When I was growing up, I worked at a lot of country clubs. It was a good summer job, even when I came home from college, and at most of the courses there were privileges to being an employee, use of the swimming pool, or the tennis courts, or even the golf course itself. We enjoyed some of those activities, and it was also nice to wander around in another world, a fantasy world populated by a different sort of people, with different cars, and clothes, and fancy dinner parties when anyone got married. Even as an employee I felt sort of glamorous, and since all of my friends worked at these places too, we had a lot of parties of our own. They were less glamorous, but they were more fun.
As I got a little older, the fun went out of the country clubs. The people who belonged to them expected a little bit more than I was willing to give. I find that odd to some extent, because I am still in the service industry, and people still, by and large, want someone to pay someone to do the dirty work for them. I guess it was the way those fantasy people were conditioned to make their fantasy servants feel, like lesser human beings. I still don’t care for that, ever. I even wrote a golf story that is less than flattering to golfers, and although I like it I don’t know what anyone else thinks of it. It might even be offensive.
I digress. I remember one particular day at a club, I think it was the one up on the Columbia River that catered more to women’s golf, even having a few LPGA events there. From the bar we watched a young woman came through, playing a round on her own. She was very good, and I appreciated the determination on her face as she knocked the ball off the tee, a long way off the tee, and then was gone, striding off without a second thought in what I thought was usually a social game. I heard whispers around the bar that she was attending college on a golf scholarship.
I played disc golf by myself today, and I remembered that girl. I remembered her expression, the single-mindedness that showed pride and belief, in herself and her game. Today I felt that my face looked the same. I was making decisions, taking my shots (including some good ones), and playing on, without worrying about anything else. It was a different way to play what is usually a very social game. The grounds were not tended bermuda grass, and there was no air conditioned bar overlooking the water hole. It was more horse poop, tumbleweeds, and signs saying “beware of rattlesnakes.”
Still, it’s my own country club, and that’s pretty cool.