The Warm-Up

by From the Tips


Scene: I wake up to some random fucking pre-programmed iphone sound blasting in my ear at between 8-9am on Saturday morning; quickly realizing I’m laying diagonally across my bed with most, if not all, of the sheets kicked off the end. In a brief second I smash the incredibly difficult to find snooze button on my phone with the one arm not completely numb from laying under my near lifeless body for the last four hours, thinking it must be another workday. As I begin to doze off deep into my fantasy involving the perfect sandwich, Kate Beckinsale, and the Redskins winning a SuperBowl, I quickly realize that alarm was intended for golf, not work.

Now with much more enthusiasm, I quickly spring from my coma and rush to the bathroom still wearing some random combination of last night’s attire. For a split second I consider taking a shower before the coming to my senses and accepting that a splash of water in the face and toothbrushing will suffice. From there it’s a simple decision of which shorts and shirt combination feels the most appropriate today and then it’s out the door for a 35 minute drive to the course. Music of choice is often something slow-paced, relaxing and slightly depressing, like Ryan Bingham or Iron Wine. Either way, the point is to not unleash the hangover with ear-popping beats from Tool or Wu-Tang.

As I pull into the club, I almost always avoid going to the bag drop for the simple reason that I’m uncertain what remains in my trunk or backseat from the night before. So as I pass the bag drop – old man working staring at me in disgust/confusion – and intentionally choose the furthest parking spot from the clubhouse, I realize there’s about 10 minutes until my tee time. The previous night’s lingering affect makes sure I forget this thought almost immediately as it enters my mind and I continue at my current pace, turning the car off and popping the trunk to retrieve my bag and shoes.

I can tell from the expression on the old man’s face as I approach that he knows what tee time I have and precisely the amount of time between now and then. I simply nod at him as I hand over the bag, unsure if I can actually form a coherent sentence to defend my tardiness. He starts off towards a cart with my bag and I quickly notice my playing partner that day eagerly awaiting my arrival. He’s quick to tell me that he wasn’t sure I’d make it, even though I never remember missing one tee time in the 10 years I’ve known him (if you don’t remember it, it never happened). Again, I don’t respond with words, only gestures. The old man plops my bag on, straps it in, and informs us we have two minutes and can drive up to the first tee when ready. Just finishing putting my shoes on, I quickly hop out, grab my putter and two balls, and head to the putting green ten feet away. Not to my surprise both my playing partner and the other cart with us informs me we only have two minutes. At this point I end my silence mode and verbally acknowledge the time limitation before stroking my 5th and 6th practice putts and returning to the cart.

At the first tee, someone one determines the format of  today’s match while I stumble to the back of the cart to acquire some tees, divot repair tool and mark two balls. Right before teeing off someone in the group asks me why I never warm-up. I simply reply back, “I’m a bloody mary away from being as loose as I’m going to get” before pulling 3i out of the bag on a 420 yard par 4.