But I didn't post to talk about that. Tonight it's golf. I do that sometimes, and with WLP building up its convention business a good bit this year, I do it a little more often. I've even slapped together a compact bag and five clubs that can squeeze into an otherwise loaded van so I can try to pick up a round on a course I haven't played going to or coming from a convention.
Yesterday I tried it out on the road for the first time, playing a round at a course I've played only a couple times before and not in over a decade, Henry Homburg Municipal in Beaumont, TX.
Quick course review: it's boring and flat, with most of the holes straight and none really challenging for anyone but a complete duffer. It's about as friendly to a weak golfer like myself as anyone has a right to expect. There are three water holes on the back nine, but the only serious water on the front is a drainage ditch in front of #4 tee and Chocolate Bayou, which runs on the left side of five holes beyond the fence. It's better maintained than average for a munie, and the price isn't bad ($26 for a round on a weekday with cart, $18 for a round without cart).
On the front nine I played close to the best I've ever played on a full-length course- perfect double bogey, 54. I had no pars, but I didn't self-destruct, either. The majority of my tee shots were crap, but they all ended up in the fairways, and my iron shots were workable. Even my short game became... tolerable. My putting let me down, since I could never get the feel of the greens, which is why I had only one bogey and no pars on the front nine. Still, if I could do that regularly, I wouldn't be so grumpy. I've never broken 110 on a par-72 course, but it looked like my day to do it.
At the turn I ducked into the pro shop for a bathroom break, and absolutely nothing went right after that.
Hitting the ball felt like hitting a metal spike in the ground, complete with my club turning open on impact. Balls went everywhere EXCEPT the fairway, and never very far. I could not get a tee shot in the air to save my life until, in desperation, I teed off with a seven-iron on the short par-3 #17, skipped it across the water, bouced it over the green, and knocked it into the embankment behind the green, ending up a putter head's length away from being on in regulation. (And then I four-putted, blowing a decent par chance completely.)
I finished up with ten strokes on the 440+ yard par-4 18th, for a back nine of 69 (which is my worst nine holes in a decade) and a round of 123.
To paraphrase another quotation whose source I can't recall: "30 handicap, round of 97, result: happiness. 30 handicap, round of 107, result: misery."
Those of you who golf already understand.