A second round back after a self-imposed 11-month exile from the game of golf was enough.
There is no doubt about it that my exile should be the longest such break I take from the sport ever again.
And it has nothing to do with how I hit the ball.
To step onto that first tee, to see the winding green fairway in front of you, lined with bunkers and rough and trees, to feel that rubber grip between your fingers and stare down at a small white ball perched on a tee, just waiting for the club to send it Lord knows where, to feel the slight breeze in your face and pray that it doesn’t gust until after you hit the ball, that moment is something that is unmatched to anyone who’s ever held a club.
It’s the moment before anything can go wrong, before anything can go right.
And, when you take some time off from the game, it’s the moment you miss the most.
As one of the players with whom I played today noted after a shot that, literally, went 50 feet off the tee: “Well, I could be working right now.”
After playing my first round of the year at Martindale, I traveled southwest this week and hit up Point Sebago, which is running one heck of a deal right now. Maine residents who either clip out the ad in the Sun Journal or print off a coupon online can golf, Monday through Thursday, for $25, and that includes a cart. That alone is an unbelievable deal.
And when you consider that the course is — as I suspect many courses across the southern two-thirds of the state are — in impeccable condition, the deal is even sweeter.
Of course, I prefer to remember the few runs of par that I had, rather than the handful of sixes and sevens, but playing bogey golf at a course I’d never seen is fine by me.
Especially on one of the best golfing days of this short season. Consider this: About five years ago, just about this date, we got six inches of snow, an infamous Patriots’ Day storm that also rained on the Boston Marathon and made for miserable conditions. That year, most courses in the southern part of Maine didn’t open until well after May 1.
The course at Point Sebago is as green as green gets, the greens are rolling true, if a bit more slowly than they likely usually do, and even the sand is playing well, for the most part. For the relatively short drive (from Lewiston/Auburn) and for the price for a Maine resident right now, it’s tough to beat it.
Of course, it all comes crashing back to reality in the afternoon, on the way back into the office for a night shift. But it was worth it.
This golf thing, it’s pretty cool. Remind me never to take such a long break from this game again.