A Case of the Shanks - birth of a new golf blog
Hello, World. I am Shanks.
Perhaps this introduction is not quite as dramatic as Tiger Woods first press conference as a pro back in 1997, but you get the idea. Actually, I am the second Shanks. My Dad was the original and we greeted each other with that nickname for almost as long as I can remember. But he is gone now, existing only as a warm and enduring memory. The genesis of the nickname shall remain a treasured secret, just for me.
Other than a very few forays to the driving range and miniature golf course, my golfing education did not begin until I started working full-time at the tender age of 17. Prior to that golf was something I’d heard about but had no interest in. Some of the guys at work asked me to join them at the company golf course. I went along just for something to do on the weekend and, as you might imagine, I struggled mightily. The allure of the game eluded me until the third such venture when the game became a little easier. Although I didn’t understand the moment right then, golf had me, hook, line & sinker. The first tournament I watched on television was the 1975 Masters. Jack Nicklaus holed a monster putt up and over the swale on the par three 16th for birdie, then danced those infamous “bear tracks” on the green while Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller were watching helplessly from the tee. My first witness of a golfing legend and I was moved. By this time, I should have known that the game would be something I’d be involved in as long as I am able.
It has been over 30 years since those first rounds and many changes have occurred in and around this game of mine. Those first shots of mine were taken with wooden clubs made of persimmon with a plastic insert for the sweet spot. All of the irons were blades, having no cavity on the back of the club. Off center hits were awful. The game was just harder, but especially for us Joe Schmoes of the golfing world. Fortunately I’ve been able to improve over the years to a point where breaking 80 is not a dream, but a target. I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled the Mid-Atlantic U.S. and played some terrific courses. I’ve been to Scotland on a two-week trip of pure nirvana. And I have stood on that 16th hole at Augusta and watched the legends of the game play.
It may be that my opinions are sound. It may be that my opinions are way off-base. But one thing is for sure. Based on a life-long affair with this game, I can’t wait to share them with you.
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