Pick the rainiest, nastiest, windiest Friday in September every year. The day that you would typically hit the snooze a few extra times and pull the covers a little tighter around your head. That drizzle-filled morning when the last thing on your mind is swinging a golf club in a thunderstorm for fear of being struck by lightning…and that will be the day of the Howard County United Way’s Ladies’ Golf Outing. This has been the same story for five years running, and as Marc drove me to Kokomo last Friday, I couldn’t help but recall the scene from Caddyshack where the priest enlists Bill Murray to schlep his golfbag in the middle of a torrential downpour.
You might be wondering if I just happen to shelter an unnatural and enduring love for the local United Way of my childhood home. Rest assured, I make the trip to Kokomo to play in the tournament each year for two (okay…three) reasons. (1) My mom; (2) my sisters; and (3) I’ll admit it…I love golf, even on dreary, windy, crappy days!
My family is a golfing family. My grandfather was a scratch golfer who played avidly even later in life. In fact, I had the good fortune of playing along on a day when he hit a hole-in-one. We still tell the story today of how we enthusiastically congratulated him, carrying on about his wonderful shot only to have him ask us where the ball was when we got to the green. His eyesight was bad enough that he didn’t see the ball roll in, and it wasn’t until he reached in and pulled the ball out himself that he believed me when I said, “It’s in the cup, Grandpa!”
The love of golf runs through our blood, but none of us necessarily inherited my grandfather’s skills. Don’t get me wrong, we have held our own in the past at the tournament, but my mom must remind us each year (only half-playfully) that we are there to have fun…not to win. To which my younger sister, Kimmy, coyly responded, “Yeah right, and men go to Hooter’s for the food.” Our time at the outing is less about golfing and more about togetherness. Or perhaps I should say, “more about being completely obnoxious.” More than once, I’ve heard my mom utter the words, “I didn’t raise you girls like that,” but she always says it with a laugh. Truthfully, when left to an expansive patch of grass and our own devices, we’re a pretty rowdy bunch.
Despite the rain, the wind, and the muddy, wet, dirty golf shoes that proved to be the mystery smell seeping into our car over the weekend, I wouldn’t miss the tournament for the world. After all, it’s my once-a-year chance to be part of the Fabulous Four(some).