One last drive for old time's sake

Oct 3, 2017 By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

I'm certain I may be the world's worst golfer.

I do share one common trait with professional golfer Phil Mickelson. We are both left handed. That's where any comparison ends. Easton Paxton, when he was a toddler, would have crushed me on the golf course.

The first time I played 18 holes at the Riverton County Club and we had made it to the 16th tee (I think, it was a day I've tried to forget), I put seven consecutive balls into the canal in front of the green, packed up my clubs, and called it a day.

True story: The best golf shot I have ever hit in my life was playing in a Community Entry Services scramble. I took out my driver and hit it far, 250-plus yards and straight. And I was blindfolded. I'm convinced that I'll never hit a shot like that again even with both eyes on the ball.

When I would go to the Country Club's driving range, the homes that border the range on the left seemed like targets for my slice. They attracted my ball more often than not. So, apology number one. I'm confessing. I've hit more than one roof, and left many range balls in those good folks' backyards. I don't think I injured any children, thank goodness.

So this takes us to Saturday. We are doing our best to get rid of many items from our home that haven't been used for awhile (more on that next week) and the golf clubs that I bought from friend Wes Roberts at his garage sale many years ago were ready to be sold.

Except my left-handed, wooden driver clubs, probably 30-years-old, had no takers.

By the way, the day before hunting season is an absolutely horrible day to host a garage sale, we learned.

My clubs had seen their final day, it was decided and off to the City bailing facility we went.

And it was time for one final drive. I took the driver, a tee and a ball out of the bag, dumped the rest of our rubbish into Bay Three (we recycled a lot of our stuff that didn't sell too) and got ready to tee it up, right then and there. The place was a ghost town when we pulled in, but, out of nowhere, workers and other folks came within range.

Change of plans.

My dad and I created a cement batters box over at the nearby Little League fields during my tenure with the league and I thought that would be a nice, sentimental spot for my final Riverton drive.

I was worried I wouldn't clear the fence, that splits the two southern fields near the batters box we built, but teed it up anyway.

And I crushed it.

But my ball smacked the yellow plastic safety guard on top of the fence, ricocheted a mile high, and landed somewhere in center field of the southeast field at the Ron Saban Baseball Complex.

Apology number two: To the mother next summer who sees her Little Leaguer playing with a golf ball in the outfield instead of paying attention to the game - well, I'm sorry.

Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!

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