My boyfriend turned to me and asked why I was crying.
“I always cry before I play sports,” I sniffed at him.
This is actually quite standard behaviour for me. It’s not like the temper tantrums I throw when I’m too poor to buy that doggy in the window, it’s more like a quiet, blubbering understanding that I am going to have to lose — and I hate to lose. I have a competitive edge I attribute to always having to reenact the Battle at Sparta to get the last piece of bacon from my three younger brothers.
Back in December, I stupidly assured my other half — not to be mistaken with better — that I would be able to beat him by the end of the summer in this game he’s been playing for 10 years. I had never even held a golf stick — err, club — before.
You know, Paulina Gretzky can do it decently enough and, therefore, I assume I should be able to do it, because if the lengths of her skirts are any indication, she’s not working with much up there, you know? No judgment, Paulina, your legs are prime — it’s just I know how these things work.
Now, my boyfriend isn’t Dustin Johnson, but in my mind all that meant was that I had less work to do to hold up my end of the bet.
Let me tell you about my first experience on the driving range: I had a big ol’ bucket of balls and I hit them all — every single one of them. Except by “hit” what I actually mean is that I swung at them all. The number of balls with which I actually made contact was substantially less than that. Like . . . about 100 less than that.
Apparently you can’t go golfing without first learning how to hit the ball on a relatively consistent basis. I developed what I thought was a great plan where I would swing and miss and then just put my hand above my eyes as if to squint into the far horizon and I’d just say “Whoa! Did you see the spin on that one!” — but, people caught on. Immediately.
To be honest, the most important thing in my mind was that I looked the part. I would never be caught dead in a collared polo so I immediately had to enforce an attitude adjustment. I compromised on this cute little Adidas number that made me feel like I was sponsored and instilled my own golf advice which just so happens to be the advice I give myself with everything in life — fake it ‘til you make it.
Nothing worked. I’ll tell you the only thing that makes your first nine holes of golf survivable: Beer. That’s it! Once you’ve had one and you’re tooting around manicured lawns in what is essentially a Power Wheels toy you realize that there’s no way anyone can take this game very seriously.
For starters, you don’t have to be in shape to play golf, which makes it the ideal sport for me. Second, it’s still cool for people to wear visors — visors of all things! Like, the older sister of the fanny pack. Third, you get to play in giant sand boxes disguised as “traps” — which is basically like the adult version of lava floor. And last, it’s the only place you can have a business meeting and get a tan at the same time.
All of these reasons sum up why after nine holes, with a score of 97, I was like “Yeah, for sure I’ll go again.” That and because it turns out taking up golf means you get to buy new shoes.
— Andria is a twenty-something blogger living in Kamloops with her 100 pairs of heels and 200 paperback Penguin Classics.