Golf Blog

Okay. So. Golf. Yeah. I used to be the kind of a guy who made fun of golf. The tacky clothes, the implied elitism, the over-seriousness, the golf clapping, the slow pace of the game, the whole country club mentality, etc.

I used to go golfing with my dad and his buddies as a little kid and if I had been swinging a club back then I might be on the PGA tour right now, or at least a better ball striker. I had no interest at the time and went just to be with my dad and the big boys. But. Something must have sunk a hook into me.

I used to sell fake orange juice out of a storage locker in Virginia Beach (don’t ask) and the guy next door to me had a shop set up in his locker where he repaired scales. His name was John Potts, he was probably 70 at the time and he kept telling me that I needed to start playing golf. He was a funny old guy so the next time I was at my Dad’s place I asked him if he had any clubs I could borrow. He gave me the same clubs he used when I tagged along as a little kid.

I went to the driving range a few times without a clue and felt I was ready to take on John Potts, the scale repair man. We made a golf date which turned into three miserable hours of me watching this old geezer knock balls into the fairway while he drank whiskey out of a pint bottle he kept in his back pocket. I lost several balls, a sand wedge and promptly quit the game forever. Or so I thought.

We moved five times after leaving Virginia Beach and I carried those clubs with me each time. We settled in Silver Spring and I used to drive by a golf course to get to the office in DC. I’d look out there on sunny days and see golfers strolling the fairway amongst the deer, squirrels and Canadian geese and I began to think, “hey, that looks kind of fun.”

For reasons I still can’t explain the wife encouraged me and bought me a book by Ben Hogan called “The Five Lessons.” Hogan was the Tiger Woods of his time and it turns out this book is generally regarded as the Bible of the Swing. I read the book and went back to the driving range with a renewed sense of purpose. Then the freekin house caught on fire (see the “Bell” blog) and we had to move again.

I took the clubs with me and found a par 3 course near the temporary house. I practiced religiously and got fairly proficient on the par 3. I received golf lessons for my birthday and found out I had mis-learned some things from the book. I had to start over. I bought a set of starter clubs. I started playing on real courses. When rebuilding the house caused too much stress, I played 18. When there was more stress, I played on Saturday and Sunday.
Things calmed down and I played less but still played. When I went to the wedding a few weeks ago (see Historical House Wedding) I stayed with some old friends and Cory (the wife) starts talking about golf. “You guys play?” I asked.

Less than twenty four hours later I’m standing in the tee box in my sandals with a set of rented clubs. They’ve now moved to Japan for three years (Rob’s in the navy) and I have an open invitation to play on a course where you can see Mt. Fuji. Oh yeah.

They also introduced me to their brother-in-law, Manuel who flew to India last week, got back on Friday night and was calling my house at 8 AM the next morning wondering if we had a tee time. Here’s my joke about the unexplainable draw of the game.

Me: “Do you play golf?”

Them: “No.”

Me: “Don’t ever start…”

Hogan’s Book:

Scott Sowers


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