“When I played soccer, I always enjoyed winning a game 5-4 versus winning a game 1-0. It was typically much more exciting.”-abk
I love to eat good food, and I love to play sports. The more I play, the more I need to eat. The more I eat, the more I need to play. Otherwise, it doesn’t work.
My mom knows better than most what it takes to be good and stay good at something. For the better part of fifty years now, she has been a professional pianist. She and my dad came to visit last week, and over lunch one day, I asked her about her practice habits. At seventy some odd years old, this is what she said. Every day. For an hour or two.
After playing eighteen holes with my dad on Thursday, my mom joined me for nine holes on a beautiful Friday afternoon. (My mom loves to watch me play. Always has. Always will.) I introduced her to two of my friends, and off we went.
I hadn’t warmed up due to time constraints, and when that happens, my first tee ball could literally go anywhere. On this occasion, it went straight down the middle en route to an easy opening par. After a great up and down par on 2, I smoked my drive on the Par 5 3rd hole, which forced me to make a decision. 230 yards into the wind over water, should I be smart or should I put on a show for my mom? I pulled my 3 wood, choked down, and smashed it, but pulled it slightly left into a tree branch, the ball eventually landing the water. That led to a tap in bogey, but the energy was building. On 4, I hit wedge to two feet, leading to an easy birdie. On 5, I had a great birdie look, but watched the ball slide just past the left edge for another tap in par.
Even through five. The vibe was good.
I tugged my tee ball just slightly on the swampy 6th hole. It was playable, but I’ve seen alligators down where my ball was, so I decided to take a drop. Fast forward about five minutes, and I had to make a five footer to save double bogey, which I did. I smoked my drive on the Par 5 7th, leaving a 6 iron into the green. I hit it a little wonky, and I left myself an awkward 20 yard flop shot from thick rough. No worries. I struck it perfectly, it bounced once, hit the stick, and went in for eagle. We all screamed.
Even through seven. The vibe was back.
On 8, I always hit the ball left, which makes for a difficult par. I made a lazy bogey, annoyed at myself for letting the gas off. On 9, I pulled it left also, leaving 154 yards from a fairway bunker with a lip and some limbs serving as minor distractions. I turned to my mom and told her I was making birdie, and then I took my pitching wedge and stuffed it to about 8 feet. As we approached the green, I told her again that I was making birdie, then calmly rolled it in for a rollicking even par 36.
My mom hasn’t watched me play much golf, and the couple of times she has, my 9 hole score would have been anywhere from the low 40s on a good day to the mid 50s. So an even par 36?
That’s what you get when you practice for a few hours every day for two and a half years, I said.
I know, she quipped. It’s no different than playing the piano.
As if the afternoon wasn’t exciting enough, we returned home to the smells of a roast that had been cooking in the crockpot for hours. My parents had brought THEIR crockpot and THEIR ingredients from North Carolina. THEY were cooking.
So after a day of playing, it was a night of eating. Two birdies, an eagle, and mom’s home cooking.
Have a great week.-Benj
Join the abk community!
Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis, @abkgolf, and now @anythingbutkhakisphotography.
If you enjoy these and would like to get the weekly piece via email, please follow on the website http://www.anythingbutkhakis.com.