Golfing for joy

My buddy made a valid point to me while we were attempting to play golf Sunday.

He’s like we really should be wearing GoPro cameras.

The more I thought about it the more I figured he was right.

Then I kept thinking and pondering and now I’m not too sure.

I won’t go into full details, but after making par on No. 2 at Mingo Bottom – the hardest handicap hole – anything else was just a bonus for the day.

That included finding the water because I’m stubborn on both six and seven and then carding a dry nine on the par-5 ninth to close out the front.

The highlight at No. 9 aside from a solid two-putt was sitting about 85 yards out and sweet-blading a perfect wedge at warp speed.

Initially, it appeared there might be a chance for the ball to land in the small ground area between the two ponds and skip up toward the green.

Thanks to being on the right side of the fairway, I had a perfect view as the ball zoomed closer to landing with hopes of getting a favorable hop.

Instead, the single wooden orange no carts sign which stands directly between the two ponds a few feet high got in the way.

No sooner did I realize what was about to happen, bang!

A nanosecond later my ball crushed into and slightly turned the sign before careening back out toward me a good 35 yards.

Had we been wearing a GoPro I’m sure the views and laughs would’ve been quite a few.

Right after I hit my tee shot at the par-3 10th, which went off the rocks just in front of the green and directly into the water, a blue heron appeared.

I can’t even remember the last time one of those came into my view.

It literally was like standing over almost the exact spot where just a 3% harder swing would’ve been more than good enough to stay dry with a chance to get up-and-down for par.

It took a moment to register what I was looking at and not long after getting to the drop area it moved on its way.

A cursory look on the World Wide Web noted North American Native tradition said seeing a blue heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance. They represent an ability to progress and evolve.

Someone who definitely has those characteristics is fourth-year Parkersburg South head golf coach BJ Hess.

“The first message we got from the WVSSAC on Friday was to start practice on the 17th and the first match on the 24th,” Hess noted. “As soon as I read that, that’s typically not right.”

Prep golf was supposed to start with the typical one day of practice on the first Monday in August and then teams could play the next day.

Hess said new Patriot athletic director Jenny Null then got another email on Monday from the WVSSAC stating they had changed the start date for the first match to Tuesday the 18th, which still cuts two weeks off the season.

“It’s better but that sucks,” Hess admitted. “I was already trying to rework the schedule this weekend with the 24th being my date. Now they’ve given me an extra four days to play with.

“Every time I work on my schedule I do it in pencil because I have to erase. I feel bad for the golf courses. I think they understand. It’s a flying by the seat of our pants kind of schedule this year. It can be changing at anytime.”

The question many are asking is why it needed to change in the first place, especially considering the easy social-distancing aspect of golf.

I reached out to Bernie Dolan, the executive director of the WVSAAC, who noted “keeping consistent” with all the other fall sports being pushed back was the reasoning.

“It’s going to be interesting,” added Hess, who has 15 kids out with eight seniors and four freshmen. “I’m optimistic.

“If they give me one month to play a season I’ll be happy I have one month to have the season.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com


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