Fantasy Golf For Duffers

As I was starting out trying to sell articles that would allow me to identify myself as a freelance writer, I was invited by an acquaintance to submit an article for his weekly golf industry magazine. As a high handicap golfer, whose passion exceeds her skill, I wondered what I could possibly contribute. Obviously Fantasy Golf would have to be my specialty since I could offer nothing constuctive about the real deal. I would be the voice of "Everygolfer" of which there are gazillions.

This is an excerpt from the article which he published. It goes to show that the adage, "It's not what you know but who you know," is true even in golf and writing. I learned to knock on every door, to take advantage of every opportunity and never burn bridges. My writing has improved but unfortunately I still struggle off the tee.

Amateur Golfers Dream Big
by Kathy Coogan

When amateur golfers dream, whether duffers or scratch golfers, we dream big. In our fantasy golf lives, most of us imagine our swings could be almost like Phil’s or Annika’s (with a little more work on the range). And most of our dream golf takes place, not on the familiar fairways of Hometown USA, but rather on the long-shadowed slopes of northern Michigan, the salt-sprayed coasts of South Carolina or the lush highlands landscape of Loch Lomond.

We don’t imagine ourselves standing on the uneven first tee at our home publinx course waiting for the senior ladies’ league to putt out ahead. We don’t visualize pitching over the stuck sprinkler valve at the Executive Par Three course near the airport. Nor do we line up a putt hoping to avoid the patch where last week’s hole was plumbed.

While we neighborhood golfers may miss the drizzled panorama of Pebble Beach, and the austere targets of the Old Course, our fairways can dogleg with the best of them. Within a few miles of my house I have found sweeps of rolling fairways that have introduced me to sweet lies and precarious slopes from which a pendulum could swing but I couldn’t.

Perhaps the old saw that a man cannot be a hero in his own back yard also applies to a townie’s appreciation of his hometown golf courses. Perhaps the vistas that we see televised from the cameras aloft on Snoopy II deaden us to the untrumpeted swaths of beauty and challenge at familiar local arenas. Perhaps the golf course envy that seeps into our psyches during the PGA Championship or The Masters inures us against the tricky attraction of the crafty greenskeeper’s pin placement on good old No. 11.

While it may be true that Pete Dye passed on the opportunity to lay down a little course parallel to I-75 adjacent to Fitness World, and no Donald Ross hazards can be found threatening us from the City-owned track, I have found golf pleasure at both of those venues.

The little par 3 that is bound by the reservoir (albeit chain-link-fenced for our protection) has given me moments of both elation and doom. The long par 4 running between and below the power lines that light the snack bar on the horizon has tickled my fancy when I’ve reached in regulation. The 18th at Harbor Towne into the lighthouse could bring me no greater joy.

It is surely true that I wouldn’t pass on a round-trip ticket to the land of Old Tom Morris, with a weathered caddie to tell me to “Kip yer hedd doon, Lassie.” But until that fantasy day arrives, I will cherish the familiarity of my hometown munies where I join thousands of golfers yearly who play faithfully-maintained layouts. And I will thank my lucky stars for the privilege of teeing it up on my home course, even when my tee shot at No. 5 finds the trees again.

How I got Started

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