I have felt the rush of hitting a home run to secure a championship. I have experienced the thrill of making a buzzer-beating layup to win a game. I have had adrenaline surge through my veins after making a crucial block that sprung a running back loose for a touchdown. I have made a soccer pass deep down the field, perfectly placed so my teammate could bury a shot in the net. On the ice, I have scored game-winning goals and have stopped flurries of shots in net during a playoff game to keep championship hopes alive.
Yes, there have been many accomplishments in my sports career, but one, despite putting in more practice and playing hours than perhaps any other sport I have competed, has eluded me — a good round of golf.
This is surprising given the fact that, on paper, I should be a decent golfer.
My grandfather was a course manager for decades, so I come from a lineage that can actually hit a golf ball out of a bunker without displacing 48 cubic yards of sand, which is what I typically do.
And while I was pretty athletic in my playing days, I now groan terribly whenever I do anything strenuous. Getting up from the couch, for instance. So golf is well-suited for my current athletic prowess.
Of course, I will always take any excuse to drink beer, which I think is the true foundation of golf.
Finally, I like to wear clothes so obnoxiously colored that astronauts on the International Space Station can look out and say, “Hey! There’s Joe!”
Notwithstanding all of these aspects, I have never put together a good round of golf. Sure, I’ve had drives that scream down a tight fairway, only reentering Earth’s atmosphere after I’m already in the cart and halfway through a new beer, but typically these shots find the wrong fairway. On an entirely different course.
I’ve dropped putts on slick, undulated greens from over 50 feet out, but far more often I look on as my ball takes a path that defies physics into the nearest hazard.
I have cupped chip shots from well beyond the green, but this usually comes after three or four shots that combined to move the ball approximately two feet. In the wrong direction.
And with spring upon us, I know I will soon have to put my lack of golf skills on display for my family in our annual tournament.
As stated earlier, these dozen or so guys and girls are good golfers. The kind who return from a round without a pound of sand and mud in their shoes and twigs in their hair.
The golfers who don’t have to spend the GDP of Belgium to have enough balls to make it through 18 holes. Golfers that don’t find driving the cart to be the most enjoyable part of the round.
Yes, I’ll certainly be outmatched in a few weeks, but at least I’ll have a title to defend — most bogeys.