I grew up loving sports. I played baseball, basketball, football, and even a little hockey. Most of my early childhood memories involve little league and how much fun we had playing the sport we loved as crazy boys. As I got older little league baseball gave way to recreational softball and while it was a good time, it just wasn’t the same as the sport I loved growing up. Pickup football games became organized youth league football games, which would eventually become high school football. Dreams of greatness on the hardwood were never realized past Y ball, and hockey was little more than a fun game we’d play in the winter time but never the less; I loved to play anytime I had the chance. So you could say I grew up much like many boys did, rough on jeans and even rougher on my buddies as we spent every single day competing in a wide variety of athletic events, each time with dreams of making it to the big leagues. I haven’t played football in dang near 20 years and retired from rec league softball once my kids were born. I couldn’t stand up in a pair of hockey skates right now if you paid me to and the closest I come to NBA dreams is one on one in my driveway with my daughter. Not exactly the way I drew it up as a kid I guess.
The first time I played golf for real was a little par three course in Sioux City, IA called Sun Valley Golf Course. The longest hole is about 140 yds but most of them measure right around 90 I think, we teed off of these crazy rubber mats with big rubber tees sticking up out of them. I was 12 years old and I am not even kidding, I really stunk at it. I would go on to play a few more times here and there in the next couple of years after that historic first outing, but it wasn’t until I was a freshman in high school that everything would change for me. I picked up a sweet set of RAM Gene Littler irons with matching woods and a hideous green leather golf bag from a garage sale and summers as I knew them would change forever. I still wasn’t real good, but I sure loved to play and actually go on to make the high school team as a sophomore, even managing to earn a varsity letter my first year competing. Now that might tell you more about my high school golf program than my actual level of play, but who cares, I still have the letter and they can’t take that away from me now!
Golf is now the only sport I play and just like I did when I was a little kid; I want to play my favorite sport every minute of every day. The thing I love about golf is that it is something that you can play by yourself or with complete strangers. It’s unlike any sport I’ve ever played in my life; there are days that it seems almost easy, and then there are days that you’d swear it’s the most impossible sport in the history of the world, that’s golf. I play golf with just about every one of my best buddies these days, every week we’re all the same, can’t wait for the time to come that we can get out and tee em up together. We never really talk about how great it is, we’re usually just getting right down to the game of the night and proceed to try to win friendly wagers against each other. The game of golf has brought me a lot of happiness in my life; recently I have met some great new friends that, without golf, I wouldn’t have otherwise ever met in my life. Through our love for the game of golf we now have a friendship that will certainly last for a long time, sure we might not live real close by one another, but a simple email or phone call and just like that we’ll be planning our next get together. Of course all centered on our shared passion for the game of golf. Of all my golf buddies my favorite is my dad, there are very few other sports that you can have the quality time you get from spending a day on the course with dad. Golf is what dad and I do, we play every week during the summer and while I’m sure we’d find a way to hang out if not for golf, it wouldn’t be near as often and probably not quite as enjoyable either. What’s great is that now that my own children are starting to grow up I’m asked several times a week to golf with them. You want to talk about a great time, how about a round of golf with your dad and your daughters, there’s nothing better in the world I guarantee it.
Living in the Midwest I have learned not to take these warm days for granted because it won’t be long and my set of golf clubs will be back into hibernation in my basement and I’ll be dreaming of the day that I can get back out on the green grass and play the sport I love. Golf can be a heartless beast of a game on us at times, even the best in the world have their days where things just aren’t working out, but there’s just more to it than just simply how good your score is or how many birdies you make. The game is about enjoying the moment, it’s about challenging your skills on a course designed to make you work for those scores. To me it’s also about friendship and camaraderie that I can’t get doing anything else. I don’t care where you’re from or what you do for a living; if you’re as passionate about golf as I am we will be buddies for life!