Learning a lesson about golf, life
I like sports.
Well, most sports anyway. I still have trouble understanding that boxing is a sport. Or car racing. Or synchronized swimming.
There are some sports that are entertaining to watch, others which are ones we participate in.
While I used to participate in several sports, I guess I am down to one.
It is something that seems to be enjoyed by a lot of people, old and young, male and female.
It is a sport you can enjoy for many years, even most of your life. My 94-year-old aunt just gave up the game a couple of years ago. When she was 90 she was still golfing a couple of times a week.
It is a humbling game. Just when you think you are getting the hang of it and doing well, you blow up and have a bad round.
But, of course, the old saying is that a bad day on the golf course still beats a good day at the office.
It is a sport where you always try and do your best, whatever that personal goal might be.
I have told the story before about golfing with a good friend of mine who is an outstanding golfer. I?am not one of those. I might be considered an OK golfer.
So, one day, when we are out together on the course, we both shoot a score of 40 for nine holes.
I am ecstatic and ready to buy everyone in the clubhouse a drink in celebration.
My buddy is totally upset and ready to heave his clubs into the pond.
A 40 to me was a great score. A 40 for him was pretty bad.
That is golf. You set a standard for yourself and then try and make that score or do even better.
I also used to play golf with a friend who was about 80-years-old and was a terrific golfer and always trying to shoot a score for 18 holes that matched his age.
I once told him that I hoped to be able to golf like him when I was 80-years-old. He responded that I wouldn’t be able to do that, because I couldn’t shoot golf like him now.
Mainly I?golf for fun. I enjoy the social aspect, being outdoors, the exercise. And yes, if I get a good score, that is alright, too.
But, it is not the only thing.
That is why I really like what happened last week to both the Blue Earth Area boys and girls golf teams.
Both teams were playing against United South Central on Tuesday. The boys at Minn-Iowa in Elmore, the girls at Riverside Town & Country Club.
The USC girls only had three members who could make it, and you need a minimum of four for a team, so they had to forfeit.
But the girls and the coaches decided that ‘what the heck,’ it was a beautiful day so let’s golf for fun.
They divided up into three teams, with three BEA girls and one USC girl on each team. Then they played a round of best ball. Just for fun.
Best ball is where everyone on the team tees off, and then they use the best shot and everyone shoots again from that location.
The girls, several of them golfing barefoot, were enjoying the game and the camaraderie and the beautiful day and the gorgeous Riverside golf course.
They were playing golf for fun, not for competition.
The BEA boys team had a dilemna.
Three of their varsity players are seventh graders and there was a fifth to seventh grade concert last Tuesday night. When the concert date was set, no one thought about seventh graders being on a varsity team.
Coach Travis Armstrong told his seventh graders they were going to the concert, not golfing.
Then he took all of his seniors, many of whom had been playing on the junior varsity team, and moved them up to varsity for the meet versus USC.
For this group of seniors, it was their final golf meet of their high school career at BEA. They had not complained about being on junior varsity as seniors. They had not quit the team. They loved to golf and wanted to be a part of the Buccaneer team, no matter where they played.
It all worked out just like it should have. The seventh graders, who will be standout Buc golfers for the next five years, learned that they have some responsibilities other than just golf.
The seniors were rewarded for sticking with the team and had a great time during that last high school round of golf.
I commend both coach Carol Weerts and coach Armstrong for not only coaching the kids how to golf better, but also teaching them an appreciation for this game that they might end up playing for the rest of their lives.
And showing them a couple of terrific lessons about life in general along the way.