The Pursuit of Retirement

You’ll need to work on your swing…

Fear of retirement looms for couples without shared interests. My husband and I did what any pre-retirement carpenter and jack of all trades would do. We took up golf, or rather, I did.

Hubby had twenty-five years in the game. He had sticks or “clubs” as I was informed of the proper term. Clubs were available at garage sales therefore cheaper than pre-retirement boats.

My problem with learning to golf was his use of golf terminology.

He suggested I might want to lie up. Lie up? Grass that green reeks chemicals. As tempting as it sounds to have a third arm, I wasn’t lying in the grass.  And how does one swing a club in an inclined position?

“Lying up means not going for the green through the trees, but choosing the safer shot to get a better score,” Hubby said.

Why must I own an English conversion dictionary for golf terminology? The answer lies in self-improvement articles from golf magazines. I quote “One must maintain the appropriate amount of decent in your swing to compress the ball against the face, maximizing backspin for higher more controlled ball flight.” Huh?

On our next outing my ball landed in a rock pile.

“Since you have an unplayable lie, you’ll want to take a stroke, lift your ball from the rocks, and improve your lie without moving it closer to the hole.” Hubby said.

“Improve my lie? I thought golf was a game of integrity? If I’m going to lie why can’t I go all out and put my ball closer to the hole?”

In my day, if you lied, you got your butt beat. I wasn’t good at lying, so I improved my behavior.

“Why would I want to backslide into depravity for a game?” I said.

Without blinking, my husband explained.

“It’s within the rules to take a ball out of a rock pile that probably houses a den of rattlesnakes which will inflict heavy doses of venom into your body. You can take a penalty stroke, and be able to put the ball where you can hit it without breaking your seven iron. You don’t want to be life flighted to the nearest hospital when I’m having the game of my life, and the Ryder Cup begins tomorrow.”

Because I didn’t want to break my precious seven iron, I lifted my ball to improve my lie, took a stroke, hit my improved lie into a pine tree, where the ball flew backwards, past my head, back into the pile of rocks that housed the pit of vipers.

Last Saturday my ball had problems with straight and far. My husband suggested after addressing the ball, I might want to square the club face and slow down on the takeaway. You’d think he’d learn not to offer those ‘little pointers’ and let my game suck.

I know you don’t walk up to your ball and talk to it, but is there a tool in my bag for this procedure? I skipped the address and moved my club in an imaginary square, slowly and moved it away from my ball. How that was to improve my distance escaped me.

Hubby put his arms around me. I figured he was going to give me a hug or carry me off of the course to put me in the car. But no, he took me through the paces of what he said in the golfish dialect.

“You know, my Scottish girlfriend would’ve told me ‘slow down yer back swing before ye give the ball a guid whack. But make sure tae smack the bugger dead center a’ the club.’ Then we’d go out for a pint.”

He looked at me.

“What in the hell, you don’t have a Scottish girlfriend.”

“But if I did, I’d understand what she said when teaching me something even with the accent.”

I’m going to love retirement.

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