Wednesday, April 05, 2006


My high school athletic career was filled with many thrilling highlights. As dedicated readers of Endangered Coffee may remember, I even scored a touchdown during a football game. Of course, it was during a game where we were behind by 30 points, and my team only won one game all year, but still, a touchdown is a touchdown.

Of course, with the sporting highs (or high, at least) came many, many lows. I think my overall record at as a high school athlete was something like 16 wins and 84 losses. Yup, a .160 winning percentage leaves room for a lot of bad athletic performances, both for the teams and for me individually.

When it comes to picking the lowest of the low, however, there really isn’t much competition. Yes, somehow, I earned a varsity letter in golf my sophomore year. I am not too proud to admit that the only likely reason I lettered was because the coach was a good friend of my dad’s. Oh yeah, and the rest of the team was pretty bad, too.

Still, I can lay claim to being a varsity golfer even though there was an entire match where I didn’t even manage to hit the ball in the air. Granted, it was at a par 3 golf course, but still, every single tee shot for nine holes amounted to little more than really, really long putts. About the only advantage this playing style had was that it prevented me from lapsing into my normal game of losing lots of balls. During my “varsity” year of golf, any tee shot (or fairway shot, for that matter) that was anywhere near being true and straight was a cause for celebration.

Most of my teammates were fairly accepting of my erratic game, mostly because they were also in no danger of becoming the next Jack Nicklaus. The typical match against another school usually consisted of the two guys from the other team spending a lot of time standing in the middle of the fairway waiting to take their second shots while one Middleboro golfer headed into the woods and the other spent some quality time poking around the mud at the edge of a water hazard. I’m sure many of our opponents were convinced they were playing a school for “special” golfers.

But the single greatest (and by greatest, I really mean most idiotic) moment of my golfing, of, indeed, my entire athletic career, happened on the first tee of a home match against Duxbury. Now the Duxbury golfers, being from Duxbury and all, were probably teeing off at the country club since the time they were in diapers. First Duxbury golfer tees off, hits it about 200 yards fairly straight down the fairway. Next up, first Middleboro golfer, hits the ball and manages to keep it in play. Second Duxbury golfer, 225 yards, little to the left, but still a far better shot than I could ever hit with people watching. Then it’s my turn. Tee the ball up, whiff, no contact. That was far from the first time I’d ever done that, so I take it in stride.

Second swing. Contact!

The ball is in the air! at a total 90-degree line to the right, heading straight for assembled BMWs and Mercedes in the Poquoy Brook parking lot. Fortunately, the ball hits the ground and not one of the cars. Unfortunately, golf balls bounce and it nicks one of the Mercedes. I have at once hit one of the worst golf shots in the history of the sport and damaged an expensive foreign automobile. The Duxbury golfers find this very amusing.

Needless to stay, we lost the match.


Anonymous Scudder said...

You know the sad part...our golf team had 6 "starters" and 2 "alternates". I played for three years and couldn't crack the top 6 until my senior year. I believe you were beating me by 8 or 9 strokes every time. I was more concerned with collecting golf balls than I was with hitting them!

I'm a little fuzzy, but was Coach Callaghan our couch?

3:23 PM  

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