I am terrible at golf.
I grew up next to a golf course in a golfing community surrounded by golfers who golf a lot, but I am truly terrible at golf.
Let me put it these ways: Charles Barkley thinks I need swing lessons…. My game has more shanks than a prison snitch…. The only way my slice lands in the fairway is if I hook it so ridiculously it turns into a slice!
To paraphrase the immortal Homer Simpson, (when it comes to golf I am) “the suckiest suck that ever sucked.”
My younger brother, on the other hand, is pretty good. High single-digit, low double-digit handicap good. He’s always been better than me on the golf course. It’s really never been close.
But as I walked through the hallowed hallways of Willow Point Golf and Country Club the other day, I noticed something. Something I had long since forgotten. Something so shocking and so surprising you might not be prepared for it.
(Take a minute to lay out sheets of plastic for when your mind is blown and then continue reading.)
In 1988, I—Luke Robinson—won the Junior Club Championship at Willow Point Golf and Country Club…in golf…against other living, breathing people who were fully capable of swinging a club.
I know, right? Totally cray cray (as the young people say).
I can’t believe it either.
My hoisting a golfing trophy of any sort is incredible. My conquering the field in the prestigious (to me at least) Junior Club Championship is like a three–legged, gout–ridden Sea Biscuit winning the Indy 500…while running backwards on stilts.
Of course, I think it was a pretty small field that year. In fact, it was just me and one other dude if memory serves. I am also pretty sure he quit mid-round because he “had other stuff to do.”
Regardless of the details, my name is engraved right there on a wooden plaque of past victors for all eternity. Literally chiseled into golfing infamy.
Yes, I know that “infamy” means “being well known for a bad or evil deed.” I am here to tell you that for me to have won ANY golfing prize I MUST have made some kind of spiritually nefarious deal. Probably not with the Devil (I think I would remember that) but maybe one of his middle managers. You know, like Daryl from Demon Affairs or Margie in the Diabolical Human Relations Department.
Anyhoo, let’s move on from my supposed, unverified personal wheelings and dealings. Guess whose name is NOT on that revered plaque? If you guessed my brother’s, you are correct! Well, actually there are several names not on there so you probably guessed correctly regardless.
So, here I am…a horrendous shanker of disastrous proportions. A chili-dippin’, occasionally-whiffin’, fairway-avoidin’ bona fide level 18 hacker who just happened to win an event my immensely more talented sibling could not!
I do not write this column to plaster that award in his face. On the contrary; I am well aware I backed into that trophy like old people back into a parking space at the grocery store: obliviously and carelessly. My intent was to be an inspiration for those who have brothers and sisters that are better than them at certain—if not all—things.
Just always think back upon my triumphant story and remember that you CAN be a winner, a BIG-TIME, YUGE winner. You just need to play in a tournament that has only one or two other people in it and then hope both of them drop out so you win by default.
It’s like the ancient Aesopian lesson goes, “You only suck if the people you are competing against suck less than you.”
So…. You know…. Keep the faith… And all that stuff…. Or don’t…. Whatever