Hooked On Golf
As I mentioned in my last post in this section, I was introduced to golf at an early age but I wasn't hooked on golf until much later. I have been around it all my life but I really didn't even have my own clubs until I graduated high school. I played baseball growing up and my dad didn't want me to mess up my baseball swing. I watched golf with my dad and hit the driving range with friends but that was really it. It wasn't until I started college that I started to actually play the game.
Got Me Some New Sticks
I remember my first set of clubs like it was yesterday. My best friend and I decided it was time for us to have our own sticks. We headed over to a local golf shop and got fitted for clubs. I was ready to drop big money on some new Callaway Big Berthas. After getting measured and hitting balls I was talked into getting knock offs. Turns out the golf shop can sell knock offs for half the price but the make more money on them. I was a proud owner of a brand new set of “Canterbury Great Big Brothers”. To be honest the shop owner did me a solid. I didn't need anything better than these at the time and I used them for a long time.
The Competitive Side Of Golf
Like many beginning golfers, I started playing golf as an excuse to drink beer. My friends and I would get as many beers as we could fit in a cooler and head off to the course. I have always been good at sports so I was a little better than my buddies. Don't for a second mistake that for me being good. I was shooting about 120 and it was a little better than my friends. It wasn't until I discovered four man scrambles that I even cared about what I was shooting. It was the perfect gateway for me to get hooked on golf.. It introduced the competitive spirit of golf while providing all the beer you could drink with a lunch at the end. I even started playing in scrambles with my father. For a few years this was was the extent to my competitive golf. That is until I found out about money matches.
My uncle found out I was playing more and asked me to fill in for his partner. I was way below their skill level they set up up the match as 2 man select drive. That means your team selects the best drive off the tee and from there out you play your own ball. They play a match called 3-2-1, three dollars a hole, two dollars for birdies and one dollar for greenies. I have to tell you that this is the moment I started to eat, breathe and sleep golf. This was the most fun I have ever had golfing. It was a new feeling to be nervous over a putt and I loved it. It helped that I played above my skill level and we won the match.
I'm A Ping Man Now
I played in matches anytime I fit into a fair match up and I practiced every chance I had. It wasn't to long before I “needed” new clubs. My uncle and father both play Pings so I set out to find a fitter. I hit tons of irons before settling on Ping G10 irons. I told myself I could buy the driver when I shot under 90. With my addiction and the practice I had been putting in that only took a couple weeks. I had the whole Ping G10 Set, the driver, 3 wood, irons, lob wedge and even the bag. I will tell you that they were really great forgiving clubs. I continued to improve and play in matches. One day my uncle asked me to play in “The 2 man” with him.
The 2 man is a scramble that take place over 2 days. They flight the teams after the first day. This lets people of all skill levels compete against people of the same skill level with a chance to win prize money. You even get a practice round the week before. Playing over a two day period made me feel like I was playing in a real golf tournament. On the first hole my knees were knocking, I was hyperventilating and I could barely pull the putter back. I found out that performing under pressure was like a drug to me. I couldn't get enough. I played with him in this scramble for many years until he moved up to the senior division.
Forever Hooked On Golf
I was hooked on golf and there was no going back. I was going to the course to work on chipping and putting on my lunch break. I would go to the range every night after putting my daughter to bed. I would day dream about my swing and think about it as I fell asleep at night. I was shooting in the low 80s and playing in the single man tournaments. I no longer looked at golf as a good way to drink beer. I had fallen in love with the game and the booze was longer required. Don't get me wrong, my buddies and I still play in the 4 man scrambles that are sponsored by Budweiser. I now play in the 2 man with my brother and a bottle of bourbon. I just have two different kinds of rounds now. Fun rounds with family and friends where we cut up and enjoy adult beverages and serious rounds where I'm focused. This is the abridged version of how I got hooked on golf. I will have a bunch of fun stories along the way and some more resent stuff too. If you have anything you want to hear about drop a comment below.