here’s on thing you probably don’t know about me.
i love golf. i’ve learnt and played it for almost half my life (10 years). from the age of seven, i’d spend a few evenings weekly with my family at the range. we stayed from an hour or maybe until the range closes. i was too young to know better, i despised the way people viewed golf as an old-timer’s sport as it made me embarrassed to learn. but, it brought me great joy and satisfaction. for some reason, it made me feel alive. it made me annoyed and frustrated when i kept ‘topping’ the ball or when i dug a whole in the green and have to patch it up. it made me happy and surprised whenever i pitched my ball right into/near the hole and whenever i got my ball out of the bunker. it made me anxious whenever i see my ball travel towards the ponds. it made me feel so good when the club hits the ball just right. it made me feel better seeing my ball travel from 30m to 50m to 100m, to 250m and on those rare occasions, 310m as i grew up. and with prize money to win, a competition between my siblings and i was created. we had to try to score the best out of the 3 sets of 10 balls with everybody using the same club. the prize money was worth $50. it was good money that eventually my brother and i took turns to win and tied most of the times.
days of carrying a basket – some times, two – of 100 balls up the stairs to my booth and nights of complaints are long gone. each session turned into a chore as our heavy gold bags weighed on our shoulders, each session felt longer than ever, each session made me complacent. eventually, we drifted from the sport. days turn to weeks to months and to years; what was once within my grasp now unbearably distant.
i miss the time the entire family spent at the range. i miss going for 9/18 holes with them. i miss feeling the swing. time and again, when there’s not a single soul around, i’d find an empty spot to practice my swing and i’ll think to myself, hey, look who still got it?
i blamed my dad for teaching me a sport only the middle class can enjoy. i blamed him for it because i couldn’t just talk about it with anybody from school. i blamed him for making me fall in love with it, unpredictably and subtly.
and i blame myself for giving up on it when it clearly held such strong memories for me.
i took it for granted then and i won’t make the same mistake again. picking up this pasttime without a country club any longer will be harder but definitely cheaper and more sustainable. only it can bring me nostalgia, comfort and accomplishment.
till then, here’s one new thing you discovered about me.