Authored by Wendy V. Call in Golf
Published on 10-09-2009
Golf has an image all it’s own aside from the actual game. There is an assumed image that accompanies golf enthusiasts; they are upper class, well-groomed, egotistical men or snobbish women. Yet go to any public course on Saturday morning and you’re likely to see a myriad of blue-collar guys stuffing 12 packs of Budweiser into their golf cart. They are wearing baseball caps backwards, un-tucked t-shirts instead of the traditional polo, their favorite and consequently most worn out pair of jeans, and tennis shoes in lieu of proper golf cleats.
I discovered this reality of golf enthusiasts as I was seeking my own induction in the ‘club’. I signed up for lessons, albeit group lessons, since I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the sport. I was wearing cleats and a cute ‘girly’ glove proudly leaning on my new clubs that completed my image. I should have just worn a sign that said, “beginner”; it would have been cheaper. No one in that class looked like my idea of a golfer.
I couldn’t wait to play with some of my male friends to see how good they really were. Among them I found there are two types of golfers; the ones who are really good, and the ones who really aren’t but want you to think they are. Most fall into the latter category.
I decided to try a game with some of my female friends to see if the ego and skills could be matched. One particular evening in July, we scheduled a tee time of 7:00pm thinking it would be ideal since the sun would not bake us in its unrelenting heat. The course was near empty and we were relieved that no one would witness our poor game.
We rented a cart, which none of us knew how to drive, and headed to the tee box. One of the perks about golf is that it is such a serene and beautiful atmosphere. We rounded the corner to the fist hole and I was consoled in the fact that if I didn’t play well, at least I got to hang out in a beautiful place. Then, on the 4th green, on a hill nestled in the curvature of the Gallatin River, it hit us; mosquitoes. They were everywhere. We abandoned our game, got a rain check for the remaining holes, and headed to the Ale Works for some drinks, scratching our bites the whole way. That explained why no one else was golfing at this hour. Note to self; only amateurs set 7 o’clock tee times.
As we sat there with our libations and fries, it occurred to me; most people golf for the social aspect and not so much the game. It is an excuse to get out of the house for a minimum of two hours. It is a sport that when played entitles you to go out afterwards and have a drink with your buddies. And as women, we were no exception to that rule. My image of who golfers were was completely shattered that week, but I still feel a little snobbish when I tell people, “Oh, I love to play golf.” And yes, I really do.