When we moved to Spain more than four years ago, I paid for a container to ship over our most prized possessions. Live and learn, now I would never do that. I would put our most valuable things in storage. Then see if they were still valuable a year later. 80% would not have made the cut.
Part of that container was taken up by our golf clubs. Jeff’s clubs are older now. He doesn’t have the latest golf technology or the fanciest bag. He’s an old school golfer, taught by his step-dad, Andy. And Jeff is crazy good. The guy can drive a ball more than 250 yards straight down the fairway. The first time we played together I knew I was in trouble. The sound the driver made hitting the ball was perfection. Thwack!
As a kid, my Dad would take my brothers golfing. But I was a girl, so I wasn’t included. After begging, he would sometimes let me go along but leave me at the Glendoveer driving range to hit a bucket of balls. So I know how to drive. The cute kid who worked there would give me free balls when my bucket was empty. And he would give me tips. ‘Don’t try to kill it.’ Jeff’s step-dad, Andy, gave me lessons, too, and while I don’t always follow them to a tee – pardon the pun – I do remember his words. ‘Keep your head down and keep your eye on the ball.’ Good advice for life, too.
At most companies Jeff has worked for, he has played golf with the executive team. Usually tee times in the dark on summer mornings. He was on a golf course the morning of 9/11. His clubs were never the latest and greatest, but they were a gift from Andy. Jeff has added to them over the years but he kept the original set. And he still uses them. There were times he was invited to one tournament or another. Usually, as a ringer. He’s a good golfer. Or he was. But, ever since we moved our clubs and golf shoes to Spain in that container, we haven’t played one time. The longest Jeff has ever gone without playing golf since he was a teenager.
As most golfers know, golf isn’t just a physical game. It’s mental. And Jeff has long arms and the right mind for it. I’ll be walking down the fairway loudly lamenting one of my many terrible shots, while Jeff is cool as a cucumber. Our golf games reflect our personalities.
But today, the golf drought ended. Jeff has been researching golf clubs to join in the area. In the meantime, we have a big chunk of flat property, so he bought some foam practice balls on Amazon, then walked out to the barn this morning and brought out our clubs. I’m sure Pilgrims walking past the gate had yet to see locals chipping golf balls in their front yard on their Camino. People stopped to watch us. But we are used to being a perpetual curiosity. Even for locals.
It felt good to swing a club again. Jeff can nearly hit a foam ball from our patio over our hedge. He has decided to set up a small course with some plastic rings from our local El Chino. Just for fun. To get the golf mo-jo flowing, again.
Maybe we will offer something golf related to the Pilgrims who stay with us. Hmmm. It’s an idea. One of many. But for now, I just need to keep my head down, and my eye on the ball.