I finished the A to Z challenge a little while ago and what I intended to be a short break, has turned into a bit longer. After 26 blogs sort of inspired by the White Sox, I feel kind of tapped out regarding our 4A team on the South Side. I'm feeling good about the rebuild, something I've pined for, but after that, what? I'm not a talent evaluator, nor a beat writer. There are far better places to go for that information. I'm just a fan. As a fan, what more is there these days? There is no pennant race to get excited about. I find it boring writing about draft position and just counter-intuitive to root for losses by my favorite team.
Over the last few years, I've become less of a baseball fan, truly. I wrote during the Challenge that games have become less exciting with less actual action happening in the course of an increasingly longer game. I'll probably tune in a little more come October, but those Atlanta v. New York Mets games just aren't going to do it for me. So what is doing it for me? Golf.
I've always kind of been a golf guy, growing up just above a golf course where my brother worked for years as the bag room attendant. I'm convinced that those hours waiting for the last golfer to get in, practicing chipping and putting, honed his game. He eventually went on to play in college and has kept a close relationship to the game throughout his life.
My golf experience hasn't been quite as steady. My dad introduced me to the game, like my brother, at a nearby public course. I know the inherent classism, often coupled with racism and sexism, is still bountiful in the game, but my going out for 9 holes with my dad didn't fit in with those attitudes. I got views of the uglier aspects of golf through caddying and waiting tables at a country club. Still, I enjoyed the game, despite its flaws on a more sociological level.
After my daughter was born, I didn't play for eight years. There just wasn't time, between kids, finishing my degree, and working. About 4 years ago, I got invited to go golfing before work. It clicked right back in place.
I love playing, learning and watching golf. There is also something, like running a marathon, that meshes playing and watching the pros. I know it's crazy, but watching the pros, it's easy to see the same game I'm playing, except at an amazing level. Just like I will never run a marathon under 3 hours (or 4...probably 5) I will never play golf at that level, yet it remains mentally approachable, if that makes sense. What's more, also like the marathon, I get to participate on the same course as the best in the world.* That's pretty awesome.
* Having written that, I should probably say I WOULD like to play on some of those courses. As it stands right now, money and more importantly, playing partners are hard to come by. Like my Phish fandom, I'm not the biggest, most dedicated golf fan you'll ever meet, but among my friends I am. If I suggest a round over 20 bucks, I'm pretty much laughed out of the room.
I love the challenge of trying to find the positive in even the worst of rounds. I just love the challenge in general, which has really presented itself this year. I felt like I was improving over the course of last year and even this spring. Then, poof! I suck! No really, things got pretty bad for a while this summer and it just now feels like it's coming back. We'll see.
I've still plans to go to the White Sox a couple more times this season, and I'll probably write a thing or two about this season as it wraps up. But I'm probably going to wait on fully investing the time writing about Nicky Delmonico. Instead, I'll be golfing more. I might even write about it.