It seems unlikely but I used to play golf. This brief period occurred around age 14 when my older brother, Ben, took up the sport. I was encouraged to give it a whirl as well. After one unimpressive practice at the local driving range, my father took Ben and I to the par 3 course at Rockland Lake. While they had nicer clubs and bags, I had a dusty white sack containing a tiny subset of my grandfather's beat up old woods and irons.
I got into the casual outdoor strolling and slight puzzle solving nature of the game, but man oh man I sucked at it big time. Hooks and slices and sand traps galore. I think I was, on average, about +10 on every hole.
Still, it was an excuse to go outside and meander around nicely groomed nature. I was happy to continue trying. My brother was old enough to drive, so I'd go out with him, and sometimes his friends, to that same par 3 course. I enjoyed these autonomous, adult-free adventures. Plus after a few outings I started to get the hang of it. Eventually I scored my first birdie! Maybe this is fun after all!
Feeling confident with our increasing prowess, Ben and I decided to take this to the next level. We brought our act to the fancier Blue Hill golf course. Much to our displeasure we learned once we got there we couldn't go on the course as a duo. We had to team up with others until we were at least a party of four. We got assigned to join this pair of thirty-something dudes who tried to hide their reluctance to go out on the fairways with two teenagers, especially the one younger loser (i.e. me) with a bunch of fucked up clubs rolling around inside a dusty white sack.
That was rough. I played like shit due to the unfamiliar terrain, and the constant judgment of two strange grownups. To their credit they were really nice to us, but it's hard to perform when you have this constant shadow of grudging adult patience. I knew they were annoyed and slowed down by us. We all had a long day out in the sun.
Worse was when Ben and I and a couple of his friends tried out the par 5 course at Rockland Lake. For some reason the extra strokes brought out the real assholes. Several parties of older men would actively tease us about our amateur skills, and obnoxiously beg us to play through. Fuck all these golf pricks!
That was pretty much it for me. Nevertheless I couldn't help but still crave programming a graphic-intensive golf video game on my Apple II. However as I got out the graph paper and started planning all the pieces I couldn't help but notice all of my nerdy passion was focused on designing the backdrops - the distant rolling hills, the clouds, the trees, the ponds. I didn't even think about the golf swing logic before first considering how to animate birds flying in the distance.
I realized then I didn't like golf. Instead I liked hiking - which is golf except much better scenery and none of the fucking bullshit.