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The Golfer's Corner
In the Beginning
In the beginning I had some clubs, but I didn't have a bag. I had to use a loaner bag from the course me and my step dad were about to hack our way around. Unfortunately for me, it was a pink bag. I was 12 years old when I first stepped foot on a golf course, not knowing it would become a passion for me all my life.
I remember playing that day as if t were yesterday. I was absolutely horrible, shanking, topping, missing, and loosing balls right and left. I hit every hazard that was in front, beside, or even behind me. It was a wonder we even made it through the 9 holes we did. My step father wasn't much better, but he had some practice playing on the company golf team at the brake plant in Tennessee.
That first day I even tried my best to keep score, even though the math was so complicated it could merit an invisible algebra equation. I can't remember exactly what I came up with, but the score for 9 holes was probably around a 100 if I were to count all the penalties. And if I were to keep good score, I would have had to disqualify myself I'm sure.
Nevertheless, the rusted old blades my step dad got me back in the early 90s were my first set of clubs. I cleaned them up and even got a used bag later for them. I constructed a mini golf course around our farm house with hula hoops and a wiffle ball. I challenged my brother, step father, and mom to compete. I kept score and we all had a lot of fun. I even drew out the course design and put stats of it on paper. It was the beginning of a lifetime love affair with golf.
As time progressed, our family moved back to where we were from in Oregon. I didn't get the chance to play golf for awhile, but when I entered into high school the opportunity to play again presented itself with the golf team.
As I lived in a small rural place in Eastern Oregon, having a golf course was a dream come true. It was as if God put it there for me. I played that course all the time, every chance I could get. Because I was a member of the high school golf team, they let me play all year round for a membership of $90/year! I even had a golfing buddy who would come with me often and we would challenge each other to get better.
Those times were the heart of golfing in it's essence. I didn't know about St. Andrews, or the Masters. We didn't have cable or the Internet and I knew very little about professional golf, or even where golf came from. All I knew was that I loved this game.
The first year of high school at our 1A schoolo, I was about the third best player shooting rounds around 110-135 on eighteen holes. By this time, I had learned the rules and was playing tournaments where I needed to show golf etiquette. I became a strict rule keeper and wanted nothing to do with mulligans and cheating whatsoever. I was tempted a few time of course, and admittedly even bent the rules, but was deeply burdened at my lack of integrity until I became an uncompromising rule keeper as I still am.
This is how I got better at golf, playing on a lonely course in Eastern Oregon, playing on the high school golf team. We played 1-3A schools, and my 10-12 grade years I was the top player. I progressed each year until finally in the last tournament I broke 90 with an 88. This was the highlight of my high school golfing career. This was the districts tournament and I believe I came in right in the middle of the pack after the two day tournament was over.
The Dream is Still There
In high school I began to dream of becoming a college golfer, and after high school when I was in the Air Force I began to dream of becoming a professional golfer. I played on the Air Force squadron golf team where I was the second best player out of our security forces squadron.
I played all the time, read magazines, and started to learn about the golfing scene and history. Tiger woods was emerging about this time and I remember being pained if it was nice outside and I had to work and couldn't play golf. At this point I was threatening to break 80 on many occasions, but never did or have shot better than a +8 on any 18 hole course. One time I played a par 71 and shot a 79, but this didn't count in my book. Still, I chase this elusive goal of breaking 80.
I was an 11 handicap though, playing on one of the toughest courses in Utah, Hill AFB course, where they often held the state amateur championship. And at one point during a squadron competition I shot an -1 on 9 holes, so a 35! Too bad on the front nine I shot a 50!
The dream was there and I thought all the time about golf. When I got out of the Air Force all I wanted to do was work on a golf course. God had other plans for me though, and I had a long road of discovery in my personal life to go through. I needed to get right with Jesus, and my search for truth overrode my dreams of golf. Still though, the dream has always been there.
Be Inspired to Become The Best Golfer You Can Be
Do you dream of being a professional golfer?
The Aging Dreamer
As I got older, I would go through golfing phases and still do. At times the dream would awaken and I would play more golf, and other times I would put it away and pursue other dreams which I had in me. As I also wanted to be a writer, a musician, and was a truth seeker as well.
At one point when I was 26 years old, I got my handicap back and entered two amateur tournaments in Oregon. I was an 18 handicap at this point, a bit rusty. The first tournament I barely was able to shoot under a 100 the first day, and the second I shot a 102 or so. I came in about 97th out of 120 golfers. This was discouraging, but I was very excited to be competing again.
The next tournament I entered was different. I was ready for this one and I ended up shooting two rounds in the mid eighties and winning the net score for the entire tournament! So I am actually a winner of an amateur golf tournament with my net score. Although I had a high handicap, it was accurate with that time in my life.
About ten years later, here I am about 35 years old. I still golf about 10 times a year and have a driving range across the street of my house. I have been keeping meticulous stats on each round I complete and I always keep a tournament accurate score to compute. I don't have a home club or an official handicap, but at this point I am about a 15 handicap.
The dream is still there, but there is other dreams and priorities that are more important in my life at this point. I am married and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, own and operate a lawn care business, and am a part time writer on the Internet. My plate is full you may say, but when I do get out there on the course, it's like I'm out there on my lonely course in Eastern Oregon again, and I start to think if I could just shoot par, I could become a professional. The dream is still there.
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More Articles I've Written About Golf
- A Writer's Review: Golfing Better With A Statistical System
In this article I share the statistical system I've created and use, and explain how and why it will help improve your golf game.
- How to Golf Better and Break 90
Playing better golf is just a round away, and with the right focus you can break 90. This barrier will be something the average golfer won't achieve, but if your serious you can score in the 80's.