Golf? Why not!

golf, why not


I was 19 when Your Pocket Nurse reluctantly picked up a golf club.  I say reluctantly because it was definitely the result of a ‘if you can’t beat them, join them attitude’. Both my parents had discovered the game a few years previously, and their passion for the sport was quite possibly the most irritating topic of conversation. I have vivid memories of going bowling with my parents on my 16th birthday and my dad embarrassingly practicing his golf swing centre stage of the bowling alley with his imaginary driver.  Then when I was 18 I met a wonderful, older man called Q. I remember rolling my eyes when I saw his golf clubs proudly displayed in the middle of the hallway the first time I went back to his place.   At that time, I was relieved to discover that they were more of a well polished ornament than anything with a practical use, as he’d bought them on impulse a few years previously and had never actually used them other than a brief, shank filled, foray on a driving range.  However, my dad’s initial hatred of this older man who had stolen his daughter away from home, was somewhat appeased when I mentioned these clubs in the middle of a frosty family dinner, and convinced my dad that a golf game would allow him to get to know Q properly.   Then ensued some frantic practice periods on the range, which I accompanied Q on due to feeling of guilt for getting him into this situation in the first place. I remember my disinterest, and feelings of embarrassment asking the clubhouse if I could borrow a couple of clubs for the range (Q was a lefty so his were of no use to me). I remember placing the ball onto the AstroTurf for the first time, having no idea how to hold the club nevermind how to swing it. However, I remember like it was yesterday when, about 150 balls later, I finally cleared the gravel area directly in front of the mat and actually made it onto the grassed area, and the first flag marker no less.  I beamed triumphantly and anyone would have thought I had just won the woman’s open.   And, without the pressure of an impending match with the ‘father in law’ I definitely enjoyed myself a lot more than Q did. I was hooked, from that moment.

why golf

Golf is an art form, and I maintain that only people of a certain temperament are suitable for the sport.   My husband (not Q), is definitely not one of those people worthy of playing this wonderful game. His lack of patience, and quick temper will never make a golfer.  You need to understand when you start this game, that it will take 150 bad shots to hit a half decent one. But it is that one half decent shot that you think about over and over again when you get home, and that makes you go back for more. Q and my Dad made it through the game without killing each other, and a new passion had awoken in us both.  I didn’t have the money for any official lessons back then, just lots of practice on the range along with some (not always welcome) input from my dad. However, once I managed to stop the slightly strange Jim Furyk type swing (which never afforded me the same results as him), I improved fairly quickly and for Christmas I became an incredibly proud owner of my very own set of Ladies Graphite Callway Gems, which I am only now upgrading now in my mid 30’s.  The next 18months saw me playing golf at least three times a week. Hurrying to the club after a long day working as a receptionist in the town’s Accountants office. Every Saturday would be the club’s Stapleford competition, and with none of the common (and awful in my opinion) division between ladies and men’s golf days, it was an entire club event.  I was so fortunate to belong to an incredible club in North Devon called Portmore.  A family affair, with the Green-Keeping and maintenance side of things being run by Father and Son and the Clubhouse and events run by Wife and Daughter. It was a completely equal environment for the sexes, with all competitions being open to men and women, and even the yearly Captains Day being a joint affair.  A challenging course, with an amazing balance of water, rough and obstacles my eventual handicap of 18 was one I could be very proud of when I eventually left the club to go to university in my early 20’s. Since then, I have been a member of other clubs throughout the Country not without some drama. My first Club after leaving Portmore, was at Brighton during my university years, where I nearly caused an absolute riot after persuading the male Captain to open up Captains day to women for the first time in the club’s history.

golf relaxaroundtheworld

This brings me nicely to the reasons why I have absolutely fallen in love with this game. I regularly arrive alone to a club, happy to play by myself, against myself, with the prospect of a joyful few hours of quiet and solitude, but get invited to join someone else. I will have never met them before, but united in feelings of love, frustration and often despair for this wonderful game, it is always possible to find common ground.  I can honestly say, I have never experienced an awkward moment, awkward silence or uncomfortable game of golf, just because I’ve never met the person I am playing with.  It is possible that you have entirely opposing views on every possible subject, but if nothing else, you can always talk about golf.

Secondly, when on the course, it is possible to forget about everything else that might be going on. I find a unique ability to switch off from life, forget about any worries or distractions, no matter how big, I am able to loose myself completely in the game. I don’t even need to be playing well. I took a break from golf when I had my child, I felt terribly guilty  leaving the family for 4hrs at a time to go and play. Now, with my child at school and more flexible working conditions, I am able to play again and I don’t know how I managed without it.

Thirdly, I adore the nature often found in clubs. Wide uninterrupted views of rolling hills and fairways, wooded areas, lakes and long grasses is an absolute haven for animals. Even in the middle of a built up area, it is possible to feel you are far away from the urban world. Just three days ago, on my last 18holes, I was lucky enough to spot two deer grazing in a small wood.

Fourthly, don’t under estimate how beneficial a game of golf is to your health. With the advancement of smart watches, I take great pleasure in ending my Garmin watch at the close of a round, to see my heart rate had been bounding along at an average of 130bpm for 3.5hrs. I vow to carry my clubs until my body is physically unable to do so.

Finally, where else is it completely acceptable to wear a pair of bright red trousers, a hideously clashing fluorescent pink Polo-Shirt with a pair of white and pink shoes?  Excellent!!

I am proud to be a golfer, and can honestly say it has become part of me, a defining aspect of my being.

Golf? Why not!

Your Pocket Nurse