My golf life–so, my life in general–started with a junior clinic at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania. I had no interest in golf until the age of eight or so (by today’s standards, a hopelessly late start). In fact, I felt hostile toward this placid pastime–it robbed the TV from me on the weekend, and it felt like a fusty old club where I had to dress up for tiresome family dinners. My brother played and was pretty good, so Dad said, and I was not interested in doing anything my brother was already good at. But a few swings in to my first lessons at Rolling Green with pro Tom Carpus (the class of the PGA who you can likely see walking with a group this weekend at Baltusrol as a rules guru), and I was sufficiently frustrated into obsession.
We call it the golf bug, and I had it. Few endeavors look more benign yet reveal themselves to be as difficult as golf, and even fewer give you such tangible signposts for improvement–I was desperate to whittle down my scores, stroke by stroke, addicted to the illusive promise of daily improvement. That obsession and drive has yet to leave me. What a wonderful, maddening game. And as I discuss below in a piece I was happy to be asked to write for the program of the upcoming US Women’s Amateur Championship, it was not just golf, but golf at Rolling Green that infected me with a lifelong and unshakeable instinct to follow a little white ball.
If you can make it out to Delaware County next week, you should. I will be there putting phase one of my early retirement plan into action: Trying to convince my daughters that golf is not just for daddies, and start our family on the path to dual golf scholarships. I am excited for them to see young women–some still just girls–play the game at the highest level. I wonder what the players will think of Rolling Green, a place, as the below story explains, of which I think so much.
I hope to see you out there. If you see my girls, be sure to tell them that golf is fun. It’s even better than the pool. Better than a pool full of My Little Ponies. They won’t believe you, but we must try.