The Golf Bug

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I am fortunate to have been around the game of golf for most of my life.  Despite my access, I've never caught the bug - the golf bug, that is.  My parents caught it and signed me up for a summer of junior clinics when I was about 10.  I had fun and learned a lot but the thing I liked best was riding around in the golf carts.

My husband's family are golfers.  My brother-in-law is a pro, my father-in-law is very good and has spent a large portion of his life at the local course either playing, teaching or helping out as a starter - in our family he is the Yoda of golf, although we would never say that out loud.  My husband (Dan) received a degree in Turf Mgt and worked golf course maintenance for years.  This brought us to many memorable courses.

In college we followed my bother-in-law down to Hilton Head, SC and Dan found a job at Sea Pines.  I liked Harbor Town for the evening concerts but one drive around the course and I knew it was a special place.  I didn't golf much but went along for the ride and to watch for gators!

After Hilton Head, it was the Piping Rock Club on Long Island.  Can you say exclusive?  I could  barely get into the place to visit.  Piping Rock was equally beautiful and gave off an air of old genteel wealth.  I don't miss the Throgs Neck bridge so I was happy when Dan landed a job a little closer to home.  We spent the next few years on the South Shore at the Essex County Club in Manchester, MA.  This course was private like Piping Rock but more laid back.  I think that is the course and crew that we became the closest to and we still miss Manchester by the Sea, today.

Finally, skiing was calling our name so we came back to Mount Snow and my husband worked on the Mount Snow Golf Course and at Someday (do you know where that is?) for years.

It wasn't surprising when our son, Tanner, found a golf club at an early age and it became his third arm.  I think every child fixates on at least one thing.    My daughter, Marley, was obsessed with the movie, The Wizard of Oz, watching it over and over.   For my son it was anything to do with golf. 

When Tanner was just a toddler, we went to Disney.  He was still in a stroller and we went in a store and he saw golf balls with Winnie the Pooh and other characters printed on them.  He had to have one and carried it with him everywhere.  When he got angry at you he would call you a "bad golfer," the strongest insult a 3-yr old could conjure up.  It became a family joke to call someone a bad golfer when you got mad at them.

As the years passed Tanner's obsession with golf faded into other passions and soon he was skateboarding and skiing and golf took a back seat.  We were delighted when he decided to join the golf team at his high school and the old passion rekindled.  My husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law have been helping Tanner with his golf.  They critique his swing and clubs are constantly being exchanged between households.  Tanner spent his entire spring vacation with his grandfather golfing each day.  

So I decided it was my turn to help (hopefully not hinder) Tanner's new love for golf,  and invited him to hit the Mount Snow Golf Course with me this weekend.  We got to the course and as I slid into the the passenger seat of the golf cart I found myself in my old comfort zone, reminiscing about all the places I've been.  I hit a few balls but for the most part I was just happy to watch Tanner and take it all in. 

I watched him get down on himself on a poor shot and rebound in a second on the good ones.  I suggested we skip a hole when we came up on slower play but he would not allow it - he wanted to complete all 18 holes and post a score.  He was very serious and became annoyed with me and my camera.

I've been out on the course with so many friends and family members over the years but this weekend was special.  It allowed me to get a good look at the 16 yr old son who doesn't offer up much information on his own.  On the course, he is still a "man of few words" but I could see quite a bit through his movement and expressions.

I am not exactly sure why I have never caught the "golf bug" but after watching Tanner so engrossed, looking forward to each shot, I have to admit I wanted what he had found.


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