June 3, 2004

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

The golf joke for hackers like me goes something like this, ďThe best way to improve my golf game is take two weeks off Ė then quit.Ē There must be a little something to the take a few weeks off part of the tip.

I picked up my clubs for the first time last week to take part in the Annual Pepsi Golf Tournament fundraiser for Timber Ridge Golf Course.

The event is held each year to raise money for the golf course, so I try to participate annually. Then again, every golf tournament I play in is a ďcharityĒ event, as I donít play well enough to win any of the prizes and simply am donating my entry fee to the better golfers who will ultimately take home the cash.

Anyway, I digress. What I was saying was, time off from golf did seem to help my game. I had not struck a single golf ball this year until we stepped up on the tee to start the tourney.

Apparently I had forgotten all of my bad habits, because I hit the ball fairly well. Granted I didnít strike every ball perfectly all day long, but I did perform exceptionally well for me. My drives off the tee were as good as they get for me. I even had some second shots that were pretty decent. Iím not sure the rust didnít effect my short game, as I didnít putt or chip particularly well. Another old golf saying is ďYou drive for show and you putt for dough and it rang true as I hit plenty of good shots but still didnít score exceptionally well. Still my overall performance was far better than it usually is.

Unfortunately my theory was put to the test as two of my three teammates were playing for the first time in 2004 as well. They didnít fair as well as I did, and that is being kind. As a matter of fact Iím going to have to visit the chiropractor this week because my back is so sore from carrying them around the course all day.

I shouldnít brag too much, as we still ended up with the worst score among the 17 teams. I promised I wouldnít name my fellow hackers. Letís just call them the furniture man, the appliance man and the lumberman. The latter probably isnít fair, since there are two lumberyards in town, so letís call him the stump man.

While our golf games were not all on the same level, we did agree that a bad day at the golf course is still better than a good day at work. As a matter of fact the guys tried to help me find a way to spend more time at the course by making it work related. One golfer suggested I start writing a new correspondence piece called, A.A.G. (Around and About Golf). I think Iíll stick to recreational play, however I would like to find a few more excuses to play a round or two of golf occasionally. If nothing else, I can look forward to the fall Ag Day tournament at the course. I suspect Iíll have to eat my words then, when the stump man, the furniture man and the appliance man all outplay me.

While we didnít win any prizes, I believe our group was among the top squads in many other categories. We donated the most golf balls to the ponds, ate the most sandwiches at the concession stand and made the fewest marks on the greens that had to be repaired (your ball has to hit the green to leave a mark.)

Believe it or not, Iím going to get a few days of golf in over this weekend so it will be interesting to see how bad my game can deteriorate the more I play. If my playing partners tell me to take two weeks off, then quit, Iíll know there is some validity to that tip.

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