Given that I've never taken the game terribly seriously, I'll be playing today for the first time since last July.
As most of you read this, I'm at Old Hickory for the Chamber of Commerce Golf Scramble.
It's probably not going well.
I've never been exactly what you would call "athletically gifted." I was bad at baseball, terrible at basketball, mediocre at football and fairly good as a swimmer.
So, when my uncle introduced me to golf at 13 years old, it seemed to hold promise.
It didn't involve running. (Check!)
All my closest friends played. (Check!)
If it turned out I was really bad, going out and playing would really only be a letdown to me. (Double check!)
You see, I'm not the world's worst golfer. I'm quite sure there are thousands of people around the world worse at golf than I am. I'll bet even a few dozen of them actually play the game.
I suppose part of the problem is a matter of practice. I play a handful of times a year. I never visit the driving range. I spend minimal time on the practice green.
I like the adventure, you know?
And that's what it's been for the last 16 years -- an adventure. There were scattered great shots, nice holes, even mediocre rounds.
But my golf career has never exactly held what you would call promise.
I'm fine with that, though. When I'm out on the course, I see guys (and gals) who take the game so seriously and think, "What's the big deal? It's a beautiful day and you're outside. You're not back at the office doing paperwork.
"Just have a beer (or a pop if that's your thing) and enjoy the day."
Ultimately, that's what it's all about. Enjoy what the game gives you. If you stick a shot on the green from 200 yards out, be happy.
On the other hand, if the shot hits a tree, ricochets back at you and ends up 30 yards farther from the hole, all you can do is laugh and start walking backward.
Think about it, when you're back in the clubhouse cutting it up, that will make a way better story than the 3-foot putt to save par.
And I gave up on keeping score years ago. When I'm playing in a scramble, the odds are that one of the other three takes it seriously enough to keep track.
The same goes for playing a round with friends.
If your alone? Just tell everyone whatever score you want to tell. They can't disprove it.
So think of me this afternoon. It will mostly be filled with bad shots and a possible sunburn, but there will be those moments that make it worthwhile. I'll have about three long, straight drives, one or two nice putts and maybe one really nice chip.
I won't be winning any awards, but that's enough to keep me coming back.