After almost 10 years of not setting foot on a golf course or wielding a golf club in any meaningful way, I suddenly grew a strong itch to play again.
In obedience to my itch, I took off to Enugu over the Easter weekend to re-birth my turbulent amateur golf career.
Looking out from the starter over the golf course, I couldn’t help being deeply impressed by how much that course had transformed since over a decade that I played it.
The fairways were well tended and they actually had greens for most of the holes.
As I set up my tee shot on hole 1, I fully expected to be slain by the course. I shuddered internally as I envisioned the trail of blood likely to follow me around the course.
Fellow golfers would understand my trepidation because golf is an unforgiving and jealous sport. Ideally, I should have gone to the range to hit some balls in preparation to face the beast.
Being me though, I preferred to jump into the deep end and either sink or swim.
To my pleasant shock, the course failed to extract blood although it did squeeze a few drops of tears off me.
My first round of 18 holes ended on a good note for me. My partners (a pair of jolly fellows) were surprised that I hadn’t played for almost a decade.
We played in about three hours ( just a flight of three). I lost no balls. I searched for no balls.
Although I hit no pars, I did manage to pick up several boogies and some double boogies.
However, two holes decided to take me through the wringers, but I escaped without hitting any double digits.
Serious golfers would probably be sneering at me right now but I really don’t care. I was proud of myself, still am.
Day one was fun, the weather was so good, the sun maintained a rare shyness even though there was no threat of rain. It was a golfer’s paradise.
I had a 17-year-old kid, Favor, for a caddy. He is in secondary school and caddies during the holidays and on weekends. The kid was sweet but unfortunately he didn’t do much for my game. He didn’t quite have the experience to be of much use – golf-wise.
My second day, I traded him for Christian who is a more mature golfer who did make an input on my game.
The sun made a U-turn on this day and decided to be a tormentor, gifting me with a golfer’s sleeves (sun burned arms where your sleeves don’t cover).
My overall experience was so enjoyable except for the part where I got the bill for the use of a golf bag. This wasn’t all bad though as I was inspired to dig out my golf bag upon my return home.
I even have a pencil bag. All my clubs were still in pretty good condition. I became excited and started looking forward to any opportunity to play golf.
So when I was invited to Enugu again a few weeks later for a meeting, I packed up my pencil bag and headed off.
Managed to squeeze in a full round of 18 holes. This time, the goddess of golf must have just begun her period. She was brutally unfriendly to me. The sun added its own malevolence to the situation and gifted me a good and clear golfers’ sleeves.
To worsen matters, my caddy was an even younger one than Favor and had no clue about golf. Couldn’t even watch my ball. I suffered through some holes before my flight partners took pity on me and pointed out some of my gaffes.
My situation was not helped in the least bit by my shoes that needed breaking in. My feet felt like superman was beaming his red hot laser eyes directly at them.
I limped off the course happy and ready to do it all over again.
You see, that is the golfer’s ‘curse’. No matter how much punishment you take, you are eager to return for more.