Getting Back in the Swing (Pun Intended)
By Susan Smiley
My high school pottery teacher once told me that if there is something you love doing, you will always come back to it even if you have to take a hiatus from it. At the time, I was worried about graduating from high school and not having access to a kiln and pottery wheel at my house. It all worked out and I still dabble in clay every now and then – mostly due to a friend who is a professional artist and potter and invites me to her studio from time to time.
The past couple of years, I’ve had to take somewhat of a hiatus from golf. What is it they say? Life happens?
There was a health issue that caused me to tire very easily for an entire golf season. I was able to play but learned to embrace the 9-hole game. At the same time, my rock-solid golf partner, who was always willing to golf at the drop of a hat, had an accident at work and started having trouble with her sciatic nerve. She still loves to golf but sometimes pain prohibits and our days of walking and carrying are over. We now enjoy the golf cart – something we did not use for 20 years. There was grad school for me which caused me to have to leave the league I had played with for several years because I had class the same night as the league. I had thought last year would be the year I returned to the links full force only to have a series of nagging injuries that kept me from golfing more than a handful of times.
This year my plan is to get back to playing on a much more regular basis. For me that means 9 holes once or twice a week. I enjoy being outside, playing different courses and most importantly, spending time with my friends. I’ve missed the fun!
Judging from some of the phone calls I’ve gotten at GAM this season, I’m not the only one who has been on a hiatus and is ready to get back in the swing of things. I’ve heard from folks who missed all of last season with shoulder surgery or chemotherapy. One woman from Sault Ste. Marie who calls every year to renew memberships for herself and her best friend revealed that she did not play much last year and may not play much this year because her parents are ailing and she is taking care of them. This season golf will be used as stress relief for this member. She truly wants to play as often as possible because when she is on the fairway with her best friend, she can forget about everything else and just enjoy. I love her passion and know that golf is something she shares with her friend that is very special.
Some members expect to play more golf this summer because their kids are finally old enough to enjoy the game. Time on the golf course or at the driving range will be a great family bonding experience. I can hear the lilt in the voice of folks calling me for help renewing their membership who – for one reason or another – have had to take a short hiatus from the game.
It is nice to know there are other folks in the same boat and that we are all committed to getting back on the links this year. Yes, life happens, but we are not letting that take us away from something we truly enjoy!
The early going, I know, will be less than stellar. It takes time to get the feel and rhythm of pitching and chipping back. I guarantee I will be cursing my wedge as I send the ball back and forth across the green the first few rounds. I’m sure I will have to utilize my special 5-iron shot to escape from the trees on more than one occasion. But I’m a glass-half-full person and I know there will also be long putts made and the occasional long, straight tee shot. That is the stuff that keeps us all coming back.
If you’ve been away from the links for a while and are thinking about grabbing your clubs and getting back out there: do it. Call your friends, throw the clubs in the car, buy a new box of golf balls, reignite your GAM membership and get to the course. You won’t be sorry.