For the first time, I’ve joined a golf league.
Leagues are a big part of the golfing life in Southeast Michigan. Every weekday afternoon from April through Labor Day, area courses are busy with league play. You can see them as you drive by, stacked up ten deep at the first tee: a long line of golf carts waiting to get in play. League play on most courses begins at three, with the guys coming off the early shift on shop and factory floors. Later, they’re joined by office staffs and other 9-to-5 workers.
When I was coaching high school golf, one of the main considerations for practices and matches was to stay out of the way of the leagues. We played for free; the leagues were paying customers. That meant that my guys and gals had to tee off quickly and keep moving.
I developed a real dislike of leagues during that time. My attitude is unfair to leagues in general, but the ones I encountered were nothing to be admired. Jeans, cut-offs, t shorts and (horrors!) tank tops were the costume of the day. Many beer fueled league players thought nothing of hitting into my players, or driving their carts through a group of girls.
So given my experience, and revulsion to people who think of alcohol consumption as a primary form of entertainment, I’ve always avoided joining a league.
Still, every year for a decade, I’ve been invited to join the league at work. I know that they’re good people, but still I was reluctant. Golf for me always has been a solitary pursuit. Mrs. GolfBlogger accuses me of having an antisocial streak, and there may be something to that. I very much enjoy playing alone—it’s one of the few times in my that my wife, children, students or colleagues aren’t asking me to do something. It’s great to be in a place where no one is saying anything to me at all
Of course, I’ve never needed to join one, either. Because I teach, I’ve never had any trouble getting to a course before the leagues tee off at three. My workday is from seven to two-twenty.
But this spring I caved in and joined. We play every Friday with a regular league match for the first nine and an optional scramble on the second. Mrs. GolfBlogger is excited; I think she believes that I’m going to be more outgoing and social. But that’s not my motivation. I joined in hopes of finding some more material to write about. I’m convinced that golf leagues are fertile ground for stories; just ripe for a GolfBlogger to pick them.