Saturday, November 10, 2007

Making a big splash

I don't play golf anymore. Since I moved from Florida to South Carolina four years ago, I've only played two times. I used to play once a week. I was never that good. In my heyday I struggled to break 90, and now I'd be lucky to break 105. But I love the game and miss it.

I didn't take up the game until I was in my late 20s when I was living in Dallas. My first real round of golf came on a large, difficult course that was a test for very good golfers, much less for myself. It was the middle of the summer, with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, and my foursome chose to walk and carry our bags. To make matters even worse, the course was very crowded.

The third hole was a long par 3. About 40 yards from the tee box, a narrow creek disected the fairway. The three guys I was playing with each hit nice shots onto the green, but I dribbled a terrible shot way off to the right and short of the creek. It was humiliating to have to walk over to the ball -- especially with another foursome already on the teebox behind me. To my amazement, I hit a good second shot over the creek that almost rolled onto the green. But now I was faced with a long walk along the creek to reach the bridge that crossed over it.

I looked at the creek. It was barely a channel, really, no more than 4 feet wide ... but deep. Could I jump it? I thought that I could, so I slung my bag over my shoulder, tested the side of the bank, and decided to jump. The bank collapsed. Head over heels, I tumbled into the water. All but the brim of my cap and the last 2 inches of my scalp were submerged. I was horrified. With two titanic steps, I heaved myself and my clubs out of the water. I did so with such speed, my body barely had time to get wet. Then, I walked over to the green, dripping with clay-ridden water.

The foursome on the teebox, waiting for its turn to hit, fell upon its backs and went into a fit of hysteria. I still remember seeing one of them lying on his back and kicking his legs into the air like a wounded cockroach. I spent the rest of the round first soaked and then dried like clay in a furnace. To this day, I am humiliated.

Still, I miss golf. Very much.

Do you blame me?

-- Jim


Michael said...

Can't say, Jim. Never really go into it (or any sport really). I did enjoy playing Tiger Woods Gold on X-Box, though! So how is everything?

Jim Melvin said...

Going well. I'm making early plans for a Virtual Tour that will begin in December. Hopefully this will keep the interest going. How are things with you?

Michael said...

Not bad; wish I'd write more tho...

Jim Melvin said...

I've been in the final editing processes of Books 5 and then 6 for four months now, which means I haven't written an original word since June. So it feels like I'm not writing much -- though we all know that the revision process is a necessary beast.


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About Me

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Clemson, SC, United States
I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1979 with a B.A. in Journalism. I now live in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a pleasant setting for writing, to say the least. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and I currently work at the Charlotte Observer. I am married with five daughters.

The author

The author
Jim Melvin, a veteran journalist, debuts as novelist.