Tuesday, September 30, 2008

on golfing

this morning was about numbers:

24 is the number of vehicles that passed me heading west this morning, as I rode up emigration, down to little dell reservoir, and back.
17 is the number of vehicles that passed me heading east.
5 is the number of cyclists I saw that were heading east: 3 were just reaching the summit and 2 were not far behind them as I was heading down from the top.
3 is the number of cyclists heading west as I was heading up: I saw them all before I was two miles up the canyon, and one of them I saw right by Ruth's so there were parking lot lights and I confirmed my belief that he was a commuter (panniers on the back). I think they are all commuters, but in the dark it's really difficult to tell.
1 is for me, the only cyclist who had my exact experience this morning.
0 is for the number of golfers I saw on the course as I was on my way home.

and golf is what I wish to discuss this morning.
I ride through bonneville golf course on my way to and from emigration and city creek canyons, and also when I meet biking buddies bob and andy at the zoo. the golf course is a very familiar place, at least this small strip of it that rests on either side of wasatch drive.
this morning the sprinklers were on both as I went up and as I came down, and I'm thinking this might have been due to a small glitch of the system. the wind is often quite strong through this section, and this morning at 5:40 the wind carried the sprinkler spray onto the road ~ and thus, me ~ more than any other time I've ever ridden through. brrr. not what I wanted or needed, but a rather cool experience, as those first miniscule droplets of water landed softly on me, in the silent dark, seemingly from nowhere. my headband, covering my ears, muffled any sound the sprinklers themselves were making, so that first fine spray caught me completely by surprise.
but the watering system of the golf course isn't really what I wanted to write about. I want to write about golf. I want to apologize to the golfing universe for all of the unkind things I've ever said about the game. I was married to a golfer, and I came to resent golf, and that has thrown a shadow over any thoughts or feelings I might have about the game itself. it's time to be free of that shadow, though, and I think that my frequent rides through the course have helped me push that away and release it.
I see people playing golf at 6:30 in the morning, in twosomes and foursomes, mostly male but some females, in the heat of the day, against the wind, under cloudy skies, beneath skies bluer than blue and sun so hot I want to hide from it anywhere and anyway I can. I hear the smack of the club hitting a ball so dead on that I know it will fly hundreds of yards straight down the fairway. I see men off in the weeds and overgrowth, bent over, searching for a small white ball they will likely never find. I see people walking, golf bags slung over a shoulder, I see them riding in carts, smiling and laughing and holding on to the roof supports.
what I see is people enjoying their experience. and like the people with too much body fat that I see out walking, running, working to change that, I see these golfers outside, working to hone a skill or just to feel the thrill of playing the game, and I admire and appreciate them all.
it's that kinship thing: we are all doing something from which we receive some kind of satisfaction, whether it be because we're improving a skill, becoming more fit, or practicing a task that brings us a sense of accomplishment. or something else, completely ~ I can't begin to know why we all do what we do.
but I have relaxed my position on golf, and it feels good. it doesn't mean that I again want to be married to a golfer, but it does mean that I have a greater appreciation for the personal fulfillment that can be gained by spending those hours on the course.
and who knows: one day, I may find myself out there on a golf course, smacking my own little white balls into the rough . . . oops, I mean, straight down the fairway and onto the green.

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