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Corky Cummings


Whoever invented the game of golf had a warped sense of humor. Frustration in a person’s life is readily available without trying to hit a little white ball toward a hole that is slightly over 4 inches in diameter. I started playing the game when I was younger and learned rather quickly that I was better suited to do other things. I continued to play even though improvement that I thought would eventually occur never did. 

Many people who are retired gravitate to the game and spend 3-4 days a week pursuing their passion. Where I live there are groups of people that play year round, which the climate in California allows them to do. Since they spend a great deal of their time on a golf course, they like to replay their most recent round to whomever might be unlucky enough to be near. There’s nothing like hearing someone complain about a bogey they made on the 12th hole at Mission Viejo Country Club because they 3 putted. This is important to them and for some reason they believe sharing it is interesting conversation. 

Most of my golf stories center around breaking a window in a house that borders the course or almost hitting someone who is in the fairway opposite to where I am supposed to be. Hitting a ball out of a sand trap is an adventure to me and normally requires more than a couple of attempts. When I do manage to escape, it is always interesting to see where the ball lands. I often will go from one hazard to another, which usually involves the ball getting wet. 

One thing I have learned about golf is your score is always higher if you play by the rules. Whenever I hear someone say they scored in the 70’s or 80’s I wonder if they may have overlooked a few shots or used a foot wedge to move the ball from behind a tree. I often forgot about failing to make contact with the ball or 5-6 mulligans I would take per round when I didn’t like the result of a particular shot. If I didn’t do that, my score would approach 110-120 and who wants to tell someone that.   

Although my skill level is well below average I do enjoy watching professional golf and I am amazed at how good the players are. My next door neighbor’s son is a professional golfer with a -0- handicap, which means he normally shoots par. He has attempted qualifying for some of the golf tournaments that you see on television but he has never made it. That is how difficult it is to make a living playing the game. Lee Trevino once said that there are two things that don’t last - dogs that chase cars and pros who putt for pars. They need to be putting for birdies or eagles. 

Since I moved away from golf I have started playing a game called Pickleball, which is a much better fit for me. It is a rapidly growing sport that many Seniors play because it requires less movement than tennis plus it is a very fun game. I would rate myself as an above average player but I see many players with more skill. However, I am competitive and that goes a long way toward avoiding frustration.