May 25, 2020
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Golf is for everyone, even if you’re not good at it

Stock image | Pixabay
Stock image | Pixabay
There are so many components that go into hitting a good shot: arms, wrists, head, hips, neck, legs, feet, stance, concentration, preparation.

It makes absolutely no sense.

It just sits there. It never moves.

By rule, it can’t weigh more than 1.62 ounces or be smaller than 1.68 inches in diameter.

It comes in all different colors including white, yellow, pink and orange.

It is a golf ball.

When you play golf, nobody is throwing the ball at you as hard as they can or putting a spin on it so it slides away from you or dips at the last second.

You simply have to take your golf club, step up to it and hit it.

You should be able to hit it as far as you want and put it where you want to, shouldn’t you? How hard can it be?

But it is!

And that is the beauty of golf.

There are so many components that go into hitting a good shot: arms, wrists, head, hips, neck, legs, feet, stance, concentration, preparation.

A breakdown or error in any one component can result in a drive that hooks or slices, pops straight up in the air or rolls slowly down the fairway.

There is nothing more embarrassing than hitting a worm-burner in front of other players. Everybody in your foursome tells you not to feel bad, that it happens to everyone.

Players in the foursome behind you may also offer you words of encouragement. But you suspect they might be thinking that they are going to be stuck standing around and waiting while you butcher the golf course.

They hope they can play through as soon as possible and that their ball doesn’t land in one of your divots which could be better described as a crater.

Yes, golf is for everyone.

You can invest thousands of dollars in a set of clubs and gadgets that help you improve your game. Or you can go to Goodwill and buy a set of used clubs for $20.

You can buy a brand-new box of golf balls at Walmart or purchase a cheap bag of used balls at a roadside stand.

You can hit buckets of balls at the driving range — although those are closed right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic — or you can go out in your backyard and hit Wiffle golf balls.

And you don’t have to be good to enjoy it.

Golf can be one of the most frustrating endeavors you’ll undertake, depending upon your attitude and level of commitment.

For some, it is highly competitive and they devote hours to polishing their game. For others, it is just nice to be out on a course getting exercise with friends on a beautiful day. The score doesn’t matter. A few good shots per round is what they will remember, rather than all the shots they shanked.

There also have been countless business transactions consummated on golf courses.

There is something pristine about golf courses, even the low-budget ones. They’re like a well-manicured lawn.

It is always a bonus to find a few balls in the rough or the woods to help make up for the ones you lose.

Whenever I played, I kept a plus-minus score in my head: Balls found compared to balls lost.

If I was on the plus side, it was a good day regardless of how I played.

If you have never played, give it a shot, especially these days when most gyms, pools and recreation centers are closed due to the coronavirus.

It is a perfect sport when it comes to social distancing.

Anyone who watched me play would assume I had never played a sport in my life. Several of the coaches I played for probably wished I hadn’t.

Don’t let that little dimpled ball frustrate you. Take a lesson or two.

As of 2010, Maine ranked eighth in the country in golf courses per capita. There are 12 courses within 20 miles of Bangor.

Consider playing on days that aren’t sunny or warm. I would much rather play on a cool, overcast day and have the whole course to myself instead of playing on a sunny day on a course packed with golfers.

Social distancing guidelines have allowed for more time between tee times and other restrictions, so there isn’t much congregating these days.

Golf can be expensive, so call around and find a course you can afford.

It is a sport for all ages and all levels of ability and there is usually no shortage of one-liners. Laughter is especially important these days.

Be courteous. If your group is scattering the ball and the group behind you is playing much quicker, allow them to play through.

The good weather is finally coming. Introduce family members or friends to the game if they have never played.

Sanitize, line up your drives, be alive and don’t feel you have to thrive.

Have fun and get some fresh air. Allow golf to be a stress reliever and a cure for cabin fever.

 


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