The Luke 2012 Resurgence Tour continues. Today I played golf for the first time in just under seven years. Seven years.
The last time I played golf was the first week of June 2005. I had flown to Park City, Utah, from Alaska for the high-school graduation of my niece. That niece’s father, my brother, Eric, and my best buddy, T Mac, gathered for 18 holes at the Park City Golf Course (it has some hoidy-toidy name now, just like so many other things in the new Park City) and we got through 11 holes before a summer thunderstorm chased us off the links…and that was it. Until today.
Which is kinda crazy when you consider where I’ve been in the intervening years. I spent three years living in Solana Beach, California. I was six, seven, maybe eight miles from Torrey Pines, that glorious course on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, California, and site of Tiger Woods’ great triumph in the U.S. Open. In the other direction, I was maybe 15 miles from La Costa. And in all that time in San Diego County, I never played once. Didn’t take my clubs off their hanger in my garage, even to go to the driving range about a quarter-mile away. What the HELL was I thinking?
I have no idea. But T Mac and I got out on the Ould Newbury Golf Course this morning…a course we last played “back in 1988, ’89, when we were both highly intoxicated,” as he put it this morning when we were walking to the pro shop. I can remember playing Ould Newbury a few times back in those college years: playing with my brother, who was visiting from Utah, and with my father’s late friend, Doug Cray. I even have the impression my father tagged along with us one time though he didn’t play. (Aside: I remember seeing Air Force One fly overhead, surrounded by four F-16s, taking then-President George Bush (senior) to Kennebunkport, Maine.)
Anyway, T Mac and I made the rounds today over the nine-hole course and I have to say: I wasn’t displeased. The first hole? OK, we can skip that. But starting with the second hole, I drilled most of my drives. My iron play absolutely sucked, to put it bluntly. And my putting wasn’t very good. But you know what? After seven years off, I expected all of it to suck a whole lot more than it did.
No, I’m not a good golfer. I’ll never be a good golfer. As I mentioned to T Mac today on the fifth hole: I know I’ll never, ever, be a good golfer…and I’m OK with that. I’d be stoked if I didn’t suck quite so bad but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it if I stay at this level.
It’s in keeping with my belief that golf is a very Zen pursuit. To be good at golf, you have to be focused on the present, not the future…the shot, not the results. If you make a good shot — if you’re here, now — the end result will be what you seek. But if you’re focused on where the ball is going to go and not how you hit the ball, well, then you’ll screw it up, for sure.
I screwed up plenty of shots today. I also nailed a few. More importantly, I had a great time. The resurgence continues.