These days, I’m more likely to participate in a walk that’s less competitive than golf. Photo by Steve Martaindale

“Do you even play golf?” I was asked the other day.

Well, what do you mean by “play”?

My first journalism job, as a sportswriter with the Longview, Texas, twice-a-day newspaper, began in September. The fellow who hired me had been with the paper some 14 years, but he left in October to take another job and we soon had a new leader.

John Inman took over at the worst time for a Texas sports editor, smack dab in the middle of football season, but things seemed to work out smoothly and, by that winter, we had time for a little fun. John thought that his two sportswriters (the other guy had only been there a few weeks ahead of me) should learn to golf, and I bought a set of used clubs from a pawn shop.

We met at 8 a.m. almost every Wednesday at Longview Country Club, where we “learned” the game.

Now, Longview Country Club, which is not and never was in the city of Longview, was a great place to begin. Back then, the 18-hole course had nary a sand trap nor a water feature to play around. In fact, it didn’t have many trees, so losing golf balls wasn’t a huge worry, even for someone at my level.

But I needed more help than that. There never was a breakthrough. While I enjoyed a pretty shot here and there, consistency was absent except when I was consistently bad. I never broke 100 in 18 holes. Once, I hit 49 on the front nine before bombing out on the back. I wasn’t any good and it frustrated me.

A year into our golf education, I moved to Texas A&M to resume more traditional schooling and chasing a little round ball became secondary.

Over the next 20 or so years, I played occasionally. It became more fun because I was no longer trying to improve my game but was simply enjoying myself. Now, it’s been about 25 years since I’ve played a round.

So, do I play golf?

If you’re asking if I’m any good at it, the answer is no.

If you’re asking if I’m currently playing regularly, another no.

If you’re asking if I’d be willing to go out and give it another try … maybe.


I would love to hear your thoughts.

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