My Unlikely Love of Golf

I grew up in a family who likes sports. Saturdays as a child usually involved getting ready for Sunday and watching some kind of sports. Television was different then. There wasn't an endless deluge of sporting events. No one had ESPN, let along ESPN2 or ESPN Classic or The Golf Channel. I remember getting our sports on Saturday, and if we were lucky, ABC's Wide World of Sports would have something we liked. I can still remember it:

"Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport,
The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. (Can you remember the ski jumper crashing in such a horrible way that you hope he'd survived?)
The human drama of athletic competition.
This is ABC's Wide World of Sports."

As a child, I hated watching golf. The announcers whispered. It moved slowly and I had no idea what was actually going on. I felt like this until the spring of 1995.

On March 25, 1995, my sister, my two oldest kids and I were hit head on by a drunk driver in a stolen car. I suffered some pretty serious injuries and spent seventeen days in the hospital in Aspen, CO. It wasn't fun. I was in traction and in terrible pain. I had my own room, thank goodness, because sleep was sporadic. Television was spotty. I grew bored with most of my options.

While I was laid up, the Master's Tournament took place. It would never have tempted me under normal circumstances, but on the first night of the tournament, late, late at night, there was a wrap-up of the first round. There were highlights of the day's event, and a few human interest stories about some of the golfers. It was interesting and I wished that Round 2 was going to be televised on Friday, but at least I learned that there would be a recap the following night.

Friday night I watched the late-night recap and then Saturday, I watched the four or five hours of coverage for Round 3 and Sunday I watched all of the coverage of Round 4.

I was hooked.

The next several months of recovery provided more opportunities to watch other tournaments--The US Open, The British Open, and more. I became familiar with Ben Crenshaw, David Duvall, Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods and Payne Stewart, who would die a crazy way a few years later. So sad and so freak!

Now I love it. I've watched at least one of the weekend rounds every year since. I even watched the last two rounds in the hospital after Joe was born. And even though I have a busy weekend ahead of me, I'm going to try to fit in part of The Masters.


Tawnie J said...

I LOVE golf. And I am slowly but surely learning to love to watch all other sports as well.
Every time I think of golf, I think of my grandparents. They never missed it. The Price is Right. Young and the Restless. And Golf. They were avid golfers themselves and we were found in their backyard quite often with a club and a plastic ball.
Too bad all that golf throughout my life didn't pay off a little.

Thanks for stirring up some memories. And like you, we are HOPING to see something of golf today. Crazy, crazy busy.

missy said...

I learned how to golf in Scotland, which makes it sound like maybe I'm good at it. Wrong. My favorite golf location was a wee course on the Isle of Harris with a little wooden box for you to put your money (in good faith) and a sign that said "No Sunday Golf." We dodged sheep poop the whole time and it's a great memory. I've been to St. Andrew's and you'd think I would love the sport. Sadly, not so. It is akin to pouring lemon juice on a paper cut. No fun and no enjoyment for me. But thanks for stirring up some long ago memories. I'm glad you love it.

Christie said...

I have to say, I am not a fan of the golf. I have played once or twice and liked playing, but I would rather watch paint dry than watch it on tv.

That accident sounds awful. I hope they got the guy?

Uncle Gordon said...

Karey...loved the Masters post. Augusta has been a part of our families spring tradition for nigh unto 25 years and I'm glad to hear you've been captured by it's magic as well. We named our second son Ben in part because of my lifelong admiration of Ben Crenshaw. Sorry to hear of the is precious.