The last time I played golf I shot an impressive +2 on the round. Granted, I was playing mini-golf in the Blenkinsop Valley, but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard golf pros call the kids course at the base of Mount Doug “the Augusta National of putt putt.”
My first foray onto a real course since I was 14 years old was humbling, embarrassing and downright pathetic.
After five holes at Uplands playing alongside Saanich’s Megan Woodland – one of the best university-level female athletes in North America – I had to call it a day. I was already sitting at +20-something (I lost count after taking 13 shots on the par-4 first hole) and I couldn’t, for the life of me, get out of the bunker.
Woodland, on the other hand, was 1-under-par, and patiently waited for me as I performed my own walk of shame – from the rough on the right side of the fairway to the rough on the left. And back again. And then again.
“If you and I were competing against each other today, in all honesty, I would’ve destroyed you,” Woodland says with a laugh. She then qualifies that by making an assumption about my golfing history.
“I’ve taken lots of people out on the golf course who have never played golf before and they’ll miss the ball 20 times before hitting it. You hit the ball the first time you stepped up to the tee – that’s quite an accomplishment,” she adds. Apparently, to the trained eye, I play golf like someone who’s never swung a club before.
Though technically an amateur, Woodland plays golf like a pro. And her credentials only support that claim. Among the 21-year-old’s recent accomplishments are a win at college-level nationals in Tennessee in 2012, and she was named UVic’s female athlete of the year in 2012 and 2013. It’s no wonder she destroyed me – even if we weren’t officially keeping score.
Despite playing poorly, I consider this experience a success: none of my golf balls veered onto a different hole or flew through a windshield on Cadboro Bay Road, both of which I feared I’d do.
I think I’ll stick to mini-golf for now. Though it’s probably more noble to be destroyed by Woodland at Uplands than it is to tie with my eight-year-old cousin on the windmill course.