We were retiring at the same time. Her plan was to play golf for the next 100 or so years and, as far as I know, she’s kept to her plan.
At the time, just before retirement, she was fairly certain that if our friendship was going to continue in any meaningful manner, I needed to play golf.
I was game to learn even though I had never held a golf club in my life. Actually, that’s not true. I did take golf in high school and the coach told me to pick up the ball and throw it; it’d go farther. Those words no doubt colored any thought of my ever taking up the sport.
I did need a hobby …. or at least, I thought I did as I also knew nothing at all about retirement. As it turns out, I am far busier in retirement than I ever was when I was working. I’m not quite sure how I had so much free time when I had a full time job.
One spring afternoon, my friend and I met at the local golf course, where she introduced me to her pro, a very nice woman who was very encouraging and helpful, especially in signing me up for a whole bunch of lessons. I showed up for each and every lesson and soon realized that this whole golf hobby was far beyond what I had originally bargained for.
The thing about golf is that you need clubs — a whole lot of clubs, as it turns out, most of which I have no idea when to use. The clubs also need a bag in which to reside. Actually, the clubs need two bags, a small one to walk a couple of very special clubs to the green — that’s where the ball eventually finds the hole — and a large bag to carry all of them along the rest of course.
There are also balls, tees, a cloth to keep everything clean, place markers, a divot tool, gloves, caddy, a visor and a whole assortment of colorful thingamajigs that go inside the pockets of the large golf bag and then promptly get lost somewhere at the bottom. But, because they’re critical to the game, you need to keep replacing them.
It’s rather like kids’ socks and the washers that eat them. You have no idea where they go, just that you have to keep replacing the socks or, in golf’s case, the thingamajigs, in order to keep everything balanced and in its proper order.
Once properly outfitted, the bag is far too heavy to carry, especially with all those missing items at the bottom, so that means investing in a push cart for short courses and a golf cart for longer ones.
In order to actually get onto the course, you need both the proper clothes and shoes, neither of which can be used for anything other than golf and are season specific. Women’s clothes and shoes, while a tad pricey, are very cute to wear and are easy to color-coordinate with the bag, clubs, balls, markers, tees and shoes. My personal color preference is deep purple which goes with my silvery-white hair but unfortunately clashes with the light green golf bag that was purchased when I was a blondy-auburn.
I think golf is actually about as expensive and time intensive as owning a horse which is another activity that drains the bank account.
After taking the lessons, practicing at the range, buying the irons, woods, balls, tees and thingamajigs, I went out to lunch with my former friend.
When are we going to play?
It’ll be a while. I’m moving to La Quinta. Maybe when you visit…
For a brief moment, I thought about wrapping my driver around her neck, except it was in the bag on the push cart in the garage and, besides, I wasn’t exactly sure which club it was.
Regardless, I was pretty sure the club was too darn expensive to even consider bending it.