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The Bright Side of Golf

Aug 7 2013

by MaryDell Harrington

When my husband suggests a round of golf, I envision the invitation as something more like a forced march over hot coals, rather than a relaxing stroll for nine holes.

Despite his invitations and encouragement to play throughout our 24+ years of marriage, my game is plugged at a beginner’s level. I typically decline, with excuses like “the children need me at home,” or “I have to cook dinner.” But as our kids are nearly grown and flown, the flimsiness of my excuses has become increasingly transparent.

So instead of dwelling on the negatives of playing golf – how much time it takes, how hard it is, how few good shots it yields versus bad – I choose to now search for the bright side of golf:

1.There is no shame in playing nine holes. Almost every course is set up for the shorter, two-hour game, which suits me just fine.

2. I prefer a brisk walk rather than ride in the cart. Though far from an aerobic activity, I count a 2-3 mile walk as legitimate exercise.

3. Pastel pinks and greens look great on the golf course and I am delighted to shed my jeans and monochromatic tops for cheerier attire.

4. My husband is happy to share the sport he loves with me. When we play together, it feels like a date.

5. On our family outings, two parents and two children create a perfect foursome.

6. Our 17 and 22-year-old kids play the game. I am thrilled that both our son and daughter will have the ability to play as adults for the recreational and networking opportunities that golf uniquely offers.

7. Playing on different courses gives me a visceral way to understand and appreciate natural settings. While recently venturing out on the Seaside Course at St Simons Island, Georgia, I walked beside marshes and tidal streams that would have remained hidden to me otherwise.

8. Refreshments – a club sandwich and a south side make for a perfect post- golf reward, truly, my favorite part of the outing.

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