foozle vt foo-zled; foo-zling (1892): to manage or play awkwardly; a bungling golf stroke

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Leave Of Absence From The Game?

I seriously considered giving up the game on Sunday as I rode around a near-frozen golf course with a buddy and a couple of strangers. Though I was excited to be out and playing again, my game seems to have deserted me completely. I was routinely out-driven by my playing partners by some 60 yards. I shanked a chip shot on the 2nd hole. I chunked (yes, chunked!) a putt on the 14th hole. And I found reasonably short and "playable" par-4s unreachable with two full shots. But playing poorly your first time out after a long winter is nothing to be alarmed at, right? Well yes and no. I have a wife who I love very much and two wonderful little girls who I can't seem to spend enough time with and all this hit me in the head on Sunday as I struggled to enjoy myself on the golf course--why am I here? Why did I pay $50 to ride around on a cart, freezing my tail off, just to be away from the ones I love for six hours? I finally couldn't answer that question and that's what got me to thinking that it might be time to give it up. I'm not saying that I'm giving up the dream of playing the kind of golf that I know I'm capable of, but I'm seriously considering it. To play well and enjoy myself it seems that I'm going to have to spend way more time then I can afford perfecting my game and that probably won't ever happen like I really want it to. Why play the game if you can't play it well? Perhaps I'll just take to playing by myself again for a while, away from the pressure of "competing" with my buddies and try and rediscover what it is/was that I love about this game. Maybe quick, purposeful sessions on the range in the evening after the kids are in bed, only to be followed by 4 or 5 holes as the sun goes down. I can continue to practice at home when time is even more in demand and maybe, just maybe, I'll find again what I'm looking for. Whatever the case may be, I cannot continue to play like I am right now. I will not continue to play like I'm playing right now.


The Artful Golfer said...

Kenny, I can totally relate. I tried to take up the game several times while my kids were growing up and just couldn't play or practice enough to fully enjoy it. Once they both left for college, I tried again, and have been playing regularly ever since. That said, I like your idea of at least trying to get out by yourself when you've got time and hit balls, play a few holes, etc. That gives you some constructive time to yourself, plus may even inspire one of your kids to get out and join you someday! But even if you do decide to take a LOA, the game will still be here when your priorities change. I have no regrets about my very long LOA. I just hope I don't have to take another one!

Kenny G said...

Thanks for the words of empathy/encouragement, Artful Golfer. I appreciate your input.