This is a question I have recently been asking myself. Am I old already? It seems that in the past few months, I have aged significantly, because I have discovered that I am completely in love with golf.
When I was younger, I always thought golf was something you did when you retired. Probably because the only exposure I had to golf was that my grandparents played. When I was really young I remember going out with my Pop and sitting on his little pee wee 50 motorbike that he had rigged up to have a golf buggy sidecar, and it was quite fun. But that was just that I was spending time with Pop and Grandma, not because I loved golf at all.
During my teenage years, I used to go out only very occasionally, borrowing my aunty’s clubs, which were shit – there were only like 4 clubs and a putter if I remember correctly. Was kinda fun to smash around on a par 3 though, and very occasionally I would go to a full length course and have a hack around. Eventually I bought a set of clubs, which were about as cheap as you could get back then, but good enough for me. Most uni holidays I would play a round. I would shoot around 55-60 for nine holes, but I really didn’t care, it was more just a way of getting out and having fun with the mates. I never played often enough to get consistent though.
Later on at uni, one of my good mates Warren and I started playing a lot more regularly. I was working one day a week at ASC down at Osborne, and he lived at North Haven, so after work we would go and play North Haven golf course. It is still one of my favourite courses, it is good value for money, the layout isn’t too bad for a little nine hole course, and it was close to Warren’s house. I remember shooting somewhere between 48 and 55 for nine, and would regularly shoot under 50 for nine holes but could never go under 100 for a full round. One day I shot 100 on the dot – couldn’t hit anything off the tee, but putted the best I have in my life, nailed about 5 putts from the edge of the green, and then missed a 1m putt to go under 100!
From that point on, life generally got in the way and I didn’t go out as much as I had liked. For the past few years, my general time for catching up with mates was through pub poker, and I met Dave, Daryl and others through this. For a while pub poker was quite fun, but our interest waned quite considerably. Gradually we all discovered we liked golf, for the past few months I haven’t set foot inside a pub to play poker – golf is now that avenue by which I catch up with my friends, with the added bonus of not having to put up with any of the other idiots.
Golf and poker are quite similar for me in that they are really competitive, but there is virtually no way you can play perfectly. Even if you have your best round ever, or win a poker tournament, there is always, always something that you could have improved on slightly. I am striving to better my own score – to be honest, it doesn’t matter whether I beat my mates, but it matters to me that I beat my own previous best.
For that matter, my best is 89, shot at North Adelaide. That might seem laughably high for most, but I am having tons of fun trying to improve that. And tons of fun with my bro and mates playing golf.