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?