March 6, 2012
When I was about six, my Dad cut down one of his golf clubs to my size, covering its “new” handle carefully with grip tape. For the next few years, on any random spring or summer evening, he’d find me and say, “Come on, let’s head down to the field.” And off we’d go to Memorial Field: Dad, a bucket of golf balls, a few tees, my club, and me.
Though incredibly impatient when trying to help me with math homework, my Dad had never-ending patience when teaching me to hit a golf ball. I, on the other hand, grew impatient quickly, when the ball skittered off my club’s heel or when I skyrocketed a large clump of grassy earth, but not the ball.
I remember that I often wanted to give up and go home.
And I remember that he never let me.
Instead, he’d talk quietly to me, reminding me how to hold my hands, reminding me to keep my head down, to swing in one continuous motion.
Every once in a while, I’d hit that damn ball on its sweet spot and off it would sail. A white dot disappearing into summer grass.
He’d call out, “Attagirl! That’s a good one!”
And just like that, I’d feel like I could swing all day.