Summer is now over a week old. Along with some warmer temperatures, there are other signs that summer is here. I notice when I drive ito work there are less cars on the road.
Little activity is going on at the local high school near my home. Sometimes when I leave a little later during the school year, vehicles are lined up at the stop sign as some parents drop off their kids near the school.
As I have mentioned in a recent column, I miss those leisurely summer days hanging out with friends and having fun. But I have found that going to work and not dealing with an overflow of traffic is great, too. While the kids are out of school, many adults are taking vacations. That means fewer drivers on the road.
During the summer, the pace even lessens at newspapers. This is one of the best times of the year to take a few days off. So, I joined those vacationers this past week. I took a long weekend, from Thursday through Sunday, on an annual golf trip. I guess you could say it is a tournament of sorts. We do have a few good golfers who regularly score in the 90s and 80s.
But the majority fall in the category of duffers. They have their moments on one hole and then the next everything seems to fall apart. I would have to say I fall into that category.
I guess golf is a lot like life. You have good days and you have bad days. If you don’t get too high or too low, you may fare well playing golf. I understand better now why golfers over the age of 50 are usually better at the game. It doesn’t always work out that way but dealing with what life throws at you can be tough. If you can handle the pressure at work and life in general, those are the people who can make good golfers.
However, if you only golf once or twice a year it will be difficult to really improve. Most of us have to go to work and that takes up a lot of my time. We have taken part in these golf tournaments dating back to 2008 when we discovered a course in an isolated area in western Illinois. The course was just outside of Navoo, which is known more for its Mormon population than golf. The idea to begin these tournaments came from my brother Terry.
The course was not particularly great but it was affordable and the many participants could let loose after hours of golf with little to worry about. We continued to golf there until three years ago when the course closed, presumably because not enough people golfed there.
We have been teeing up the past three years at a course in MIschicot, Wis., about 21 miles south of Green Bay. The holes are longer and more challenging. But since most of us aren’t that good to begin with, it does not matter. We have a lot of fun. That’s the main thing.
I get an opportunity to see many of my brother’s friends. The majority of them grew up in my old neighborhood. Now that I’m getting older, many of the participants are my nephews. It’s great to see them as well. Now my son also accompanies me on the trip. We have a good time.
I don’t know if I will ever become a good golfer. I believe you have to put the time in and play frequently to show some improvement. At this stage of my life, I don’t know if I can really do that. But I do enjoy it. I mean I’m not going to go out and play baseball or football anymore. Golf is a sport that you can compete in for years to come.
So I spend a lot of time at driving ranges working on certain shots and using certain clubs to get a better feel for them. I have a driving range I go to that is close to home. During the summer, I try and go once a week.
But the most important thing was getting away for a few days. I had some fun and did make some good shots. It gave me confidence to return next year. And I will return the year after that.
Joe Boyle is the editor of The Reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.