Tuesday, August 14, 2012
My golf swing
I wasn't expecting much. For twelve years my golf clubs moped in the furnace room, festooned with dust and spider webs. They're still in good shape, but suffering a slow death from disuse.
But I'm a stone's throw from a wonderfully hilly and marvelously cheap golf course, the oldest privately owned course west of the Mississippi, established 1888. When I got asked to come along and play nine holes, I went for it, and my old clubs shined up nicely.
I don't really know why I gave up golf, although it had something to do with leisure time, I'm sure, because those clubs got stuck in the basement about the same time I bought my first digital camera. These days, of course, I got time for both. Hallelujah.
The white poplars, out front of this old house, are marvelous; their leaves half green, half silver, are music in a breeze. Those trees are a blessing really, although like any of us, they're not without sin. They're greatly interested in reproducing, again, like most of us; but their fervor, their desire, you might say, isn't always appropriate (they're sounding more and more human all the time). They're blessed with lateral roots, I'm told, and those roots send up tendrils that, allowed to grow, leaf quickly into a forest of a thousand baby trees. During an almost rainless summer, you can imagine what the lawn looks like--it's not there. What is, is 200 bloomin' upstarts that blossom out of the ground, smiling with leaves, and wonder why everything around them is dying when they're finally getting their first breath of fresh air.
Here's the thing. I thought it was a good idea: take out an old scythe from the shed, something like a pitching wedge with a foot-long blade, and whack those upstarts, thereby practicing a golf swing that hasn't been swung in a dozen years.
It would have been good practice, had there not been eleventy-seven of them. I whacked away at a couple hundred leafy faux-golf balls and never once pulled out a divot. In my youthful imagination I was hitting fairway irons like Palmer or Nicklaus. Took me the better part of an hour, but I had the entire front lawn unbushed of its upstart poplars and had myself thinking I might actually hit the ball sweet and straight come Monday morning.
Sunday I discovered that I had a set of muscles in my back and neck as unused as those golf clubs. I could barely turn my head.
Monday morning, early, still tight, I tried to play golf. Tried. My shoulders held a c-clamp around my head--that's what I felt like. It wasn't pretty. I know that historic course well now, having hit just about every corner. Had I counted strokes, I know I would have had far more than my money's worth. The moustachoied guy in the pro shop should probably have charged me more than he did, but he showed exemplary mercy. I'm not sure if that historic golf course has seen anybody as errant in 124 years.
But I had fun.
Yesterday afternoon, when I put up a bird feeder, I noticed green grass for the first time since we've moved here--the cool temps and an inch or so of rain has done the lawn good.
So here's where I'm at this Tuesday morning, my stiff neck abating: on the course I was an unmitigated disaster, but my front lawn looks just great.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 7:27 AM