It Takes a Lot of Balls
Saying that you’re going golfing gives the impression that you know what you’re doing when you get to the course. I know how to look the part. The moment I show up to the club, heads turn.
I’m dressed like I’m a damn PGA pro. I’ve got the button-up shirt, the golf pants, and the matching socks. My bag is in pristine condition and it’s loaded with top-of-the-line clubs. Oh, and balls? Yeah, I’ve got dozens.
Let’s talk about what it’s like to play a game of golf with me. It doesn’t matter whether we’re hitting a municipal course in Texas, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, the outcome is going to be the same. And if we’re hitting a private course, well, the members better be okay with seeing some divots in my wake.
My Way vs. the Pro’s Way
There’s no right or wrong way to stock your bag. However, I’m not a pro. I’ve got a handicap that the USGA gave me years ago, and it’s not a number I like to share with anyone.
The average pro will carry nine balls in their bag. That’s great. They’ve got backup in case of a rogue swing.
I’m not your average golfer. I’ve never had professional lessons. I might look like a pro, but I’m the farthest thing from it. One look at me swinging from the first tee and you’ll know that it’s all a façade.
I keep a few sleeves of balls in my bag. Some get lost in the rough. Others are sacrificed to the water. Others, well, I’m not sure where they go. It’s as if they vanish the moment that the face of my club hits them.
There’s a common courtesy among golfers. You’re supposed to pay attention to the pace of play. If you cannot comply, you have two choices. Pick up your ball and move to the next hole or let the others behind you play through.
Pros don’t have to worry about such a thing. They’re the ones setting the pace. Me, however, I’m lucky to find my ball once I hit it. When I can see others in the rearview of my cart, I pretend as though I’ve found my ball and move on to the next hole.
“Ninety percent of putts that are short, don’t go in.” – Yogi Berra
Did I actually find my ball? Nope.
It’s why I have at least 18 balls when I start the game. I have to anticipate losing a ball at every hole. Sometimes I manage to keep the same ball for at least two or three holes. That’s usually when my golfing buddies become really impressed. It’s also when they start to flag down the beer cart. They figure with a beer in my hand, it should level the playing field once more.
I’m not a pro, and I’m okay with that. My way of golfing is just a bit different. I have fun, but I know I’m not going to be winning trophies anytime soon.
It Takes a Lot of Balls to Dress Like I Do
Let’s get one thing straight. Golfers of all levels can show up at a golf course looking like a newbie. It’s all about knowing what the dress code is and taking it to the next level.
Collared shirts and laced shoes are the requirements of your average municipal course. Most will also take it a step further by saying that denim isn’t allowed.
No problem. Hold my driver, I’ve got this.
I’ve got a collared shirt that matches my golf pants. My socks have the same pattern as my collared shirt, and you can bet that I’m rocking plaid like no one’s business. Oh, and my shoes? They’ve got the same color as my shirt. I look good. In fact, you would think that I’m the poster child for the Bogey Boys (and maybe I am).
From the moment that I show up at the course, other golfers are biting their lips. I’m intimidating them. And if I’m there for a tournament, they’re hoping and praying that I’m not in their bracket. I look like I’m the kind of guy to consistently hit eagles. They don’t know that I’m living the bogey and double-bogey lifestyle.
The young men at the cart barn call me “Sir” and settle my clubs into the back of the cart. They wish me luck and I throw back finger guns at them like I’m Shooter McGavin.
Making My Way Through 18 Holes
As soon as I’m on the first tee, you will find out that I’m not the professional that I pretend to be. I’ve thrown clubs into the water hazards of courses in Minnesota. I’ve yelled obscenities at the top of my lungs at courses in Texas. And, I’ve drunk myself into oblivion at courses in Wisconsin.
Golfing is hard. They say that only God can hit a one iron. I’m beginning to believe them. It’s also why it’s the safest club to hold above your head in a thunderstorm (just kidding, don’t do this).
It takes about four hours to play through 18 holes. Is that about an hour longer than the pros take? Yep. But I don’t feel bad about it because I’m out there having fun. I lose count of the number of balls I’ve lost. Luckily, my friends usually carry a few extra sleeves, too. We help each other out. Just put me down for a five so that we can move onto the next hole.
Are you staring at my putt? Of course, you are. You’re probably trying to figure out how I manage to look this good while sucking this bad. Practice. It takes a lot of practice to suck at the level that I do. Just imagine how bad I’d be if I didn’t play at least two rounds a month? Oh, yeah. There are actually worse golfers out there than me. The good thing is, with the right clothes, everyone can look as though they know what they’re doing.
Practice Makes…Ehh, May the Course Be with You
Let’s be honest for a moment. They call it golf because all of the other four-letter words were taken. If you’ve ever swung with the intention of it going straight and it sliced or hooked, you’ve screamed a four-letter word that didn’t sound anything like “golf.”
I do like to look like I know what I’m doing. Bogey golf isn’t a bad way to play the game. Sure, I go through my share of balls. However, if I didn’t practice, I’d go through even more. Like I said, it takes a lot of balls to play the way that I do.
I’ve got a pole barn at my house that has turned into my sports mecca. It’s where I keep my clubs. It’s also where I’ve set up an indoor putting green. Rain or shine, I can work on my short game.
Swing Hard Incase You Hit It
As for my long game, my pole barn has given me the space to set up a virtual golf simulator. I can swing without worrying about the ball taking out a neighbor’s window. I swing a real club but the ball is virtual. It’s a beautiful example of modern technology. The moment my buddies found out I got it set up, they showed up with the beer.
Practice has become a lot more fun. I can enjoy the game from the comfort of my pole barn. I don’t have to spend a fortune on a bucket of balls and I don’t have to sweat my own off in the summer heat. I’ve still got a nasty slice that shows up when I’m out on the course, but that’s why I’m still hitting bogeys.
Sherman Pole Buildings is why I’m a better player than I used to be. I’m able to practice my game all year long without anyone watching me. I don’t have to worry about the golf pro coming up behind me and trying to sell me some private lessons. I can suck in the comfort of an air-conditioned steel building that sits on the back corner of my property.
Golf is one of those games that takes a lifetime of practice. However, as long as you look like a pro and you know when it’s time to pick up your ball and move to the next hole, you can have fun. Just pack plenty of balls so you can last all the way through 18 holes.