Tournament play and passionate women golfers
I played in the qualifying round of our women's county tournament today. A bolder woman would have put up a post LAST night letting the world know her qualifying round was today and that she'd be playing every day thereafter in match play until she lost. Of course, the bolder woman would have said "every day thereafter until I WIN my flight."
Those of you who play anything competitive are probably steps ahead of me here, realizing that the only reason I'm posting this is because I played OK today - definitely not well, but (here's the perfect word) "respectably."
What few know is playing "respectably," in light of how I've played over the past year or so is akin to qualifying for the women's US Open. You see, this former collegiate golfer, first (playing) female member at Jack's Muirfield Village, and mother of the next Paula Creamer was THIS close (imagine a forefinger and thumb nearly touching) to hanging up her clubs.
I never thought I'd be there. Not me, the ultra competitve girl who likes to win. I might hit a slump, or get frustrated that, with work and being a mom, I can't play the way I want to anymore. But this was so much worse. Were it not for playing with Kate, and playing with my beau (who loves the game and makes playing 18 holes feel like being flown to NYC in a private jet for a dinner date), the clubs would have been dropped off at Goodwill months ago.
It doesn't matter if you've played in college or if you just picked up clubs for the first time at 40, most of us have been here: that round, following seemingly endless rounds of horrible golf, where it takes everything you have not to cry. As you walk down the fairway and fight back tears, you ask "how can golf be WORTH this?"
I opened this post with the "bold woman." But the interesting thing here is that the "bold woman" doesn't get you out of this terrible place with your game. Only one woman keeps on going, not selling the clubs at a garage sale, not throwing in the towel...it's the passionate woman golfer. The passionate golfer keeps trying because deep down she knows there just HAS to be more good golf inside her. She can taste the thrill of the next long putt made, or the drive that comes curving perfectly right to left off of the clubface. She won't accept that those thrills are "gone."
So rescued from the brink (though hitting only knock-down shots with my irons because they tend to go straight, if not far), I shot a "respectable" score. I could detail the plentiful negatives, but I'm in the middle of the Championship flight. I am playing tomorrow. I guess I am a passionate woman golfer. And as such, I would like to take this opportunity to toast all of the passionate women golfers out there. Especially the ones that lay it on the line and compete in tournament play, whether it be an Old Pal match, a member-guest, a county tournament, the State Am, or a US Amateur/Open qualifier. We leave our lives as mothers, businesswomen, and wives for 4-5 hours, open ourselves to a true test, live with whatever the results are, and return to try again another day. What amazing women! You know who you are. Keep playing passionately, and good luck tomorrow.