Lyons, NY

The three guys I was with today held their breath as I recoiled from my golf swing. The ball has just sailed high and wide, very wide of the target, into the woods. They watched and waited for a reaction. Ever since I started golf all the way up to not too long ago, my reaction would’ve been a huge spike in blood pressure, followed by a club toss, and a bleep followed by more bleeps. But, I have recently found some peace of mind and with that has brought about a change on the golf course.

In this instance today, one guy was particularly interested in my reaction, my dad. Today was the annual golf outing with our retired priest, Father Jack. My dad has been doing this annual golf outing with father for many years and I’ve been a part of a lot of them. That means this was back in my anger management days. It also means father was a witness to them. I wonder what he was thinking, watching a 17 year old kid who is mellow as can be off the course, become enraged like a madman after a bad shot. As hard as I’d try, and as much as my dad warned me prior, I couldn’t not fly off the handle. I’d tell myself, “OK, relax, your are with father, it’s only golf,” and then the club would fly and bleep. I am sure he wanted to grab me and talk to me, he may have tried.

Here is an example; I played with some of my sister’s fiancée’s family for the first time a few years ago. On our group are some of his younger cousins and I wanted to set a good example. But, Mr. Hyde came out. They called me Happy Gilmore for the rest of the vacation. It just comes out. But, I am the only one who can do anything about it.

So there I am, in Lyons, NY at Wayne Hills CC with my dad, Father, and my dad’s friend Dave. All eyes are on me, my eyes are on me, and I am mad at the shot, but I walk off the tee, put the head cover on, zip it up, put the driver in the bag, and head off to find it. No swear words. No lords name in vain. Just a beautiful day at a beautiful course with a great group.

It has taken me to age 29 and 30 to realize golf should be fun and relaxing. I am still working on it. I still want to kick the courses and your butt out there, but it is more fun now. More fun for me and my playing partners. (Disclaimer to golf friends: Mr. Hyde is still in there).

And we ended the day with shrimp, chicken kabobs, and some good desert back at the house. It was great to see father. It was even better for my dad to tell me that father said that I’ve changed out on the course. I’m getting closer to where I want to be.