Having Fun When You’re Having No Fun At All

I started a new audio book on my way to work this morning. I put it on my waitlist before it was even released so I was excited about it. It just got lost on the list a little bit. I can’t believe I waited this long. 

I’m only a few hours in, but I can’t stop listening. Tom Coyne’s A Course Called America has me completely wrapped. I’ve been reading Tom’s work for several years in the Golfer’s Journal and he has become one of my all-time favorites. His writing speaks to me. And this book is no different. 

I’m not going to spoil the book in the hopes that you’ll be intrigued enough to go out and get it yourself. I want everyone to read Tom’s books in the hopes that he’ll be so successful that he’ll do another one. I need my fix and I’m quickly running out of this book. I won’t spoil it except for one little paraphrased line that is the crux of this entire post. In the book, Tom describes a tough experience playing Bethpage Black and said something like, “golf is the only aspect in life where you’re having fun while you’re having no fun at all.” 

That stuck with me because we’ve all been there. Some of us have been there more than others. I just happened to be there on our latest buddies golf trip. Maybe that’s why I was so hyper-sensitive to Tom’s plight in the book. I could relate. I’ve been there: having a blast just being there with the boys and playing these cool places, but feeling miserable because of how terrible I’m playing at the same time.

It isn’t anyone’s fault but my own. I do it to myself and I know it. So does Tom. That’s what sucks about this. I’ve never met anyone who likes to lose. It doesn’t feel good. Especially when you know you aren’t playing your best, which I rarely do. You’d think I would be used to it at this point. 

I legit had a blast on this trip. I’m not going to share the details, even if I could remember all of them. But, I know I’ll never see another DVD/VCR combo without getting a good laugh; hearing the word pig scramble without wanting to punch someone; I’ll never forget the taste and smell of those perfectly cooked steaks on the most rusted out, junker of a grill that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how he did it but he got every morsel of flavor out of that Charbroil. The pool could have been warmer. We could have gotten more sleep. The inside jokes will never stop. Some of the boys played great. It was awesome to see. That became a bit of an inside joke too. It was an awesome trip.

And still part of me won’t let myself remember the trip for all of those good times. I played worse than I wanted to and that’s a huge bummer. Listening to Tom’s experience felt so familiar after coming home. I will point out that Tom’s disappointing score would have made me ecstatic at any point on this trip but I guess that is all relative to the golfer. 

I don’t understand why I do that. I’m not proud of it. I dwell on the bad too much and don’t celebrate the good enough. I should probably talk to a professional about it at some point. It will probably take professional help to sort out the enigma that is my mind. 

I’m writing this blog while I’m sitting next to my wife on the couch. She asked me why I was pounding away so furiously at the keyboard. I told her about the book and the quote that I’d been thinking about all afternoon. I filled her in on the feelings I’m going through about this trip; about how much fun I had but how I’m still beating myself up about it. 

She laughed. She laughed so much that she about fell off the couch. She told me this is the most first-world problem she’s heard of in awhile. She spent the weekend bundling up our kids to protect them from the cold while I was halfway across the continent in shorts playing a game. Hard for her to feel too bad for me. And she’s right. She always has a way of putting things in perspective and putting me in my place. 

Like my golf game, I’m a work in progress. Maybe it will take professional help to fix not only my game but the game between my ears too. I’m open to it. Sounds like a lot of fun. 

Until Next Time,


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