Golf is hard, man

Every spring I look forward to stepping onto the teebox for the first time at a local golf course with my bag ready to show off some highlight reel shots for Sportscenter’s top 10 plays.
However, that feeling usually turns into dismay or complete disgust by the seventh or eighth hole, depending on the course and other variable circumstances.
Because of the extended winter forecast this year and other things going on with the spring schedule, that first time on the course didn’t come for me until Friday, sneaking out of the office a bit early and playing a quick nine over at St. Paul’s nice course.
I coaxed the wife-to-be to rush home and join me on the links. She played in high school but isn’t as antsy as I am to get right out there all the time.
How do I know that? Although she owns a nice pair of golf shoes, she pulled out her “lucky” golf glove with a giant hole down the outer side of the hand. Don’t worry, it’s now been retired and a new one is waiting its turn.
She’ll probably be mad for dispelling all her golf secrets, but her game is simple -- she doesn’t hit it very far, but man, it’s right down the middle every time. The perfect golf strategy for St. Paul, let me tell you.
As for me, I need more dogleg holes in my game. I have an uncanny ability to hit a nice hook or slice, but it sure isn’t because I do it on purpose.
Don’t ask where my undeserving confidence comes from at each new season, because there clearly shouldn’t be any. Nevertheless, I stood on the first tee ready to crush it.
I’m sure most of you have already guessed what happened to that first tee shot -- “Where in the heck is that going?”
Those who have seen or heard about my golf game know that my shots off the tee are less than to be desired. If I had one shot to save my bacon off the box, I’d say goodbye to the bacon before the swing.
If the golf rules would allow me to just throw my ball down the fairway from the teebox, I’d be a much better golfer. The closer to the hole, the better the shot. That is, until the putter comes out.
I’ve made my fair share of chip-ins from just off the green. I have to, I can’t just be wasting time with three-putts. Play to your strengths.
I flirted with par on a few holes, but that never came to fruition. Imagine that. I blame the greens, anyway.
The first few times out are spent trying to stop topping the ball on every other shot and reflecting on why I decided to play for another year.
It’s just one of those things that you can’t say no to. It’s also one of the few sports I can still play that won’t put me on the 60-day disabled list. I’m also a committed table tennis player, by the way.
In the end, I may hit a few shots that slice through the air like Caleb Badura’s or connect with the driver as Alex Kubik did in years past. But, it doesn’t take long to find out why I cover sports like golf instead of playing competitively.
Maybe sometime in the next month or so I’ll have my game in somewhat decent shape, but that’s not a promise. I’ve been drinking Arnold Palmer’s like crazy to help the efforts.
It’s like what Aurora coach Craig Badura is nearly guaranteed to tell me after every interview -- golf is hard, man.
You got that right.

RICHARD RHODEN can be reached at

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