Here is something most of you who are not close friends or family members know: I golf. Well, I used to anyways. I did a quick search of all my posts and I have never once mentioned golf in any post. How weird is that? Allow me to give you a quick background into my golf history.
I started golfing when I was probably 17 years old. It started by going out with my dad and uncle one weekend and giving it a try. I was absolutely terrible. I went out a more weekends and was still pretty crappy. Then I started hitting a pitching wedge up in our field (our field is just a little over 100 yards long) and set up an old hose and made it my goal to get the balls into that circle.
During that summer my dad discovered that over at Penn State, there was a practice course between the Blue Course and White Course. It was six holes and you paid like $12 and could play as many holes as you like. We played there a few Sundays and it was fun. My dad realized I enjoyed golfing and bought me a set of cheap clubs.
I soon convinced my uncle Shawn to come with me. After that, it seemed like my entire family was hooked. We went out all the time. My grandfather started playing as well. At this point in my life I was shooting around 105-110.
This new found addiction caused me to go out for the golf team my senior year. Lots of fun. Learned a good bit, but also it hurt me in a lot of ways. I kept taking advice from anyone I could and it was also the point where I learned to really get frustrated over golf. Everyday after school we golfed 9 holes at the Philipsburg Country Club. I started shooting 48/49 on a consistent basis. My best round was a 41.
Then we played at Treasure Lake and golf went from fun to a miserable experience. I somehow took all those little tidbits of advice and instead of being able to hit a decent shot, I could now only hit everything straight up in the air. It was horrible, I could not seem to remember how to do what I did before. I shot a 66 on the front nine and was so annoyed that I refused to play the back nine.
From then on, my scores went up to the high 50s and I was ready for it to start snowing. I honestly do not think I have ever said that in my entire life. The next spring came and I went back out with my family and seemed to enjoy it again. I also went a few times with my friends, but my scores were still around 100-105.
I went to Gannon University my freshman year and when I came home, I lived at my mom’s place. That summer I had no job and basically had a ton of free time. My stepdad and I would go up to the PCC everyday and play nine in the morning and then come home and watch soap operas (yeah, it was a pretty exciting time).
That summer I started to get pretty decent again, and I finally ended up breaking 100 during a full round. I shot a 43 on the front nine and a 46 on the back nine (you may ask how I remember all these scores, well I will get to that in a moment).
After that I went back to college and eventually transferred to Penn State. I went out golfing with family members a few more times over the next few years, but nothing on a regular basis. I ended up taking golf as a gym class. After that I only went out golfing one time.
Life in Pittsburgh
When I moved to Pittsburgh, I did not even take my clubs with me. My friend Mike convinced me to sign up for a charity golf tournament for work. We figured we would be in a group together and we would just drink beer and have some fun. He is a good golfer, but had no desire to go out and prove anything to The Place That Shall Not Be Named. Unfortunately we did not get we wanted.
I was put into a group of three other guys who seriously thought we had a chance of winning the event. The one guy was pretty good (I think he was a six handicap or something like that), the other two were about my level, or a little better. Granted this was a best ball tournament, but some of the other foursomes had some pretty unfair groupings (three scratch golfers and a smokin’ hot girl, makes sense).
We had this pink ball that we were supposed to use on each hole. If you lost the pink ball, the team was penalized two strokes. My team wanted to just tap the ball off tee and pick it up each hole. That seemed pretty lame to me (plus I thought they were kidding) and I hit it into the woods on the second hole and we could not find it. I did not mean to hit it into the woods, but my teammates were so upset. They would not talk to me for about 10 holes (it was not until I chipped one in that they actually spoke to me). I ruined our chances of winning! Oh, we lost the tournament by 10 strokes…
That was three years ago. I have not been golfing since, until Saturday. I went out with my friend Jason and we played a course that I had played many times when I first started out: Appledale. We used to go there sometimes because it was cheap and you could golf as many holes as you wanted (my pap, uncle, and I would go over on a Sunday morning and try to get in 54 holes).
I had a lot of fun, even though I did not do that well. I lost the scorecard on the 9th hole and we started another one after that. I would not be shocked if my score was around 108. The thing that made me happy though, was that I did not seem to mind. I had one hole where I started to get frustrated, but I just laughed it off and reminded myself that it is only golf.
I bet you are wondering what the hell this picture has to do with anything. That is me on the left when I was 18 years old. We were at Ocean City and the guy in the center is Ed. We met him that night and just decided to get drunk with him and his friend. What does that have to do with golf? Well he decided that I looked like Sergio Garcia…