Tyler - Mesa, Arizona
Entered on February 18, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

I believe in golf. I believe in the lush, neatly trimmed grass of the fairway, the scruffy thick grass of the rough, the immaculately shaved grass of the green. I believe in the beauty of the tall pine trees, the rolling hills, the winding cart paths, even the freshly raked sand traps and seemingly magnetic water hazards. I believe in the brisk early mornings and their beautiful orange sunrises. I believe in the bright afternoons and their blistering heat.

I believe in golf anywhere; a full course, a short course, a driving range, or a net in the backyard. I believe in hitting chewed up range balls, deteriorating old balls, fresh glossy new balls, or even strange colorful balls marked with Sharpie drawn symbols. I believe in using any equipment, owned or borrowed, expensive or cheap, and being happy with it, and I believe in blaming that equipment when things inevitably go awry.

I believe in slicing, shanking, topping, whiffing. I believe in trudging on despite thick, spiteful sand, high bristly grass, unforgiving, club-chipping rocks, and even murky knee-deep water. I believe in mulligans when nobody’s looking, and suppressing your anger and despair when they are. I believe in muttering to yourself, swearing, throwing your hat, throwing your club, throwing your friends club; throwing a fit. I believe in a chill pill; a cool drink of water, maybe a snack. I believe in mental and physical toughness. I believe in finding your faults and trying to correct them. I believe in practice swing, adjustment, practice swing, adjustment, hit! Plop. Into the water. I believe in trying again.

I believe in bad days, but I believe in good days too. I believe in swinging easy, and letting nature run its course. I believe in getting into a groove. I believe in the ping of a perfect highflying drive. I believe in the dull thud of a ball landing on the green, and the chink of a soft rolling putt. I believe in the invincible weightless feeling after a string of good shots. I believe in confidence and not putting it in others faces. I believe in savoring the moment, as one good clunk can ruin it forever.

I believe in luck. I believe in a silent prayer of appreciation after good fortune, and a venomous, sputtering curse after bad fortune. I believe in hitting the ball off a wall, just in front of the green. I believe in hitting the ball off a wall, and having it roll back to your feet. I believe in blaming the wind, blaming a sneeze, blaming a bird, or blaming your partner for this luck.

I believe in good company, friends, Dad, brother, Mr. H. Three friends. Two friends. One friend. No friends.

I believe in the memories. I believe in scalping balls. I believe in broken clubs. I believe in golf cart donuts. I believe in getting hit by a golf cart. I believe in running down ducks. I believe in hitting houses, hitting windows, hitting a coyote and a person. I believe in the tall tales; that perfect pitch, the lucky bounce off the tree, the 20, no 30, no 40-foot putt.

I believe in the future. I believe in growing old with golf, learning and appreciating its subtleties with age. I believe in new clubs, new balls, and the new technology to come. I believe in actually having enough money to buy these things.

I believe in golf. I believe in taking what’s thrown at you and making the most of it. I believe in being prepared and doing everything possible to put yourself in position to succeed. I believe in showing respect and dignity on the golf course, but also having fun. Most importantly, I believe that its how you finish that really matters.