When I was seven, my father taught me how to grip the golf club and how to swing. After that I was hooked and went to the course with him whenever I could. He was a good player as evidenced by all the trophies on the bookcase at home. Then, when I was 12, he became ill and passed away. I carried on, trudging his clubs out to the course, where the local pro took pity on me and allowed me to play for free, but my heart wasn't in it any longer and I gave up the game and didn't play for 25 years after that.
Fast forward to Bainbridge Island, Washington some years later, when I was 40 and some friends invited me to play golf. I reluctantly agreed and when on my approach to the 10th hole I struck a perfect 6 iron from 175 and dropped it 10 feet from the cup thought, "Hmmm, this isn't so bad..."
So I started re-playing the game about seven years ago - rather late in life for most aspiring golfers. I am 47 currently. I discovered very quickly that I had a natural aptitude for it (or hadn't forgotten my formative training) and from there, quickly developed a passion for the game - again. Soon after came custom clubs, playing lessons, golf boot camp, a physical coach, a mental coach a regular swing coach and living on the range or at the course - crazy! But fun. So much fun. The feel of a perfectly struck 5 iron keeps ya' coming back as they say. I don't know who 'they' are, but in this instance, they are certainly correct.
I feel my day is complete if I hit 4-500 practice balls, putt for an hour and chip and do bunker work for yet another. Thank heaven I'm single as a wife would never put up with that, unless I were a touring pro, which I am convinced, had I kept playing earlier in life, I would have been. I've played a bunch of amateur tournaments, the mid-am, the Pub-links and the US Open qualifier and gained golf-humility very quickly in the process. The mental game is a whole other animal, not easily tamed, it turns out. Now a few years in, I may play in next year's offerings, including some pro-ams with some touring buddies out there, but I know for sure it takes a lifetime to get that good. So I have fun. I posted a little video of my old swing. It's changed a bit since then, but although technically better these days, it remains pretty organic to me - yet I'm told it's a classic golf swing, whatever that is. And again, it remains fun.
Currently I live in Santa Barbara, where I work in real estate. If I can make a decent living doing that and play this much golf in this beautiful a place, well, life couldn't get much better than that. Oh! And I played Pebble last year the day after the Pro-Am there and shot 78 on Spy and 75 on the links. Not too terrible, but I was nervous being on a new course and didn't know my way around. Next time, I'll eat it up...:) And of course I had that nice ace on 17 at Glen Annie this past October 5th at the Toyota tournament - got some really nice gifts from all the manufacturers for that one swing - amazing. I am really grateful for the people in this game - some of the best I've even known and had the privilege of calling my friends.
Finally, I must say the one place I always feel at peace is on the golf course - especially late in the day. I can feel a presence out there that's very calming, where I really feel connected to life itself and on more than one occasion after a great birdie or a really good shot, I can actually hear a voice say "wow" or "great." Or maybe it's just the wind...
Thanks for everything Titleist - my dad used your equipment and so do I. You guys are great.