News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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June 16, 2013

TODD GOLDEN: Golf ... the beast within?

(Continued)

Lord knows I saw my share of them. With no golf acumen whatsoever, I was a regular visitor to the woods, the rough, the sand, the water, and oftentimes, the hole adjacent to the one I was actually playing at the time.

That tranquility and beauty was like some devil’s trick he uses to draw you in. Golf was a non-stop source of frustration for me, hence, The Beast.

Simply put, The Beast would make Happy Gilmore seem like Thomas The Tank Engine. Frustration management is a vital part of golf and I had none of it. At that age, pride consumed me, and I had no time for the baby steps it takes to improve at the sport of golf. I just wanted to be good and so emphatically wasn’t. So I got mad.

Real mad. Many a beer can bit the dust on the wrong end of The Beast’s wrath. Replace divots? It would hit the fairway so hard in frustration with my club, I’d penetrate to the crust of the Earth. I distinctly recall a Styrofoam cup of soda being beheaded by The Beast. Of course, I hit that one perfectly.

If violating golf etiquette was an actual crime, I’d be locked away in a Supermax Prison.

It came to a head on the weekend I turned 21 all of those years ago. My friends and I played nine holes at Indy’s Pleasant Run Golf Course.

Pleasant Run’s layout abuts Arlington Avenue, and if you drove down Arlington that day, you were taking your life into your own hands. Even by my standards, I was having a bad day, and on this occasion, I was getting deservedly ribbed by my friends to boot.

The Beast was in full raging flower. Not only that, but in the pre-over-the-counter allergy drug days, my allergies made me physically miserable too. I vowed that golf just wasn’t for me. I “retired” … and The Beast went into hiding.

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