I was never a very good golfer. As kids, we would sneak out on the Ponoka community golf course with an old set of clubs to whack a few balls around, while all the time searching in the bush for the lost ones that we could sell back to the regular golfers for two bits, or more. Our gang from ‘Riverside row’ would share a set of clubs borrowed from our dads, many of them way too long or too old, but they worked just fine, and made us feel like a part of the local golf crowd.
For some reason, yours truly picked up the bad habit of grabbing the club cross-handed, and despite having a pretty good swing, no matter how far it went, I always had this terrible hook that quite often ended up in the rough or in another fairway. I even took a lesson from Ponoka’s own Cathy MacMillan, but after a few holes of hacking and cussing, I failed miserably and we went for a beer. In those days, the popular Ponoka course was only nine holes, there were very few carts buzzing around, and the tiny club house was located on a hill next to the Alberta Hospital road.
I will never forget that hot afternoon when I launched a very rare straight shot at the flag, then realized that it was headed for the next group, and I yelled out a loud ‘four’ before it hit a big bald guy on the backside. Gingerly, I ran out to apologize when I discovered that it was none other than my school principal Mr. Larson, and then I imagined with horror that the remainder of my elementary grades would be served in his office without recesses. Whatever the case, here is my salute and dedication (all in fun) to golfers of all ages whether they are seasoned pros or every day duffers. I hope that this will bring a few laughs, and that you will always endeavour to enjoy your favourite game amongst nature, while trying to forget the occasional frustrations, and always finishing your game by making every ‘shot’, and maybe even grabbing another round with your best buddies around the beer tent or the 19th hole.
The true meaning of golf
● Golf is a game where you hit down to make the ball go up, you swing left and the ball goes right, the lowest score wins, and on top of all that the winner buys the drinks.
● Golf is much harder than baseball, because in golf you have to play your foul balls.
● If we find that we do not mind playing golf in the rain, the snow, and even during a hurricane, here’s a valuable tip…..our life might be in trouble.
● A ‘gimme’ can best be defined as an agreement between two golfers, neither of whom can putt very well. Some golfers won’t admit it, but the most important ‘wood’ in their bag is a pencil.
● One of the most interesting truths about the game of golf is no matter how badly you play, it is always possible to get worse, but for sure we will always be back the next day to do it all over again. It is also a fact that golf clubs are made to be swung and not thrown.
● Golf is a very hard game to figure. One day you’ll go out and slice it, and shank it, hit it into all the traps and hazards and miss every putt, and then the next day you will go out and for no reason make par, just miss an ace, and proudly tell the gang at the club house that it was the new clubs and Rob’s swing lessons.
● Golf can be the only sport where the most feared opponent on the course is you. Golf can also be like marriage…..if you take yourself too seriously it won’t work, and both are expensive.
● Are you a scratch player? Sure am….every time I hit the ball I scratch my head and wonder where it went.
● Golf balls are like eggs. They’re white, sold by the dozen, and a week later you have to go out and buy some more.
● Golfer: ‘I’d move heaven and earth to try and break a hundred on this course. Buddy: ‘You better try heaven because you’ve already moved most of the earth.’
● Why is the game called golf? Because most four letter words were already taken.
● He claimed that he played the course so badly that he lost two balls in the washer. The best way to make friends on the golf course is to pick up someone else’s ball.
Whatever the case, Ponoka is blessed with two naturally unique and challenging golf courses in the area, with the Ponoka Community layout situated beside the Centennial Centre road, and the Wolf Creek course near Morningside. Don’t forget to phone ahead for a tee time, then relax, have a great game, and always remember that where-ever your ball lands or what your score might be, there will always be lots of others days to hit, chip, chop, and putt between now and September.
Ladies and gentlemen and junior golfers, please be kind to your clubs, and then get out and have a great day, all of you.