I must first give credit where credit is due. This blog has been inspired by Selena Robins’ post “Some People Don’t Have a Sense of Humor in Yoga Class.”
Selena’s blog reminded me of when I took a Golf class in college. Okay, first things first, the university I attended for my undergraduate degree required physical education credits. My freshman year, I took Fencing (because seriously, who doesn’t want to participate in a sword fight?) and Tennis 1 (because I really love playing tennis although my skill is passable) and in my senior year, completed the requirements with Tennis 2 and Golf.
I chose Golf because I was engaged and my fiance had planned a golf honeymoon. I have never played golf before so I decided to take the class to help so I could spend time with him on our honeymoon. I decided that I would convince one of my best friends to take the class with me. She liked to play miniature golf but was horrible at it.
On the first meeting, we had to go around and say why we were taking the class and what our current skill level was. My friend and I were the last to answer. Everyone ahead of us were all pre-med or pre-law and were experienced playing golf and wanted to work on their handicap (and I am still not positive what that means and I don’t really care). Anyway, I stated I was taking it in preparation for my honeymoon and other than miniature golf, had never played before. My friend stated that she lost a bet and I forced her to take the class as punishment, and she was hoping to improve upon her miniature golf skills. There was complete silence and looks of shock and disgust aimed at us by the other students. The instructor looked puzzled but quickly moved us along.
We initially started learning how to hit the ball inside the gym and were quickly and frequently reprimanded for laughing too much. I couldn’t hit the ball but it went straight when I did eventually hit it. My friend alternated between a wicked slice and a wicked hook. One actually flew behind her. It got to the point that before she would take a swing, she would scream “Fore” in the gym where it would echo back. I would immediately burst out laughing and the rest of the class would glare at us. Let me just say that our instructor was a wonderful and very patient man. He tried to help us with our swings but apparently we were beyond help. On nice days, we went to the golf course. Here is where a lot of the fun began. First, my friend kept asking when we were going to a miniature golf course which the answer was always, never. Second, we discovered the golf ball washer. What a nifty little invention and it gave us a lot of fun distraction. Our instructor divided the class into groups of four and inevitably, we would get yelled at by the two other students who were with us. We kept amusing ourselves washing all the golf balls we could find. Then I would go to hit the ball. Like I said, I had difficulty hitting the ball, so right after I would swing and miss, I would announce “Practice swing.” Apparently that is not how the rule works. We were supposed to play 9 holes but with our lack of skill and distraction with the ball washer, we were lucky to finish 4 holes. My friend would always lose her ball, not watching where it went after she hit. I was always giggling and taking cover when she hit. My scores would be along the lines of 20 or 25 swings per attempt with only the last one connecting with the ball. When we eventually got to putting the ball, my friend and I would keep hitting by the hole so many times. We had “Happy Gilmore” putting skills (the movie was released in 1996 and our golf class was Spring of 1995). My friend and I laughed a lot, at our lack of skill, at the exasperated looks our instructor would give us, and we would laugh harder in response to how seriously everyone else in the class took everything. It was not like we were competing in a championship match.
After every outing, the two students paired with us would complain to the instructor about us and we would get different students for the next outing only to have the cycle repeat.
On rainy days, our instructor told us we would be watching a video. Every time, my friend and I would ask if we were going to watch the 1980 movie, “Caddyshack.” When our instructor would tell us no with a long, exasperated sigh, we would follow up with when are we going to watch “Caddyshack“? A second, long exasperated sigh would greet us with a shaking of the head and him walking away from us. Sadly, we only watched golf instructional videos on those days and let’s just say those are almost as bad as watching golf on television.
In the end, my friend and I passed the class with a whole new set of enemies based on our poor golf etiquette and skill. We bought our instructor some golf balls (who knew there were so many varieties and that they are so expensive?) as a thank you for his endless patience in dealing with us. My friend and I both improved our putting skills but that was about all we could say for what we got out of the class. On my honeymoon, my now ex-husband and I went to the driving range on the first day and after he saw my lack of skill and said that he didn’t want me to play golf with him. He played every day. Yes, so many red flags.
I still don’t understand why we have to be quiet on the course. I think it takes more skill to hit a receiver and kick a field goal in American football or score a goal in ice hockey and the fans and players are not told to be quiet then.
So now my friend has a bunch of kids and her two eldest boys have expressed interest in learning how to play golf. I have no idea why. My friend told her sons about our golf class and she offered to be the official golf ball washer, but they declined.
Moral of the story is that too many people take thing too seriously. There are practical jokes and activities that truly are in bad taste but when participating in an activity that is supposed to be fun and relaxing, what is wrong with finding a little humor in the situation or discussions? There are so many problems in this world and so many things that require a serious and contemplative mindset so we should truly take the time to enjoy the little things and cherish the small joys we find in life.
So thank you Selena for bringing my golf class back to my mind and for taking advantage of the humor in situations. We all need a little laughter from time to time. 🙂