Stress Reliever

Tonight after work, after a terribly long and brutal week of work I should say, I was able to get out and enjoy some of the great weather we have been having. By the looks of the forecast it is a good thing I got out when I did as it looks like rain for the next week! Anyhow, a good friend of mine, Jer, called and asked if I wanted to go grab a bite to eat. I said sure, then called back and asked to change plans and see if he wanted to head to either the golf course or even just the driving range here in Hibbing instead. After a short debate we both decided that the driving range would be the better option due to time and all of that. So off to the driving range we went. It wasn’t long until we were both agreeing that it was a great idea that we went to the driving range first, rather than just jump in cold, so to speak, into our first round of golf of the season. To sum it up, we were both a bit rusty….well maybe more than a bit….

Anyhow, we were just cranking along and getting caught up on what we both had been up to the last month since we hadn’t been able to get together for about that long and I noticed that I was kind of shaking the rust off pretty well. Don’t get me wrong, there is no need to let Tiger Woods know that there is a new star in town, but I was hitting the ball pretty well and more importantly I was hitting the ball with good consistency with pretty much every club in the bag. I was intentionally working my way through from the irons to the drivers and back, with about 6 to 10 balls on each club, just so I could get a feel for how I was doing.

Right here I want to stop and say that once again I was shown that even though having my back surgery last summer was really difficult and has been and continues to be a bit of a long road to full recovery, it was well worth it. I still don’t have anywhere near the strength I used to have and will still get very stiff and sore if I overdo things, but I don’t have the pain that I used to. Bottom line as far as the back is concerned, it held up well through a bucket of balls and only started to really get tired around the last quarter of the bucket, so all is good since the bucket was probably easily 100 to 150 balls.

Back to the golf part of things. As I was saying, I started noticing that I was hitting the ball pretty good and pretty consistent, for me anyways. Keep in mind that I am always reminded by my friends about the time when I took 17 swings at the ball off of the first tee at Wolfridge Golf Course up north and never once even hit the ball, let alone hit a bad shot. In fact I believe that time I ended up just kicking the ball off of the tee and playing it from where it landed about 5 feet away just because I was so frustrated. A little practice and a golf class in college have pretty much cleared up those problems…thankfully.  So I am hitting the ball pretty good and I notice that Jer is really struggling. Not that he is usually a pro, but typically he is just plain better than I am for whatever reasons, but tonight he was struggling.

Well we had both got down to about the 9 iron area and I told him that instead of just whacking at the ball to see how far he could hit it, why doesn’t he try to see how much control he had and try to hit the big sign out at the 75 yard mark and see how close he can get to it. As if to sort of simulate trying to pitch up onto the green. I guess he figured it was a good idea and he decided to make a little wager on which of us would hit the sign first. I don’t usually bet, but I was feeling confident and he was wanting to make a huge wager, so I said sure….I’m in. I said that since it was his idea to place this size-able wager that he would get the honor of first shot, which he gladly took…..and then proceeded to kind of botch. The ball was kind of in the general vicinity, sort of at least.

“You’re up” he says, so I dropped my ball and lined up. After a brief moment to kind of focus myself I made my swing. My first thought was…well at least it is going to be kind of close….my second thought was, holy crap I have a shot at this. Next thing I know there was the satisfying crack as the ball smacked the 75 yard sign that we were aiming for, just above and left of center. That was it. One swing of the club and I had won our little wager and was taking home the moolah! To be fair I told him that he could take one more shot and if he could hit it on this attempt we would just call the bet even and no one owed anyone else. Since it was a fairly large amount of money on the line, he said sure and cracked off his second shot that came close, but didn’t hit.

It was a great evening. I had a great time getting in a little practice at the driving range with a good friend. I got to enjoy the awesome, sunny weather. Plus I won a huge bet that not only helped the financial situation, but help boost my golfing confidence.

I have to admit that after the week I have had at work so far, this was a perfect evening that allowed me to just blow off some steam and relieve a ton of stress. Also if the weather permits, the plan is for Jer, Omega and I to head up to Wolfridge this Saturday evening for the first round of the year. I am looking forward to it and I hope we don’t get rained out! If we make it out I will fill you in on the results of the “Opening Day” for us! Pray for nice weather!

Oh and by the way, in case you were wondering about the amount of our large wager…….I shouldn’t even say this here because I don’t want people to think I have some kind of gambling problem because I was crazy enough to wager an amount like this on a single shot in golf…..

You really want to know?

It was – $1.00

That’s right, I am now what McDonalds would consider a “Dollar Menunaire”


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