I have weighed in on the past on the topic of golfing couples. But some marriages/relationships are able to embrace the “he/she golfs, I don’t” situation. Doing so requires a lot of negotiation and compromise (that is, if the relationship is to thrive or, at best, survive), not to mention having shared interests that supersede golf.
It’s interesting how this gets handled. In some instances, the golfer simply leaves the events of his round at the course with his buddies, arrives home, and resumes normal domestic duties. Some – my father comes to mind – return home and describe their entire round in excruciating detail, including what club was used on each shot, course conditions and wind directions. And of course, there are those who are so disgusted or depressed by the events of the round that they either over-imbibe or over-emote. In either case, the latter is not a particularly healthy response.
I like to believe that most non-golfing spouses indulge their mate’s passion for the game; however, there are certain events that a golfer experiences that may, shall we say, go underappreciated.
Take my friend Dave, for example. This past weekend, after over 30 years of play, he made his first hole in one. We were all happy for him – and for ourselves, as it’s a tradition that he who holes out also buys the drinks at the end of the round – and he immediately called his wife with the news. Her initial reaction was, “Hey that’s great!” Then she thought about it for a moment and asked, “Geez, why didn’t you do that in a tournament so you could have won a car?”
A number of years ago I had split up with the former Mrs Golf Nerd and had been laid off from my job after 19 years of service. Golf was very therapeutic at this time. I also was dating a woman (we’ll call her Sonia) who was a terrific tennis player and had something of a passing interest in golf.
During this particular period, my iron play improved dramatically, and one happy coincidence was that I managed to hole out from the fairway three times in a two week period. The first time was in a tournament; I nailed a 5-iron perfectly from 175 yards to make an eagle. I called Sonia after the round to share my good fortune, and she seemed quite happy for me.
About 4 or 5 days later, I was faced with a 110 yard wedge shot, the third on a long par 4. This one landed about 5 feet to the right of the hole and spun in. Birdie! Again, I rang up Sonia; again, she was quite happy for me.
A few more days passed. I was on the par-5 14th hole at my old home course. My buddy Todd had planted his third shot close and was quite pleased with himself. I looked at him and said, half-jokingly, “I hate to break your heart, Todd.” And proceeded to knock a 130-yard nine iron into the hole.
This time after giving this news to Sonia, there was a bit of a pause at the other end of the line. “Well,” she replied, “you’re playing every day of the week.”
I started to explain that I had a better shot at winning Powerball than what had transpired over the past few rounds, but stopped myself. Things kind of went downhill from there.
Luckily, these days I have a loving partner, both at home and on the course. And I can’t wait to tell her about my first hole in one. For one thing, she’ll no longer have bragging rights in our house.