04 October 2013

Nine Holes

My Waterloo
Golf has never been my sport. I played a bit in college and I even got a set of clubs for college graduation. I should have known that the game was going to be a challenge for me when I was teaching at the MTC while at BYU. Several other teachers from my district and I went out on our day off to play a round at Hobble Creek in Springville, UT. I was still a rudimentary golfer at best, but where I was not novice was my creative cursing in moments of frustration. Said talent was on Academy Award-winning display during this game. Probably not the best group to display an unbridled tongue. While this was not the last time I played golf, my teaching career at the MTC was over not long after that, but not because of the golfing debacle.

Anyway, I can probably count on two hands the number of times I've played a round or gone to a driving range since. Suffice to say, my skill set has not improved, although I have tried dilligently to bridle my tongue. Ironically, The Boy is a golfer. A good golfer. He loves the game. He gets the game. He has the patience, dedication, and drive to succeed in the game. By not playing, I've probably missed some good time with The Boy, but that has started to change.

Recently, I was challenged to participate in a golf tournament by one of suppliers at work. I had all intentions of saying no, but my boss said yes on my behalf. This has led to all manner of consternation for me but it has also opened the door to me picking up a really good golf instructor:

My Golf Sensei
Turns out The Boy is an amazing golf instructor. He has been spectacularly patient with me. He has been wise with his instruction. It has reminded me of how patient my Dad was when he was teaching people to water-ski. I don't know why I remember that specific example but it's what comes to mind. My Dad was enormously patient as he would show my friends how to water-ski. He explained things calmly, demonstrated how to do something time and again, and never lost his cool. The Boy has been the exact same way with me. It's a virtue that I somehow missed but The Boy seems to have gotten it in spades from his grandfather. And for that, I am grateful.

We played nine holes last night. I think it was the first time I've played a hole, let alone nine, in more than ten years. I'm sure The Boy wanted to ram a nine iron into my head more than once, like the third ball I lost into a water hazard. But if he did, he never showed it. Instead, he was a never-ending font of encouragement and enthusiasm. I think most of my shots would have elicited a cry of 'Oh the humanity!' had there been a commentator, but instead I felt like with each shot, I was being taught something by my son, The Boy.

The nine holes were a train wreck. It's a good thing the event I'm playing in on Monday is a 'scramble.' But it's an even better thing that those nine holes gave this middle-aged man a chance to learn from his son. I am looking forward to getting out there again with him. He's got a lot he can teach me and not just about golf. And I think there's still a thing or two I can share with him. And maybe I'll even improve my golf game along the way. Maybe.

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