One of the longest relationships I've been in is also one of the most abusive. There are some incredible moments mixed in amongst the angst and tears, but in general, it is a total beat down that puts my my self esteem in peril. But after each round, I find myself saying "Golf, I wish I could quit you." When I was asked to play in the South By Southwest Golf Tournament this year, I jumped at the chance. But as the day of the event got closer, I stalled finishing my registration and tried to think if there was a creative way to back out. I love *the idea* of an afternoon on the links, but in reality often find it to be an afternoon of wallowing in self pity as I trudge into the rough and sand traps looking for yet another errant shot.
So when the morning rolled around, and the insanity of SXSW had caught up with my immune system and sent me into a pretty decent allergic reaction to the storm system of urban hipsters smoking hand rolled cigarettes on the streets, I though that I perhaps had an out. But, not wanting to miss out on the chance that "things would be different this time" I went back to my tormentor with my hat in hand. The first three holes were just what I remembered: hooked tee shot, sliced fairway wood, divot exploding 8-iron, faster-than-I-though greens.... repeat.
But then, just as I had resigned myself to being the course's whipping boy for the day, it happened.
My tee shot launched itself over 260 years down the dead center of the fairway. The rest of the guys in the foursome give me an awkward collection of fist bumps, high fives, and the very strange in between fist/hand. There was talk of me sandbagging them on the first few holes. I was feeling good. Especially, because I hadn't swung a golf club in about 18 months. The rest of the day was a mixed bag of shots, some more wonderful and some more awful. But, there were enough good shots that made it look like I knew what I was doing. Just enough to have me looking for another chance to deepen my abusive relationship with the sport of Golf.