Liz Marsh
Liz Marsh

A famous comedian once joked, about the founding fathers of golf: "Every time you try to hit the ball, we'll call it a stroke, because when you miss, you'll feel like you've had one."

I'm not a golfer. My dad bought me a set of beginner's lady clubs for Christmas eight years ago. And since then, I've pieced together a decent game. At the very least, I know the purpose of each club and I can mostly hold them properly. I know how to drive and chip and putt. When I manage to hit the ball, it mostly goes where I want it to go. It's the making contact with the ball that's the problem.

The last two weekends I've played legitimate games of golf, and more golf than the last eight years combined. The first weekend I played well. I wasn't the best in our foursome, but I certainly wasn't the worst. I hit par on a few holes and birdied a few more. I hit a perfect 200-yard shot, straight as an arrow, right over a water hazard, and I was feeling pretty, pretty good about my golfing abilities. Some might even call it smug.

This weekend, I arrogantly agreed to play 18 holes. It started out promising. My first hit off the tee sounded beautiful, and though it lacked great distance, it was headed in the right direction. It quickly spiraled out of control from there.


By the end of the day, my ball had not gone near the pin. Instead of hitting the green, I had hit three red oaks, a cottonwood, my dad and, in a pretty epic display of ineptitude, myself.

I tried kicking the cart and swearing at my clubs. None of it worked. In fact the best swings I had throughout the day happened when I completely gave up and just hit the damn ball with no goal in mind. Golf is nothing if not a humbling sport.

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