My colleagues grinned at me meaningfully when I came on duty one morning. At first I didn't understand, but the hints soon shed light: after work they would go back out on the course, play a few holes - and I would be there. Yes, I had agreed and now I couldn't go back.
Word is word, even if I still wondered why they wanted to make me of all people a golfer, me, a couch potato, the prime example of unsportiness. I had already proven in school sports that I lacked any feel for the ball. And that was when it came to bigger balls: Soccer, volleyball, handball. So now I was supposed to find fun in mastering the flight of such a small ball? I was still skeptical.
Over the course of the day, I gave it more thought. I knew next to nothing about golf. It would be difficult to hit the ball correctly, a lot of equipment would be needed, and it would be expensive. In addition, a club membership would be unavoidable. Club? Me?
My motto to date had been borrowed from Groucho Marx, who is supposed to have said, "I don't want to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." Nevertheless: curiosity grew. More and more, I feverishly awaited the end of the day. Surprisingly, I can't get myself like that at all.
By late afternoon, the work was done. "We'll meet in the club parking lot," was the arrangement. And I was curious to see if the usual prejudices would be confirmed: Rich people, expensive cars, snootiness....
Arrived on site, my old Benz was indeed the shabbiest car far and wide, not the smallest, but by far the oldest. There was not much going on, the parking lot was moderately occupied. But the crowd shouldn't bother us, our colleagues said. We wouldn't be playing on the 18-hole course anyway, I wouldn't be allowed on it.
And so I heard the word "golf license" for the first time. Great, I thought, so there was one more hurdle to overcome before you were really allowed to play. What was I supposed to do here then? But even the practice course with 4 holes should be enough to show me how long the way to becoming a passable golfer would be.
There, everyone was allowed to try his luck, to find out whether golf can be fun after all. However, I didn't really give it a second thought. I still thought the whole thing was a crackpot idea.
The colleagues were getting ready: Shoes were changed, trolleys unfolded, bags strapped to them, caps - hello cliché - were placed on heads. I was handed a club: "Familiarize yourself with it," I was told, and: "You'll be holding one of these very often in the future."
The colleagues still assumed that they could ignite the golf fire in me. And still I thought, "This will certainly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
Then it was off to the clubhouse, pay green fees, buy tokens for the ball machine (I always thought you had to bring your own balls), now we were off. But not - as I expected - on the course, but on the driving range, warm up was the motto, or for me: try the right grip.
In the parking lot, I had held the club like a sledgehammer, with my hands behind each other and gripping the handle tightly. Now the first lesson was to follow.
Previous article in the series: All Beginnings 1: The idea of a shot
Next article in the series: All Beginnings 3: Blood Tasted