Friday, August 01, 2008

Driving Range

Today marks day one of my three week summer break. Like most people, I enjoy a good break. A prolonged break from school or just a bathroom break in the middle of a long day at work--both are welcome opportunities to spice life up a bit. Breaks give me time to investigate what it is I am actually doing and how that is different from what I want to be doing. With this break, I've already realized that I am taking school less seriously than I originally intended, and I would like to be more serious about school in the Fall. This break is the calm before the storm. Fall Quarter is going to be tough, Winter Quarter is going to be tougher, and Spring Quarter I student teach for two months.

In addition to reflection and attempts at temperance, breaks give me time to have fun, and I fully intend to have fun for the next three weeks. I've already got a few camping trips planned, I'm heading to Lake Tapps tomorrow, and I hope to ride the ninja up to Canada to possibly meet up with Schaubs for some much overdue B.C. poker. Today started the break out great with a bit of Warcraft, a successful trip to the library, and a splash of Team Fortress 2 sniping. But the highlight of the day was going to the driving range with my folks.

My mom taught me how to play golf when I was a wee one, maybe 9 years old. We would go to the little par 3 courses around Seattle and I would tee up the ol' 5 wood for Greenlake's behemoth 115yd 5th hole. I remember being giddy for my 12th birthday, because according to mom, 18-hole courses had a minimum age requirement of 12 to play. For my 12th birthday we played the Jackson 18-hole course in North Seattle. It wasn't until I was old enough to drive that she let me know there really was no such thing as a minimum age requirement--she just didn't want to walk 18 holes all the time! Oh to be young and gullible.

That story pretty much sums up my golfing history. Whenever the family gets together to play, we play for fun and try to prank each other every chance we get. Favorite pranks include shifting the golf carts into reverse for the high-pitched squeal in the middle of someone's back swing, and replacing dad's golf ball with an exploding golf ball that has a thin cover with just flour inside, or a snake ball on the green that has a weight inside it and goes anywhere but straight.

Our golfing went from once a week in the summer to once a year when I hit college. The only place we've played for the past ten years has been Bear Creek golf course over in Winthrop, WA. It is a spacious 9-hole course conveniently located near Sun Mountain Lodge, which is where the parents would go to get away for a few days each summer. The course is cheap compared to normal greens fees, cheap enough for us to get golf carts for the round--which is, of course, the most important part!

We're heading to Sun Mountain on Wednesday, so last night I suggested we hit the driving range to warm up for our high-stakes golf match at Bear Creek later in the week. Mom's been doing physical therapy for her shoulder for the past few months, and dad has a foot problem that has forced him to cancel our summer hike this year--so I was a bit doubtful about our chances at getting a round in at Bear Creek this year. Those doubts were put to rest today at the range--we had an absolute blast!

It was a blustery day today, with 15-20mph winds whipping across the range. Fortunately for us, the wind did not affect our shots, as we had trouble getting the balls up in the air. I secretly brought along my camera to take pictures and video of dad golfing, because he has a hilarious swing that just had to be captured on film:

I got my sports skills from my mom, as you can clearly see with her smooth swing. Dad improved remarkably as the video progressed--he went from missing the ball, to hooking the ball, to not being able to get the ball out of the ball rack, to slicing the ball and then he fished with a straight and true right down the fairway rocket.

THE GOOD: I have to give credit where credit is due. We were all swinging pretty well today. Mom corrected her "trying to swing too hard" complex about halfway through the bucket and finished with some nice strokes. Dad was hitting the ball in the air more than 50% of the time, which is unheard of for him. I was crushing the ball and actually hitting my driver in the air, straight, which hasn't happened since I was 13. I also sunk a 40ft putt uphill and into the wind to win our putting challenge--and mom gets credit for calling it from the moment it left my putter.

THE BAD: Well, dad didn't hit all the balls he aimed at, but that is to be expected. He is 6'5", after all. Unfortunately, I too missed a few with powerful whiffs that undoubtedly altered the course of our universe and may or may not have created tsunamis in Japan tomorrow morning.

THE UGLY: The ugly is my dad's category, he is the king of ugly when it comes to golf. He had some absolute prizes today, but the single swing that had me laughing the longest was when he took a big swing at the ball and just BARELY nicked the ball. So softly in fact, that it wound up in the ball holder just to the right of the driving range mat. I can honestly say I have never seen that before. I have trickled the ball off the front of the mat, I have ricocheted the ball off of the screen behind the ball holder--hell, I have even hit the roof of the covered driving range before, but I have never hit the ball so gently, on such a strong swing, to get the ball to rest peacefully back in the ball holder with the rest of its round, white friends. Kudos to dad for doing the impossible. Kudos.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Schaubs said...

Poker, golf, beers.

whatever works.

12:31 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home