Golf Is A Contradiction, But You Gotta Love It
Ah, golf. Itís a wonderful sport. Itís an awful sport. Itís fun to play. Itís torture to play. It makes you happy. It makes you angry. It lifts your spirits. It dampens your spirits.
Anyone who has played the sport for any length of time will testify to those contradictions.
One can go out and play lights out one day, and terrible the next. Heck, that can happen from one nine to the next, or even from one shot to the next. And it happens to every golfer, regardless of handicap. Ask the worldís No. 1 golfer. Tiger Woods has won five tournaments this year but couldnít even qualify for the last two rounds of the British Open. Then he loses to a guy who had won only one previous PGA tournament in the most recent major, the PGA Championship.
MANY FOLKS, even great athletes, have taken up the game and given it up in frustration. But true golfers keep right on trucking, taking the many horrible strokes of the game if not in stride, then in resignation. They realize itís part of the game and look for that one day, that one round, that one shot that makes all the suffering worthwhile.
There are no sweeter feelings in sports than hitting a drive straight and far down the middle, an iron that goes straight for the green, that wedge that nestles the ball near the hole, that putt that curls into the cup for a birdie or an eagle. You feel those beautiful shots all the way to your soul.
BUT THERE are other reasons to love the sport. For me personally, I canít wait to get out to the course whenever I can. I get away from the hassles of everyday life. Iím in the fresh air and among the trees, the grass, many of natureís birds and other creatures. No phone, no work, no problems to worry about but that little ball on the ground begging you to hit it. And itís good exercise without worry of injuries.
Youíre also among people who appreciate the impossible challenge of the game. Thereís a kinship among golfers unlike any in other sports. They understand your bad times, appreciate your good ones and gladly share experiences.
ON TOP of all that, there are the great deeds of the sport. UTEP would not have a golf team if it werenít for fund raising golf events for the team each year at El Paso Country Club and Coronado Country Club.
Those are many other fund raisers held each year. Add to that the fact that golf keeps alive the memory of some of our finest citizens. Among the most popular are the Frank Redman Memorial and the Modesto Gomez Memorial.
The late Frank Redman is El Pasoís most successful amateur golfer, having won the City Tournament seven times and contributed to El Paso and the sport in various other ways.
The late Modesto Gomez was one of El Pasoís leading citizens for many years and the tournament raises thousands of dollars for young peopleís scholarships.
UPCOMING IS the ďLeloĒ Jacques Memorial put on by LULACís Project Amistad, which does so much for the elderly. Itíll be held Sept. 25 at Vista Hills Country Club.
And then thereís this new one: The First Tee Desert Classic. The Rotary Club of West El Paso has joined forces with First Tee of Greater El Paso to put on the tournament, which will be for all levels of local golfers. It will be held Sept. 19 at Underwood Golf Course. Proceeds will benefit the First Tee program, which was started in El Paso recently by former LPGA golfer Kristi Albers.
Ah, yes, golf. You gotta love it.
Veteran sports journalist and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column. Contact him at (915) 584-0626, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.raysanchezbooks.com