering favorite golf memories that include family, friends, and sometimes strangers, and I can't think of any place I'd rather be.
I'm from a golfing family, and I'm smiling right now thinking of countless memories of times on the course with my Mom, Dad, and brother. My Mom was the one who taught me how to play so even though I'm a lefty in several things, I'm a right-handed golfer because my Mom had right-handed clubs. When we were young she would give my brother and I 1 club and a ball and we could hit it up to the green. We weren't allowed to hold anyone up, so it was a race on every hole (I think that's why I can't stand slow play!).
I got my first set of Nancy Lopez clubs when I was in junior high, and I remember golfing regularly with my mom and her friends. There weren't a lot of girls my age that golfed, so my Mom and I spent a lot of time on the course...what great memories.
My Dad always encouraged me and one of his favorite words is "tempo" - I try to remember that when my swing disappears. My brother and I played some when we were younger, but I realize now, not enough. A memory that is hitting me right now is when I was in high school my brother and a friend came to watch me in a high school playoff meet - we didn't get many spectators, so when I realized who it was, and that they were there to cheer for me, I was so excited! (thanks, JP!)
Working summers through college didn't leave me a lot of time to golf, but after I graduated (and had second thoughts on my career choice) I got the opportunity manage our local clubhouse for 4 seasons. It was an experience that impacted me more than just about anything in life (what memories!!).
My Mom was my partner and my Dad was the best grocery getter ever (brother JP was a guest cook when he was home)! We spent just about every day at the golf course and it became like a second home (and an extended family!). There were long days and hectic times, but I loved it there. I made friends that mean more to me than they will probably ever know, and it taught me that people, not things, are what really matter in life. My golf game was at its worst then because I never got to play, but I was able to live vicariously through every player that checked in. I love it when we reminisce about those days.
The reality of that golf life was that I couldn't make a living doing it, so it was time to find something new. But being away from the grind made it possible to actually golf more! It took a few years to find my game, but when I did I was able to reclaim that joy I found every time I took a swing...and it became a haven as I found my way to a challenging, stressful, but rewarding job outside the golf world.
It's like golf is a hub that connects things for me. Sometimes it's my alone time, to practice or just escape life. I appreciate it when golf reminds me that there is beauty all around us. Or when it teaches us that life doesn't always give us what we want, but when we least expect it might give us a gift we don't deserve.
Golf is a great social connection, too, either in the morning golf group, league night with the girls, or the throw together 9-some scramble a few weeks ago (loved that!). I have enjoyed golfing with new pals over the past few years, and I'm really looking forward to a few scrambles coming up. My mind is filling up with some golf road trips I've taken with awesome golf pals, and I'm laughing right now thinking of some funny golf stories I just talked about with a friend last night (I wish I could share them here!). I'm also missing my friend Carol who made golf seasons so fun for me...she made the leap and moved to Florida. And I know I've said this before, but I am so grateful to all of my guy golf friends who let me play with them.
And sometimes golf is family time...I am still golfing with my Mom (my Dad only plays in perfect weather conditions so we're still waiting!) and I feel so lucky that we have golf to share together. One of my favorite memories will always be playing with her in a 2-lady scramble last year. Neither of us had high expectations so we just went out to have fun and enjoy the day...and maybe that was the key. Tee to green (no pun intended) I played about as good as I can remember, and my Mom's putter was hot!! (she will want me to tell you that she birdied #8 all by herself!) We ended up in 2nd place and I think the surprised happiness on our faces stayed with us all day. I'm excited to be playing in that event with her again next week.
I think having such short golf season makes us "short season golfers" appreciate the time we have that much more. And the 50 degree days make us Ooo and Ahhh over 75 and sunny. As a friend and I often say, "It's all about choices"...and it just makes sense for me to be in a place where I can have family, friends, and golf all in one place...and when I get the golf bug during the off season I'll just visit Texas!
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Filed under: Minnesota, family, choices, memories, scramble, friends
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