By DARREN HANDSCHUH
What I am about to say some people may find shocking, even stunning.
I don't golf.
There, I said it. My dirty little secret is now out in the open. I do not spend my spare time chasing a little white ball around a big green field.
It is just something that never really interested me. I did try it for a little while, but it never took.
A few years ago my wife got me driving lessons for my birthday. These driving lessons were of the golf variety and not the car variety, but she has said I could probably use a refresher course in the latter as well.
I have this bad habit of not always using my turn signals. I am not sure why I have an aversion to blinking lights, but I am working on it and even my wife will admit my signaling has improved as of late. Some people don't seem to mind when I don't use signals and once in a while they will give a little wave, but I do find it a odd that they wave with only one finger.
Anyway, back to my brief foray into the world of golf.
I showed up at the driving lessons with a couple of clubs and no idea how to properly hit the ball.
It was early spring so we were in a gymnasium and my first thought was, “Those balls are gonna beat the crap out of the walls in here.”
I don't know much about golf, but I do know the balls are very hard and really hurt when they hit you in the head.
I learned this the hard way (like there is any other kind of way.) When I was about 12 years old, I found a golf ball at a local school field and bounced it a few times on the nearby pavement to see how high it would go. And go it did.
As I was young and my brain was not fully engaged yet, I decided to throw it at a brick wall about 20 feet away - as hard and I could.
I remember throwing the ball, seeing a bright light and then looking up at the sky as I lay on the ground. The ball bounced off the wall with some serious velocity and smacked me right between the eyes, literally. I had a knot on my noggin that looked like I was growing a second nose.
Needless to say I never threw a golf ball at a wall again.
So I was curious how we were going to hit golf balls in a gymnasium and was wishing I would have brought my motorcycle helmet and full hockey gear.
As it turned out, we were using these little plastic balls with a slightly higher density than a ping pong ball. No matter how hard you hit them, they would only go a few feet.
After several lessons, I decided to test my skills at the driving range. I bought a bucket of balls, placed the bright orange target on the tee and swung with all my might, remembering what I had been taught.
It was a spectacular shot. My first time hitting a real ball and I smoked it big time.
That sucker was going, going, gone. Tiger Woods look out, here comes Hamster Handschuh.
Feeling rather pleased with myself, I hit another ball and this one easily went 150 yards. The problem was, it was 100 yards down the field and 50 yards to the right.
The next few balls yielded the same results. I could have shot around a building my slice was so bad.
I did a few more rounds at the driving range and was showing some improvement, but I never did play an actual game of the popular past time.
It's probably just as well, because when I hit a ball, there really is no telling where it will end up.