The first time I ever threw a golf club out of frustration over a bad day on the links was far more effective at calming me than I ever would have imagined.
There are two things I really love about golfing, hitting the shit out of a little white ball and the relaxing walk to find out where the hell it landed this time. If I had more time to play, I would probably be quite good. When my game is on, it's a beautiful sight. When it's off, sweet tap dancing Christ, it's a crime against the sporting gods.
On this particular day, I was off. Way off. Golf is very much a mental game. The better you try to do, the worse you do, which leads you to try harder which leads to sucking more, which is exactly what happened on this fateful day.
Chele was playing her first game ever and as much as I wanted to teach her to love the game the way I do, I wanted to impress her. Off we went to play the back 9 on my most familiar course.
The one constant in my golf game is that I will fuck up the drive on the first hole. I don't know why, I just know it is what it is and have learned to accept it. So, when I hit my first shot and it veered off to the right into a thick patch of trees, I didn't even bother to go looking for it. Took the penalty, teed up a new ball, and knocked it a good 100 feet or so.
That's not a typo. 100 feet, not yards. An ugly tee shot by any standard but it was playable and since I knew the hole would be bad, I went with it.
I shot a 12 on a par 4.
No big deal. Definitely my worst hole in a long long time but shit happens, let's move on to the next hole.
I've never liked the 12th hole on this course. See, after the first hole, my day usually improves dramatically, especially my driving. The 12th hole isn't designed for long drives. You're supposed to lay up to round the trees of the 90 degree dogleg hole. I loathe laying up, just feels wrong not to give it your all. Still, I'm smart about how I play and I tee off with an iron so I can still get a nice full swing in.
Four god damn balls lost to the deep rough, 3 to my left, one to my right. And that was the best I started any hole until we reached the 17th.
Oh, how I love the 17th hole. Wide open long par 4 just begging you to hit the ball like you're mad at it. On the back 9, this is my hole. It's made for how I play. The only possible way to fuck it up would be to hit it into very short woods lining the first 50 or so yards to the left of the tee.
Do I even have to tell you what happened?
I shanked that fucker damn near straight to my left, which in a golf shot means I basically hit the fucker behind me.
That was the last straw.
I raised the 1 wood in my left hand high above my head and with a very well enunciated, "MOTHER FUCKER," I threw it directly in front of me. It left my hand with all the strength, anger, and frustration I possessed.
The club flew forward, the head of the club meeting the ground at such an angle that it didn't fly away. The shaft tried to keep going forward but the head had planted itself and my high school geometry and physics came rushing back to me, along with the club which had become a high powered spring loaded projectile aimed right at my crotch.
The gods don't give you time to prepare for such a moment. Instant karma is there to teach us a lesson, not to test our reflexes.
That club hit me, I hit the ground, and my wife did her best to control the laughter interrupting her otherwise genuine attempts to check on my well being.
Once most of the pain wore off, I grabbed a new (golf)ball and teed up another shot. I was so busy laughing at myself that I finally was able to get out of my own head and hit a monster drive right where I had aimed it. I ended up with an overall par for the final two holes.
I don't really mind the gods reminding me to laugh at myself, to not take myself so seriously, I just wish they wouldn't use my testes as their delivery mechanism.