Well I did it. I managed to get though a round of golf without killing myself, the course, any wildlife or having the rest of my foursome try to drown me in a water hazard.
In fact, it was kinda fun.
My partners for the Mission Services/Hamilton Community News tournament were three old friends who met working for Goodwill many years ago. They knew of trepidation and told me that while they all golfed, they wouldn’t judge my skills too harshly. Their assurances, camaraderie and relaxed demeanor helped to put me at ease.
Still, when we arrived at the first tee, I was a little nervous.
When it was my turn, I stood there, driver in hand, staring at the little white ball. My mind flashed back to some of the more epic fails of my golfing career, including swinging too high and missing the ball completely, swinging too low and driving the club into the ground, grazing the ball with the bottom of the club causing it to dribble pathetically off the tee and hitting it well, but at a seemingly improbable angle that endangered those standing behind me.
I took a breath, followed by a perfunctory practice swing. (I never took more than one practice swing because, as I explained to one of my partners, it wasn’t going to make a difference to the shot I was about to attempt.) I drew my arms back and let ’er rip.
I’d love to be able to tell you that my first tee shot went 300 yards straight down the fairway and landed within inches of the cup, but there were to be no such miracles for me on that day. However, the result was not anywhere near as bad as I feared and indeed I was quite pleased with my first drive.
In fact, almost without exception, I managed to play to an acceptable level. Don’t get me wrong, I was still the worst golfer in our group and if we hadn’t been playing best ball, we would have finished with a much higher score than 82, but I did make some nice shots and occasionally managed to actually help my team.
Due to the sort of spring we’ve had, the course was very wet with temporary lakes dotting the fairways. With all that water and the resulting mud, driving around in the cart felt like I was in that old Kia commercial where an excited Cajun gives swamp tours in his Sportage. (Aaiiee!) Fortunately for us, there were no alligators in sight.
Overall, the day was quite successful for all involved. The winning team came in at 61, Hamilton Community News’ Jason Pehora and Holly Aitchison took the men’s and women’s long drive prizes and over $27,000 was raised for an excellent cause.
Thanks to all those at Mission Services and Hamilton Community News who helped make the day possible. Organizing a tournament like this takes time and a lot of skill to make it happen. This year went off with out a hitch. Congratulations.
And a personal thanks to my fellow golfers Barry Coe, Brad Spencer and Bob McKinnel who showed me that golf can be fun if you’re playing with the right people.
— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News