July 18, 2002

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

It's hard to imagine the term "date night" finding its way into my sports editorial but this past Friday night made this oddity come true. You see Friday night is couples night at Timber Ridge Golf Course. Of course it's nothing official and the course is open for play, but it seems a number of folks have started a regular weekly golf outing for couples, meeting every Friday night starting at 6:00 p.m.

Considering the fact the two kids and owning a new business have limited my wife and I's dating over the past three years this was a great opportunity. We had a hot dog together at the Pepsi wagon at the horse show during the fair to celebrate our anniversary if that tells you anything. Anyway we both enjoy golfing, so after hearing about this deal all summer we finally shifted the schedules around, dropped the kids at grandma's and made time for a golf date.

I said I like to golf but actually I enjoy the idea of golfing. You know, the thought of striking the ball just right, or making that long putt. Those are easy images to conjure up, they just disappear as soon as I step foot on the course. I get about two holes into the round and realize I was looking forward to playing well but unfortunately may never attain that lofty goal. My wife is more fortunate than I am. A natural athlete, she has picked up the sport much better than I have, despite starting about a decade later. While I sometimes wonder why I ever go back, it's easy to see why she likes it so much. Anyway its something we both like so it's an easy choice for a night out. It sure beats watching some chick flick and I'm sure she favors it more than an all-night catfish trip. So couples night at the golf course it is.

Back to the course. Last Friday there were roughly a dozen couples. Everyone meets at the club house around six o'clock. The couples group up into teams of six or eight golfers. You play different games each week, but we played best ball for each couple, meaning both players hit and the duo picked the best shot to hit from on the next stroke. There was a skins competition (don't get the wrong idea), meaning the best score on each hole was the winner. If two teams tied the hole carried over to the next one.

My wife birdied hole number four (I hit but we used her shots - until I made the putt) to win the first four skins for us. The rest of the round was uneventful as far as score, however the wife continued to pack me around the course. I guess I would have felt bad but everyone is used to it so no one even gave me any grief. I contributed one or two shots. More importantly I didn't break any clubs, lost less than a dozen golf balls and didn't embarrass myself with any tantrums after a bad shot. (Not that there weren't plenty of opportunities.) So all in all it was a good night.

Not only did we get a night away from everything, out on a beautiful evening to enjoy the fresh air and the environment, but we played golf too. Top it all off with supper provided by a group effort of side dishes brought by all (except us as we didn't know about the supper program) and some burgers and dogs on the grill and this probably ranks up there in the date record books for this couple. Of course that doesn't say a lot for my romantic efforts on the courting front. Then again that's coming from a guy who want's to plan a 10-year anniversary trip either fishing in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota or traveling across the Midwest to visit all the big hunting stores. As much fun as my wife had I suspect she may supersede my plans with a trip to some exotic golf course (as long as there are plenty of shopping malls and a beach or two near by.)

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