I've pretty much avoided golf my entire life.
I terrorized the public courses some when I was a kid, but gave it up for other sports when I got to high school.
The final straw between golf and me was probably the summer I spent caddying at the local country club. Watching rich hackers behaving badly will put you off golf … not that watching rich hackers behaving badly can't be a thoroughly enjoyable experience for a working-class kid.
As baby boomers emerge from their child-rearing years, one of the adjustments involves dealing with this newfangled thing called free time. Even the most dedicated couch commando can get bored after a while.
In my case it was not a matter of suddenly being confronted with an excess of time, as much as it was reassessing what to do with what I have.
Would I still bike, still go to the gym, still run the Manchester Road Race every Thanksgiving Day — absolutely.
But I also realized I need to find something to do that was less solitary, more social, and didn't involve panting.
For years, working around the house had filled this need, and I did have a social network of hardware store and home improvement center employees. But the truth is, no matter how many power tools I bought, I was never going to be Norm Abrams. And, you know, at some point you get tired of hiring people to fix things you fixed.
So I'm giving golf another go.
The game sure has changed since I last gave it a whack.
For instance, the pants seem to have become more civilized and the equipment more user-friendly.
It also seems to have become much more complicated than I remember. I mean, how hard can it be to hit a ball that isn't even moving? The answer, as it turns out, is very.
I took some group lessons, and the best way to describe the classes would be free-fire zone. Although everyone survived, the idea of turning us loose on a golf course unsupervised is frightening.
Another thing that is surprisingly difficult is deciding which clubs to buy. To this point I have invested way more time and effort into researching irons than I did into buying my car.
Anyway, I'm giving golf my best shot, but if it doesn't work out, well, I have always wanted to try building a shed.