A day at the Bluebonnet Tourmanent
I've always been told that winning isn't the most important thing in sports. It's about having fun and enjoying time spent with friends.
I never believed that, but after Monday I do.
Or rather, have to.
I spent Monday at the Victoria Country Club, where I first learned to play golf, in the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch Klean Corp International Celebrity Tournament. My group of five included myself, Victoria Advocate publisher Dan Easton, Robert Ferguson, Jack Wu and Carl Warwick.
While we didn't place in the top three of the tournament, the four other men in my group played great (results from the tournament are listed below).
I did not. Hey, at least I had fun.
It's been over three years since I last played a real round of golf. Even then it was a bunch of college guys fooling around, but at least back then I could hit a ball straight. Monday, I could not.
I could make a bunch of excuses as to why I played bad, but nobody is interested in them. Simple truth is I sucked (not ashamed of that either). My drives hooked right after about 40 yards and my iron shots hooked the same way when the ball was at its highest point.
My short game was a lot better, though. Anything from within 50 yards to the pin was decent and I would have easily two-putted every green.
Fortunately, playing in a Best Ball Shamble format my drives didn't matter. The format was set up to where the group started with their best drive shot and player moved their ball to the spot of the best ball. Each player records their score and a team score is calculated from those.
I didn't keep track of my own score, nor did I want to. It was that bad. Like I said before though, everyone else in my group was solid. Wu nearly made every putt he took or at least put the ball close to the pin. Warwick was great with his irons in the fairway. So was Ferguson. Easton would hit drive shots that would make some pros jealous. And that's not an exaggeration.
I had a couple of good shots and putts. As the round moved along, I did get better and better.
But I'm way off from where I used to be.
TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
I mentioned earlier that I learned to play golf at the Victoria Country Club. It's not where I first picked up a golf club, but it is where I took my first real golf lessons and spent the most time at golf summer camps.
My mom's best friend's husband, Alan Wooley, worked at the country club and was instrumental in teaching me golf. Not just how to swing a club, something I apparently forgot, but also the rules and etiquettes which I have not forgotten.
As I walked up to the pro shop, memories began to trickle in from the farthest regions of my memory. There was all the time spent at that driving range and I could see the spot next to a work shed that we hid under from the rain once.
The pro shop looked exactly the same. Everything from the carpet to the offices looked the same.
It's good to see some things don't change over time.
As for my golf swing, it has changed. But hey, I've been looking for a hobby. Why not pick up golf?
It'd be like relearning how to play all over again. At the place I first learned how to play golf. That's some nice symmetry.
Bluebonnet Youth Ranch Celebrity-Am
1. Robby Burdge, Bill McArdle, Greg Norgard, Leland Harger, Bill Green - 52
2. David Culberson, Kyle Pfeiffer, Michael Parker, Bob Patton, Rick Crof, Joel Horlen - 52
3. Jack Robinson, Don Burris, Claude Bridges, Mike Reimers, Dr. David Drost, Dale Phillips - 53
Closest to Hole No. 6: Rusty Smith
Closest to Hole No. 8: Sharon Petty
Closest to Hole No. 12: Robby Burdge
Closest to Hole No. 15: Byron Burris