This post is a reprint from New York Golfing Magazine, Long Island/Metro, NY Summer 2017 Edition
Four years ago, my friend Bill retired after a long and illustrious career. Although Bill was the first retiree of our group, the rest of us, all knocking on the door of retirement, pledged to make plans for a trip to Scotland in five years. Well, at that time, I was an okay golfer but I had lofty ambitions. Of course, I knew that in five years, I would have upped my game significantly. The rule of play, for women, at the proposed Scotland golf courses was a minimum handicap of 36. I immediately dismissed that requirement because I was positive that my handicap would be in the low 20’s by then.
Fast forward to late 2016, the original group was slowly diminishing, after all, life gets in the way. We were now down to four couples. My fellow golfers were now ALL men and I would be the only woman playing. Once I realized this my adrenals started pumping and cortisol flooded every cell in my body. Fight or flight was my immediate thought. All of the negative self-talk, like “I’m not good enough”, “I’ll embarrass myself”, flooded my consciousness and I immediately thought of a million excuses to get out of this trip. As my friend Bill continued to make the arrangements, my out-of-body self continued to pay our portion of the trip. I finally realized I was knee-deep in, and my time to cancel was long gone. So what’s a fair to middling golfer to do?
I started to play in earnest, at least two times a week because after all I was retired! As part of the New York Golfing Magazine’s 2016 promotional incentive, I was able to play “golf for free” at many of Long Island’s premier golf courses. As part of the promo I was also introduced to SimPlay, in Hauppauge, a multi-sport simulation facility that provides, big screen, interactive golf and other sport simulations. There are over 85 national and international golf courses represented at SimPlay and YES, St. Andrew’s was among the picks!
So……………. even before I step foot in Scotland I have a chance to play some of the courses minus the legendary winds coming off of the North Sea and the body engulfing bunkers I’ve heard about.
The EWGA 2017 League play has begun and, once again, the excitement is palpable. Most of my EWGA friends have returned, in anticipation of a wonderful season. My handicap continues to inch down in millimeters, but I am cautiously optimistic that in September, I will be ready to play golf in the historical country it all began. Regardless of the outcome, I will play “ready golf” as per the EWGA rules regarding pace of play, so I know I will be alright.
As a matter of fact, if I’m being honest with myself, I can feel my excitement build at the very idea of playing golf in Scotland. Regardless of my score, I know this will be the experience of a lifetime!