Ice and elevate

A photo I grabbed online of Dove Valley Ranch golf course.

I golfed yesterday with a friend from my neighborhood. It’s the first time I’ve golfed in years. I think I went once or twice after my ski accident and ACL replacement surgery in 2018. But never since COVID. So it’s safe to say four years without golfing? Actually, my neighbor and I went to practice at a driving range twice since April, but that’s not the same thing as going out on the course.

My friend had knee surgery a year ago and this is her first time she’s golfed in two years.

I was unbelievably nervous, wondering if I could still play. In fact, I woke up several times during the night worrying. I tried to visualize what my swing would feel like during my drive hitting a perfect shot. It helped me fall back to sleep. When I finally got out of bed, I thought, “It’s just a stupid game. What was I worrying about?”

At the first tee, I was shaking nervous. We were paired with two men. I knew that would happen and dreaded it. There are way more men playing than women, so it would be rare to find ourselves playing with other women. I apologized to the men in advance, explaining that I hadn’t played in years.

They teed off first on the men’s tees. Their drives didn’t make it to the women’s tees a mere yards in front of them. They took mulligans which sprayed out of bounds.

My friend whispered “This is going to be a long day!”

I teed off and hit a perfect drive. So did my friend. Then our fairway woods were amazing, too. We chipped onto the green and were set to putt for par. Meanwhile, our guys playing with us were all over the place, cursing.

My neighbor said, “I think we’re making you nervous!”

One guy muttered, “I’ve never played with women before.”

I settled down nerve-wise, realizing the men were probably as scared as I was, or more so!

Eventually they relaxed and outplayed us. I started to fall apart the hotter it got and the more tired I became. When I used to play golf with two girlfriends in Palm Springs, I always hit the longest drives. But now, my neighbor was outdriving me by 20 to 40 yards. I felt a competitive twitch and realized I didn’t like to be outdriven. Especially not consistently!

We stopped after 10 holes, tired and hot and not wanting to push it further. Our scores were close — my neighbor beat me by one stroke.

My bad knee was tired and hurting. I iced and elevated off and on for the next few hours. I’m happy I got back on the golf course and with zero expectations, I did pretty well after all.

What sports do you like to do or outside activities? Do you surprise yourself with a competitive spirit — or are you already aware of that personality trait?

41 thoughts on “Ice and elevate

  1. Impressive, Elizabeth! Yay for you! You are an athlete…just tuning up that muscle memory for golf. I’m lacking in coordination in every way. Outdoor activities? A touch of gardening and competitive iced tea sipping. That is all. LOL! 😉

  2. I am very competitive…but I’m ok with losing unless we have people over who don’t like to play games and my husband insists and then partners me with the teammate who is bad . Tennis, pickleball, but I’ll play cornhole or bocce or games like that

    • That doesn’t see fair to be paired up with the bad teammate. Maybe your husband thinks your the best? I like pickleball, cornhole and bocce ball too. Also croquet.

      • It’s his insistence that people who hate games play games. Not everyone likes it

      • I understand thatl. My family growing up loved to play games and besides one or two cards games, I didn’t enjoy it.

  3. Sounds like fun! I’ve never golfed before, but I know local Phoenicians like going at 6am to catch the summer rate before it gets too hot. I’m not competitive at all, but enjoy hiking, gardening, and leisurely strolls in the park… mostly just enjoying nature with side benefit of moving my body.

  4. I can be competitive in board games but I keep it under control and won’t have a melt down if I’m not the top dog or winner! My outdoor ‘sport’ is hiking- very non-competitive and for me mostly a solitary experience, which I prefer now. Glad you had fun EA!

    • I grew up playing board games with my brother who is two years older than me. I always lost. Maybe that’s why I don’t like to play games anymore. Hiking is wonderful!

  5. When I was active duty, I played often. My quarters backyard was on fairway 11 in Hawaii. I even played in a Pro-am with Lee Trevino as my tee partner. I also played on the infamous desert golf course set up by GI’s in Desert Storm. The holes were more than a half mile apart and you played in a HUMVEE. Anyway, I had my handicap at 2 for tournament play. I played when I retired, but not as much, and since my cancer diagnosis, I have not been able to play at all. I miss it.

      • You realize the difference between an amateur and pro when you tee with a PGA Champion. His drive exploded off the tee. I tried to eliminate hooks, he was able to MAKE them do what he needed them to do. I played a good game, but it was not anywhere near his control of the ball. On one hole, he INTENTIONALLY played a fairway sand trap so he could play a backspin to the green.

  6. Good for you. If I approach the game with a competitive bent after not playing for awhile it can be very frustrating I find it best just to relish in the fact I am still able to get out and about and try to enjoy the outdoors and the friendships. Then there is always the 19th hole.

  7. I am competitive once I begin a sport but I was never a sportsie. While prepping for boot camp years ago, I jogged on the beach, and exercised a lot. I passed boot camp easily but with running laps I was never the fastest but always finished as the team was encouraged to egg on the slower runners.! I love water sports. We had a pool growing up, and I excel with swimming. I do think golf takes a good deal of patience, king of like fishing and waiting for the right moment.

  8. I love how you wrote this, Elizabeth. I was nervous for your golfing too and then you made such an excellent turn to your paired companions’ nerves. Brilliant. Glad you are icing the knee. Taking ibuprofen as well?

    • Thanks! I felt so unsure of myself, wondering if I could hit the ball at all. It was a surprising day. The men were visitors from CO and asked us for restaurant suggestions and things to do. Very nice guys, celebrating one of their wives retirement. Yes, I’m taking Advil!!!

  9. As competitive as I may be, I cannot beat my hubby in cards, but it takes none of the joy out of it (for me, at least)!

    Glad you enjoyed the game, but take care of your knees!

  10. I was never a golfer but Larry wants me to learn. I took one lesson and have played two games. It hasn’t captured me yet but I’m going to keep trying. I prefer pickle ball, corn hall, or racket ball. I was nervous for you, and loved that you all calmed down after a few holes. Hugs, c

    • I’m glad you’re learning! My husband began as an adult and never enjoyed it. I hope you do find it fun. My nerves settled down and when I realized how terrified the guys were they paired us with!

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