I absolutely have a love/hate relationship with the game of golf.
I suppose in that way, I’m no different than all of the duffers and hackers that take up this silly game. And that’s why, in the span of one afternoon at Prairie Farms Golf Course, I went from near tears of frustration, to pure elation to annoying embarrassment and everything in between.
First and foremost, I don’t play a lot of leisure golf anymore. There was a time when myself, and many of my good friends, could be found looping Beaver Creek Golf Course every Saturday and Sunday, but those days are long gone. Responsibilities are a pain in the neck sometimes, aren’t they?
I also used to play in every tournament known to man, and there was a time when I would have played in the women’s only tournaments had they let me.
Instead, now I play in the Rotary Blast, and that’s pretty much it. So naturally, being the only tournament I play in each year, I certainly wanted to do well. But, instead of playing well, I found myself apologizing to my partner, and good friend Steve Steinmetz all day for the rotten round I was putting together.
I guess slinking back to the cart, sipping another beverage and apologizing is much better than inventing new ways to curse and slamming clubs like I used to do.
But, as usually is the case with golf, my sorrow and self-loathing turned to excitement and utter happiness in the span of one magnificent golf swing, and it wasn’t even my own swing.
My good friend Scott Stockdill, who was having about as good a day as I was turned everything around when he hit a towering 5-wood on the par-3 13th hole. His annoying blue- and-gold Bobcat Logo Ball landed softly on the front of the green, rolled, and rolled and then disappeared into the cup. And while I was trying to tackle him, and it’s not an easy feat because Stocker, as we like to call him, is a big man, he was mired in disbelief, insisting that the ball didn’t go in the hole.
However, I knew my eyes hadn’t deceived me, and after a wild celebration which resembled more of a rock concert atmosphere rather than a golf tournament, we retrieved his ball, took some pictures, constantly ribbed him about the bar tab he was about to endure, and wallowed in the joy of all we had just witnessed.
Golf is such a grand game. And by the way, if anyone wants to hit a hole-in-one, golf with a Havre Daily News employee, because I was the second HDN employee to witness an ace this week.
But as they say, “the lord giveth and the lord taketh away. And while Stockdill’s magical moment had a profound effect on my attitude, it did nothing to improve my round.
I struggled home, feeling dejected to the point I was glad the tournament was over. And that’s golf. That’s the kind of things this game can do to one’s soul.
Golf will torment even the most mentally tough players, it will knock down even the happiest of men and women, and yet it will lift you and everyone around you with just one perfect swing of the club.
I love this game, and as badly as I played on Sunday, I’m ready to be tormented all over again.