20 06 2010

My father gave me his old golf clubs today, even though I don’t play golf – he said that he was going to throw them out if I didn’t want them. I don’t have any golf clubs, so I said sure.

The set is complete: it has irons from 3 to 9, a pitching wedge, a putter (labelled 10 for some reason), and 1-, 3- and 5-woods. I think my dad bought them in the 1960s or 1970s. There’s also an extra 5 and 7 iron that I think used to belong to my mother (they are autographed by Marilyn Smith, whoever she is). There’s also a bunch of balls, some tees, and a rain poncho, plus a bag for them, and a two-wheeled golf bag carrier to wheel everything around.

I attempted to golf when I was younger. To say I was bad at it is something of an understatement: my all-time best score on a regulation 18-hole course is something like 116. That’s the best score. Usually, it was something like 130 or 140. This was mostly playing on the Don Valley golf course, which I think still exists.

The worst part was the first tee, because that’s when you had to hit while people were watching you. In my last year of high school, I entered the school’s golf tournament, and finished second-last; I would have been last, but the last-place finisher’s ball didn’t go into the cup when it hit the flag on 18. So I beat him by one stroke. When I hit the ball on the first tee in that round, I shanked the ball off the toe of my club, and it travelled at a 60-degree angle from straight. One observer literally – not figurately, literally – fell over, he was laughing so hard. (I think I mentioned earlier that I am not nostalgic about my childhood.)

I did do reasonably well at Dentonia Park, which was (and is) a par-3 course. I could hit a 9 iron reasonably well, and I think I managed to shoot in the 70s there (par was 54, or eighteen times three). If I tried to use anything longer than a 5 iron, I would have been better off picking the ball up and throwing it forward.

The last time I played golf was in 1997. Our family was having a reunion/get-together in Lloydminster, Alberta (where my father was born). My father, my brother-in-law, and I played together, since none of us was any good and none of us was going to laugh at anyone else’s mistakes. We had a good time. We played lousy golf. I finished last of the three of us.

I may try going to the golfing range on Victoria Park sometime, now that I have clubs. I will first need to check that I can’t injure people on neighbouring tees if I hit the ball off the toe of my club again.

My Dad joked that my Father’s Day gift to him was being willing to accept the clubs. But I’m finding that I’m glad that I have them, even if I never use them.

Happy Father’s Day to all who read this.




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