“Not again.”

I thought this to myself at least 20 times during the round. It was usually followed by an audible sigh. This time it was particularly bad as I watched my shanked ball fly only 30 yards off the tee and to the left.

“What is going on?” I thought to myself. “I’m not a great golfer, I know that. But I’m not normally this bad!”

I was playing in the BYU-Idaho 4-person scramble tournament, held on May 17 at the Teton Lakes Golf Course. Our team consisted of myself, Elizabeth Kowalski, Deron Togo and Brandon Neilson. My excitement had been building all day, and the first tournament jitters got the best of me.

The entrance to Teton Lakes Golf Course. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.
The entrance to Teton Lakes Golf Course. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.

As Megan Kerr, student director of the tournament, said before it started, “Golf is a much more low-key relaxing sport, so it will be fun to have a slower pace, chill, fun tournament.”

I should have listened to her more closely.

Normally, golf is my escape. Being out on a golf course, often one of the prettiest landscapes around, is always better than being inside. Yet, there was no escaping the horrors of my golf game that day. I must admit, there were no “relaxing” or “chill” thoughts going through my head. 

Golf is an interesting sport. 

As the great Winston Churchill once said, “Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an ever smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.”

Ninth hole at Teton Lakes Golf Course. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.
Ninth hole at Teton Lakes Golf Course. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.

Golf is frustrating and relaxing at the same time. It demands mental strength and grit, yet it also clears the head of worries and stresses. 

Even when I shanked the ball, which happened several times that day, I found myself not worrying about homework or work. I was out among friends, playing a wonderful sport that I enjoy, for the most part. 

My teammate, Togo, had the longest drive of the day on the ninth hole, sending it a staggering 330 yards. It’s shots like this that keep you coming back. 

We ended up shooting one under par — a 35 on a par 36 — as a team. That’s not bad at all, but we knew we were capable of so much more. I left the course that day with a desire to be better by focusing on the little things. 

Team's scorecard for the 4-man scramble. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.
Team’s scorecard for the 4-man scramble. Photo credit: Dallin Jenkins.

It’s kind of like life. If you get caught up with all of the weaknesses you have, you’ll be too overwhelmed to do anything. Yet when we take it one day or one little thing at a time, that’s when change happens. That’s when we become something better. 

It’s one of the many benefits of this sport — you get to learn life lessons while enjoying the beautiful nature around you.