Hot Corner: It’s the season for golfing
By Rich Palzewic
BROWN COUNTY – I’ve never been much a golfer, but in the last few years, I’ve taken up the sport to diversify my activity.
I used to golf some when I was in high school at Indian Hills Golf Course in Stephenson, Michigan.
It was a nine-hole course affectionately called “Goat Hills” because of the terrain.
I’d go with my grandparents, and I remember my grandpa getting mad when my 75-year-old grandma would out-drive him.
I also witnessed a hole-in-one at the course and saw my grandma get nailed in the calf with a drive.
I’ve golfed in four states, including Alaska in 2009.
Ironically, the owner of that course in Juneau was from Iron River, Michigan, and I remember him saying the golfing season was about two months long.
It was basically a mowed pasture overlooking Mendenhall Glacier as planes from the local airport flew over.
The owner said of the course, “It’ll be both the prettiest and ugliest course you’ll ever play.”
I prefer to bike, walk, hike, disc golf, play pickleball, cross-country ski and snowshoe, but mixing things up and adding different forms of exercise prevents boredom.
I don’t like jogging on a treadmill – it’s painful and will only do it when I’m desperate.
When I was recently asked to play nine holes at Village Green Golf Course in Howard, I jumped at the chance on an early Saturday morning.
The course is about a mile from my house, so it’s convenient.
It was my first time out for the season, so I knew I’d be rusty and wasn’t concerned about my score.
I played with three other guys who can crush the ball, but I’m not a long hitter.
I prefer to use my irons and try to keep it straight.
In layman’s terms, I’m a hack.
I use golfing for laughter, exercise and camaraderie.
My favorite golfing movies are “Billy Madison,” “Caddyshack” and “Tin Cup.”
I had a few nice drives, but mostly my shots went east/west instead of north/south.
I can’t remember ever recording a birdie in my golfing life, so that’s why I was excited with my approach shot on hole No. 7.
The hole runs parallel to Highway 29, so I had visions of shanking one to the highway, hearing shattering glass and causing an accident.
There was a stiff headwind on the 125-yard, par-three, downhill hole.
Because I was playing hole 7 and couldn’t use my foot wedge, I chose a 7-iron and swung away.
My shot went high and straight at the flag.
The others in my group yelled, “Wow, that looks good” and “That’s right at the flagstick.”
It bounced slightly left of the hole and slid past by about 10 feet.
I envisioned being Tiger Woods at the Masters Tournament and concentrated on the putt.
My birdie attempt was about 2 inches short, but I was secretly ecstatic.
I haven’t had too many pars in my life, either.
I don’t know all the nuances and rules of golf in regards to penalty strokes, but I do know this was a legitimate par.
I’m glad golf courses are open and operating rather normally – it was a fun day for me.
If you’re looking for a sport that naturally has social distancing and you like to be outside, I’d highly recommend hitting the links.
If you get frustrated because you can’t hit the little white ball and it doesn’t go where you want, keep in mind you’re burning calories for that extra cookie you’ll eat later.
Editor’s note: If you have an idea for a future Hot Corner article and want Rich to weigh in, drop him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.