Thursday, November 10, 2011

A story FORE! you (aka The day I beat Devin)

This is going to be a first for those of you who read this, so consider yourselves special or privileged or something.

I kind of like golf.

*crickets chirping*

Yeah, that's about it. I know, you're totally enlightened.

Devin started golfing last year when we still lived in Wayne. He got a great student discount at a nearby course, and rather than just walking along behind him or hanging out in the golf cart's passenger seat, I took a few swings from time to time. Occasionally I would have a really nice drive, which I would then ruin with five or six putts before the ball actually dropped in the hole.

Golfing just wasn't my thing, especially coupled with a few hours in the hot sun. And the mosquitoes. Don't get me started on those things. I tried to just deal with it because Devin was having a good time. And could actually hit the ball on the green. But I think I came across as a tamer version of Happy Gilmore, ready to throw the clubs in the pond.

Not being able to get a decent hit is no fun, plain and simple. Everyone says golf is so relaxing; it's just you and nature. For me, golf was frustrating.


When I was younger, my dad often brought golf balls home for me. The farm is only about two miles south of Indian Trails golf course, and he would find them in the fields or stop for them along the road after leaving Beemer. (Yes, I grew up two miles from a golf course. No, I never golfed before I met Devin.) So I guess it was only natural that he got some old golf clubs off an auction once and told me to start swinging. I didn't dare hit the balls too hard for fear of taking out a tractor window, but I sure enjoyed watching the cats chase them across the farm place.

During the winter, I'd often accompany my mom in the milk barn and tap a golf ball around the floor. A few times I got a little too eager to hit, and the ball ricocheted off the pipes and under the cows, who of course got spooked and kicked the milk machines off. After receiving a glare, I resorted to putting at the cats.

I eventually tired of the activity, and the bag of clubs was banished to the noisy, dirty compressor room, where it collected dust for years.


That's my competition.

Popeye chillin' with Sebastian.
This year since we've moved to Omaha, Devin discovered some new courses in the area and tried once again to introduce me to the fun that awaited in the fairway. I had good and bad moments, and before we were even done with a round, I was ready to pack it up. At some point, around an hour and a half into the game, I lose interest and start tiring of teeing up and searching for the ball. So, to keep myself somewhat engaged in the activity, I start to take pictures of Devin's swing, the shadows cast on the green, the Popeye driver cover...

Then, on a cold Saturday morning, Devin decided it was time to go to a driving range to work on my swing and calculate the distances each club hit for us. He said it might help, hopefully make me more comfortable, confident. It was a Husker game day, so there was no one to watch my horrible attempts, no one to witness how many times I sliced the ball into the neighboring 13th fairway. After that day, we had estimated distances calculated, and I started to recognize a little consistency when I hit with some of the irons.

Recently, Devin took me to Eagle Run Golf Course in Omaha. It has two options: The Links, your typical nine-hole course, and The Meadows, an affordable par 3 course. Par 3 all the way! We've been there about three times this fall, and I've improved significantly each round. Maybe it's because of the pretty golf ball Devin got me, although I really never use it except when putting, for fear of losing it.

Pinkish-orange, metallic goodness.

Let me take you back to our most recent adventure.

It was a pretty nice day, so we went out for an afternoon on the par 3. Before we left, we put our names or some sort of design on a couple golf balls so we could identify them.

I landed on the green on hole one with the first swing and got through the next two fairly well with my fancy-schmancy ball.

The picture I took two holes before I sent my Mojo right into the creek.

And then I lost it.

My trusty 8-iron couldn't even save me for the unbelievable amount of suckiness that was about to ensue. The Mojo was lost forever in the creek that paralleled the fourth fairway. My spirit also faltered. So, I had to call in the backup.

LoLo's (second) Mojo.
That was just fine until the dreaded seventh hole. I panic on this hole more than any other because it's right along Maple Street, and I'm convinced that I'm going to send the ball into someone's windshield. (Don't doubt me. I could do it.) To make it worse, there's a strip mall on the other side with a restaurant, and people park right along the edge of the golf course! You know what could easily happen.

That sort of thinking caused me to have a poor first hit. I chose to hit another, this time bringing out the ball I labeled BOOM. Well, the person who found that one in the parking lot either laughed or was pissed about the dent in their Escalade. I didn't actually hear it hit a vehicle; I'm just speculating. Let's move on to the second round, shall we? Nothing more to tell here.

On round two, Devin thought it would be neat to keep track of how many times we landed on the green on the first hit. To save time, I'll just say we both did pretty well. And long story short, I beat Devin by three strokes! Here's the proof!

Look at that! The x's note when we landed on the green from the tee box.
Ok, I have to tell just one story. That nasty seventh hole I mentioned before? Yeah, I got par. I played it safe on the first hit to avoid another parking lot incident. It landed on the right side of the fairway, about three-quarters of the way to the green. I had a pretty decent chip, but I was still a good distance from the hole. I don't think I mentioned this green has a pretty wicked slope. Anyway, I aimed about four or five feet left of the hole, and the ball slowed up and curved right in! Couldn't believe it! Major victory.

Devin's happy that he found something else for us to enjoy together, and that's a pretty big victory for us too. So, here's to that and working my way up to teeing off with that pretty pink ball. *Cheers*

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