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girls golf

In 10th grade I was riding in the back of a bus on the way back from a field trip. I was sitting with my friend Kari and she was complaining about how she had to go to golf practice that night. That her dad was making her join the golf team and she did not want to go. I remember telling her I'd go with her. That I'd call my mom on the public phone when we got back and tell her I was joining the golf team.

I went to that first practice having never touched a club. Ever. The coach was this awesome math teacher at Rosemount High School who sincerely wanted more golfers in the world. He dug out a set of clubs for me out of a storage room by his classroom and this began my introduction to golf. This teacher had flashlights taped to the end of pvc pipes that we used in a dark hall to watch the placement of our clubs. It seemed he had a toy for learning every part of the game. We worked with him until tryouts when everyone was placed on a team.

Kari and I were placed on the intramural team. And we were so excited because that meant we got to work with Coach Farrington. The hot college student who was hired to oversee those of us who needed some serious help on our golf game. Kari and I mostly giggled around Coach Farrington. It was decided early on that I was the one who should marry him because then we could hyphenate our names: Harrington-Farrington.

I loved golf from the start. I loved being outside, I loved the pace of the game. I loved talking to Kari each night after school.

I always felt bored around hole 7 (we only ever played 9 holes, a rule I still follow to this day), but by my senior year had improved enough that I was playing the #1 JV spot pretty consistently. But my coaches never moved me to varsity because as I was told, "Becca, you talk way too much to your opponents. You need to focus on your game."

And the idea of not talking while golfing sounded utterly boring. Why bother. So they never moved me up.

Flash forward to this spring. My friend Allyson and I talked about joining a league. And thank God we did not! But we did find another friend, Alexi, to come out with us. We met at a coffee shop in May with our calendars and tried to get a date on the calendar about every two weeks. (side note: Alexi had her calendar on her phone, Allyson had her calendar on her tablet. I had my kitchen wall calendar all sprawled out on the coffee shop table. Because I am that old fashioned!)

We met for our first night to play, which was the first time I had touched my clubs in five years. And you know what? It totally showed. That first hole was soooooo long and I was trying to figure out how to gracefully back out of these golf dates. But by the ninth hole I had hit enough clean shots that I wanted to come and try it again. And the second time we golfed I was better than I would have ever expected after that first game. (Still not saying much...but better.) Plus, after each game the three of us went out to eat where we'd talk for another few hours.

These nights were some of my favorite of the whole summer. It was so fun to be without kids for a while, fun to be outside on stunning, glorious (sometimes rainy) nights, fun to be hitting a white ball, fun to be laughing so much and fun to be making new friends.

We haven't had our end of season golf banquet yet, but when we do we have some awards to give out. I'll for sure get Most Improved. Alexi earned the Team Spirit Award. And Allyson will take home MVP.

See you next season, ladies.


Meta Herrick Carlson said...

I LOVE this. I played in high school, too. It's hard to get back into it with kids and when you haven't hit a ball in awhile. Good for you three - time well spent.

Nancy Holte said...

You are hysterical! My favorite part - Harrington-Farrington. I come from a long line of golfers and yet, I'm a total failure in that arena. It's okay though, I've got other gifts. :)