My husband and I have been reading a book all about retirement. The ‘how tos and where fors’ of retirement. Money, socializing, where to live, role changing, divorce (I know, right?!), travel, sex, activities and specifically finding a sport or two to play together to stay in shape and just to have fun!
Golf. I have always thought of golfing as a man’s game. You know….taking the place of going to a bar and having a few beers with the guys and watching that game or that fight. Bonding. Male bonding. While that may still be a pastime for many men, golf is a camaraderie thing and also a great pastime as a ‘business meeting’. It used to be the country club set and for people with money. THE thing to do really if you are a business man. Tell me if I am wrong but golfing isn’t the same as playing a tennis match or basketball or racquetball. A man has to be really in shape to play those games. Golf? I don’t think as much. Yes, it is tiring if you play 18 holes and more so if you play two games of 18 holes but need to be in shape? Not really. At least that is what my hubby says and he knows!
He has been trying to interest me in playing golf for years! The idea of playing golf in the Georgia summer weather has never appealed to me and certainly not now in the North Carolina summer weather. So hot and so sticky and so buggy. Not for me. I begged off many times because in my heart of hearts I always thought that golf is really just for men. Golf, beer and maybe a cigar. Riding along in the golf carts chatting about their last hole watching for the beer cart and smoking a cigar along the way. Sounds like a wonderful day out in the beautiful sunny warm weather to me. I didn’t want to interfere with this manly time. We little women can stay home and chat, knit or maybe go shopping! What????
We spent a month at the beach recently. So heavenly! I got back into tennis although to be honest I forgot how to keep score. I had to google the point system! I couldn’t believe I had to do that after spending years playing ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) which is very very serious in the Atlanta area. Believe me! Tennis women players are so competitive and winning a match is extremely important. I never played on a team that just wanted to have fun…..NEVER! I have to admit I was as competitive as the next one and I loved winning and hated losing. Lessons once a week, a match once a week and practice with teammates at least twice a week. It was all about tennis! This month my husband and I played a lot and not only that but singles which is a heck of a lot harder then playing doubles. More running around and I got tired. Yes, tired! It’s a lot of work. I am not used to running and I now know how completely out of shape I am having not run for anything and certainly not for a ball in years. My thoughts turned to golf. Why not?
Bob would be very pleased if I suggested it and maybe I should give it a try. It certainly can’t be as tiring as playing tennis! So off we went quite a few times to a local course and I tried to learn how to pitch, swing and whatever that other stroke is….oh yeah, putt…..and drive. I got the hang of it a little bit. I got a couple of nice drives in and Bob said I putt well. That’s me…a putter. Yay!
We were sitting in one of our favorite oyster bars and we got to talking to another retired couple. She told me I need to get on a regular golf course and drive from about 150 yards from the green (that little well manicured area around the cup into which the golf ball is supposed to go)…..and drive from a tee (that little stick you push into the ground on which the ball sits to drive it!) You will have to forgive me….this is all new to me as is the lingo.
Bob thought it was a marvey idea and after much debate he chose a pitch and putt course for my inauguration into golf. This type of course is all compact and the drives are shorter….from maybe 75 yards up to 100 yards. Not to confuse this type of course with miniature golf. Think larger. It is definitely for beginners.. probably. I am that….a beginner at this manly sport and YES I am intimidated beyond words. No golf outfit, no golf shoes and I felt like a complete nerd.
Off we went anyway. I was trying to seem A ok with this idea as we drove to the pitch and putt course. I put on a shirt that has a collar because I learned that ‘we golfers’ need a collar to show respect for the game. REALLY? A collar shows respect to the game? How about knowing how to drive a ball close to the hole so that anyone behind you isn’t himming and hawing because they are impatient waiting for the golfers in front of them that cannot play this darn game!
Lucky were we! Empty. YES! I was thrilled. Bob was a good coach and was very patient…at least for the first 9 or so holes. Gave me pointers on the how and whys. I drove the ball pretty well for most of the 18 holes. Pitching……not great…..I will work on that. Putting…..pretty good…..most of the time….I got a little bit of the feel of the game. I held my own at this pitch and putt golf course. Would I go to a really big golf course with far away holes and long long drives? Not anytime soon. For 18 holes (par 3 a hole which means you have three strokes to put the ball into that damn cup) I ended up with a score of 75 or 20 strokes over what I should have had. And, believe me, when I say I had a lot of ‘gimmes’ which means Bob gave me the shot when my putt was close to the hole but not actually in. Thank you Lord for a kind husband. I like those gimmes and I like my husband.
That was my only golfing experience. We decided to go golfing again before we came home but a storm was acoming to the beach. We tried but it started pouring so like any hard-core golfer we decided to hit some at the range. Can you say drowned rats? Nerd does not cover what we both looked like. I have to say though Bob looked a lot better than I did. I just do not look good being a drowned rat. My hair curls up and suddenly I am transported back in time to when I was six with curly hair with bangs cut short half way up my rather large forehead. Oh Lord!!! Golf and rain don’t mix for me.
The book on retirement said that a retirement couple should find activities to do together. We are trying. I am not saying that golf is the sport for me but my husband loves the game and I need to really put some effort into being half way decent so that I don’t embarrass myself or him.
I still believe this is primarily a man’s sport and I think men that go out to play do not want women along with them. But, sorry about that men! Lo Siento Mucho! If I put a lot of time and effort into this retirement activity you better believe I will be one of the foursome (there are normally four playing together) teeing off…..not from the ‘real’ tee but from maybe the 150 yard “tee”.
Before then I really have to go shopping for a golf outfit, golf shoes, golf socks, sun visor, oooooh a glove so I don’t get nasty blisters………does that cover it? A girl has to do what a girl has to do. Oops…..forgot a golf bag and the golf clubs! So silly.
Until then, tennis anyone?