Days gone by of golf and joyrides

A golf course in Palm Springs.

A neighbor asked me to go to a driving range. We set a date to go yesterday. When I woke up it was 33 degrees.

And look at this:

The weather on my first day back to golf.

I haven’t golfed in years. I think it was my ski accident and knee surgery that put golf off my radar. That was 2018. Of course the day I make plans to golf again we get snow?

I grew up in a golf family. At least my dad was an avid golfer, my mom wasn’t as serious. He started playing when he was a kid and still plays. He’ll be 91 this week.

My first golf tournament I was five or six years old. I’d stare at the beautiful first place trophy in the clubhouse after Dad signed me up. I just had to win.

It was a three-hole match. I tied for first place with another girl my age. We went on to sudden death. The fourth hole I scored 13 to her 12. The match was over and she took home the trophy.

I had one friend growing up who also golfed. Her older brother was friends with mine and they were on the high school golf team. They’d take us out on weekends to golf (not with them, but following them one hole behind.) At least they’d give us a ride to the golf course.

In high school, my friend and I asked to join the boys’ golf team. They didn’t have one for girls. They let us go to daily practice, but we never got to play in a tournament or match. I think we were as good as a few of the boys.

My friend and her brother got jobs at a local golf course. Once the patrons were gone, we’d grab the golf carts and joyride. Our brothers and a few other employees made a race track in the woods. My friend and I were stationed up high on a hill next to the woods. If we spotted the owner’s car coming, it was our job to yell to the golf cart racers.

One day it happened. The owner’s station wagon was driving up the long gravel drive. We yelled, then floored it back to the clubhouse. We got there before the station wagon was parked and tried to act nonchalant.

The owner said, “What’s up?” He pointed at the golf cart we were in.

We looked down at the engine and it was smoking. Oops.

Then we wondered what happened to our brothers. They didn’t make it out of the woods in time. I think they either flipped a golf cart, or got one stuck in the mud. I can’t quite remember.

In the end, my friend and her brother kept their jobs at the golf course, but that was the end of our joyrides.

What sports or activities did you do when you were young that you enjoy today? Or look back at with great memories?

22 thoughts on “Days gone by of golf and joyrides

  1. Tennis. But I don’t play as much as I used to. They’ve gotten rid of a lot of courts here. Recently started up with pickleball which I’m obsessed with

  2. Love the golf cart story! I think I tried real golf once. It wasn’t a good thing, but I am a miniature golf pro! The cart story brought back a memory of my son in college. They did not golf, but he had some sort of student job that required a lot of moving about campus. He was one of the privileged few who was given a campus golf cart to get around faster. The campus was very spread out with hills in areas. He told hilarious stories of revving the cart up as fast as it would go, skimming around people until he reached a hill. Going up proved a challenge to the cart as it bogged down, but once over the top it was all about flying downhill!

  3. Ok I’ll be the weirdo in the bunch, I played golf if I was happy and wanted to be PO’d. I’ve always enjoyed hiking and backpacking (living near the Appalachian trail made both easy). I know how can anyone find lugging 35lbs through the woods, getting bit by flies and mosquitos, sweating, aching, gasping for breath (remeber it is the East coast, the weather is always hot, hazy and humid) then sleep on the ground FUN? It is one of the most liberating, character building things you can do.

    • I respect your love of backpacking. I do love hiking and have done it frequently because we live across the street from a preserve that has 130 miles of hiking. I am not one to carry a heavy pack — but yes I love camping and sleeping outside.

  4. Basketball and tennis. Don’t play tennis anymore because right now I just don’t know anyone else who does…basketball has been reduced to just shooting around and occasional 3-on-3 games, but that was my favorite sport growing up and I’m sure I’ll always be looking to shoot hoops somewhere! The smoking golf cart story…lol!

    • We used to shoot hoops at our house growing up. It was fun to play HORSE with my brother and dad. Yes, most sports you need someone else to play with. I’m glad you enjoyed my golf cart story 😅

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