My personal golf season started at noon today when Andy, Rich and I tee'd off at the first hole of The Rookery, just east of Milton, Delaware.
It was windy and cold and I had one of those sinus headaches that make you sort-of hope a miss-hit golf ball might hit you in the head. Not to kill or permanently maim you, just to try to knock something lose in your sinus cavity.
But I was pleased with my game. I was unable to putt at all (I pushed almost every putt well past the hole), but my drives and irons were much better than they had been. My score was 116; nowhere near my best, but not bad given the day and the fact that it was the fist game after a long lay-off. There's hope.
I was uncertain about playing this spring. After my sciatic episode in January, I have been worried about the state of my back.
Would I be able to swing and twist?
On Tuesday I hit a bucket of balls at a driving range near Dover. I wanted to try things out and see if a more gentle swing would work with my iffy lower back.
That turns out to be the right thing to do. I have long been guilty of trying to whale on the ball, particularly off the tee. As a result I slice and hook and top the ball and generally look goofy.
If I swing easy, on the other hand, I can often send a ball straight, up and out. Not as far as I might like, of course, but that may come in time.
One of the lovely things about golf is its long string of counter-intuitive truisms. Hit down on the ball to get it up. Swing easy to get longer shots. And the most important thing to think about while you swing is not thinking.
There are probably lessons for the rest of life here.