I always find it interesting the hobbies people embrace and the reasons behind that decision.
For instance, I used to golf, not very well mind you, but I tried. For a number of years I went golfing with friends. They were all better than me. That didn’t really matter; I could accept my deficiency at the game.
I grew up playing baseball and didn’t golf until I was in college. I might have golfed once or twice a year at that time.
As I got older I made friends with guys who were avid golfers, and I tagged along with them.
I’d do OK. I’d always have the high score, but occasionally I made a great shot, which gave me hope there might be more to my game.
I even took a few lessons to get better, but somehow I think they hurt more than helped.
I started worrying about my knees and hips and back and head and swing and follow-through. The more I thought, the worse my game got, it seemed.
And then, the nightmare of all nightmares happened. I went golfing with a couple buddies, and one of them brought his brother along. His brother, it turned out, was a golf pro at a local course.
This must have really messed me up because somewhere along the course I couldn’t hit the ball off the tee. I swung and missed. Tried again but whiffed again.
I knew my friends and the golf pro were watching me.
Let me tell you they were great about it. They didn’t say anything until I asked for help.
The golf pro gave me a few friendly suggestions. I think I finally squirted the ball off the tee. That was good enough for me, but that’s the last time I picked up a club. I still have them in my storage shed. I’m not sure why. Maybe I think someday I’ll take up the sport again.
Meanwhile, I now fish with my brothers on a regular basis during the summer. I find this much more enjoyable. Again, I’m not a professional angler, and I’ll probably never go fishing with one.
But I have my share of success. And if we don’t catch anything, at least we have the beauty of the lake to enjoy.
When you do catch a fish that puts up a bit of a fight, it’s exhilarating landing it. Probably because you never know what you’re going to pull into the boat from the waters below.
It’s sort of like that children’s game at carnivals — the wishing well. When they put that hook behind the curtain you never know how big a prize you’re going to reel in.
Another distinct advantage I think fishing has over golf is when you go fishing you can eat the rewards from that day. You can’t eat a scorecard. Well, maybe you can, but I’m sure it tastes nowhere as wonderful as a bunch of pan-fried fresh fish.
And while you can have a beer or two on the golf course, the more you drink while golfing, the harder it is to hit the ball where you want it to go. Having some beers while fishing, well, the fish don’t seem to mind one bit.
This column may start a debate. I’m sure there are tons of folks who would prefer a day at a golf course over one in a boat on a lake. I’m just not one of them.