Getting Back In The Swing

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I confess, I’ve been living a lie for the past couple years. Remember all those times Jay Trobec and Angela Kennecke would tease me on the air about how the weather might affect my golf game or that I should play hooky from work to indulge my passion for the sport?
Well, the truth is I quit playing golf for a couple years.  I did not toss my clubs in a water hazard and walk off in a huff.  I just got fed up after another poor round and left the game.
Actually, I think the game left me. I blame the likes of Tiger Woods, John Daly, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and all those other professional players who hit the ball so hard and long that it sucks the spirit out of the competition. They’ve become heroes to most amateurs… but not me.
Golf used to be more of a finesse game where an average hitter had a chance to reach the green in two even if you were using your dad’s old set of Northwestern clubs. A long par four was 390 yards…a par five 520.  Now, some of the game’s big hitters can almost reach that distance off the tee.
Consequently, golf courses are being designed to be longer and the greens faster so today’s players have more of a challenge.  It’s been great for golf equipment companies as we hackers try to keep pace.
Every year they’re coming out with new expensive drivers made from some futuristic metal guaranteed to send your state-of-the-art new titanium-filled balls soaring passed your buddy’s drives because he’s using last year’s outdated model made from the same material as the nose cone on space shuttle Discovery.
Oh, yes, I was one of those desperate people who tried to spend my way to success on the golf course.  I have a garage full of clubs and putters of all shapes and sizes that, when I paid through the nose for them, were practically guaranteed to take from five to ten strokes off my score. None of them did, of course, but I was too ashamed to return them for a refund.
I should have invested those thousands into golf lessons instead of drivers the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.
Now that I have a lot of time on my hands, I have made my way back onto the links for an occasional round but as the years add up, my game has gone down. Even a driver made of plutonium or kryptonite wouldn’t get me passed 250 yards anymore. That’s a distinct disadvantage when you wind up in a group consisting of younger flat-bellied guys who like to hit from the back tees. 
So tomorrow I’m playing with some fellas closer to my own age and weight. We tee-off at one.
I’m kind of anxious to see how my new Callaway X-18 Irons work. Hey the salesman says they’re what all the pros are hitting!

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