Do you have a hobby or activity that you enjoy doing, but you’re not particularly good at? There are people who enjoy cooking but cook some really nasty concoctions. Maybe you enjoy painting but can’t seem to create anything that’s recognizable. What’s something that you love to do, but are horrible at? For me, it’s playing golf.
About a decade ago the ‘Pink Ladies’ made their golf debut at the Sidney Chamber of Commerce golf tournament and soon after also began playing during the Sidney Alumni Golf Tournament. The core ‘Pink Ladies’ team consist of myself, and my close friends Steph, Sheri and Tracy. Occasionally we have a replacement ‘Pink’ (usually our friend Amber or Janel) for when one of us is unavailable. It doesn’t matter who is on our team, we have a reputation in local golf circles.
We are the team that has the most fun, the best snacks (cucumber sandwiches and hazelnut pirouettes are a must), matching shirts (sometimes with funny sayings like “Still Shankin’ It”), and we always, always, win the ‘Highest Score’ prize. We have won this so many times that at one point we asked the Alumni Association to just make sure the person on top of the trophy wore a skirt. One year, disappointed that they did not do this, we made skirts for them out of our dinner napkins! We are resourceful and creative … just not great golfers.
Despite our years of loss, we love to play and we look forward to the couple of tournaments we do together each year. Over the past few years I have added other tournaments to my annual outings, including the Bubba Banks Memorial Tournament that my dear friends Kelly & Brian Banks host each year in August. The ‘Pink Ladies’ do not make a cameo at this one, I play with my husband and our friends Amanda & Shane. My husband, I should note, is actually a great player. He’s what you call ‘naturally talented’. It’s one of the things we enjoy doing together and we try to find time when the weather is nice to go and play. Bless his heart, he tries to help me! He gives me tips with my form, my swing, reminds me to keep my head down and all of that. Thankfully, he is a patient man because I am not a great student and I get more frustrated than he does.
You are probably wondering why I love to play so much if I am so bad at it? One may assume that I’d get so frustrated that I wouldn’t enjoy playing. One would be wrong.
I like being outside. I enjoy visiting different golf courses. I love spending time with my friends and my husband. And I do get really excited when I make a great shot. It’s thrilling, actually, and makes me forget about the horrible things I do like whiff, shank or lose my ball to the forest, the water Gods, and even once in a while I lose them in the wide-open fairway (not clue how that happens).
I have never played golf on my own, without a tournament of some kind. Captain and Mate or Captain and Crew are the only ways I have played, which is probably a good thing with my track record. An entire 18 holes of triple bogeys would make for a really long game. When you’re in tournament play there is usually a rule that you can’t go more than two over par and/or a max of two putts, which speeds things up for novice players.
Captain and Crew is my favorite type of golf play. I love the idea that between the four players, one of you is bound to have a decent shot. Even me, with my less than stellar skills, finds that once in a while I am the ‘Captain’, which prompts me to say things like “This is your Captain speaking”. The point behind Captain and Crew is each of you has a different skill set and you work together to try and complete the course in as few strokes as possible. Maybe you’re a great driver, or you can chip onto the green, or maybe putting is your thing. It’s a team effort!
The rules of Captain and Crew are not that much different from when you are building a team or working together on a project.
I love a quote I recently saw from Eileen Bistricky that said “Great leaders are not the best at everything. They find people who are best at different things to get them all on the same team.”
It’s not easy to build a team and you may replace members as you go along, trying to find the right mixture of skills and expertise. The right mixture rarely happens on the first try, so be kind to yourself and allow for changes. If you find yourself on a team that isn’t working for you, you can try to switch out members to make the team more productive, or you can join a new team. Not every team is the same and everyone has things they bring to the table.
Just like when I play golf, my team works well because I play with people I enjoy spending time with, I trust, and we go into it with the same expectation. Listen, there is no prize for 2nd worst team so why not go for the best of the worst? So far both tournaments I have been in this year that has been the case, both with different team members so I don’t know if I am the common problem or if we just have so much fun we don’t care? I am totally ok with that because like I said, my team seems to always have the most fun, and that’s what it’s all about.
So, while I doubt there will be any offers to play out of this confession, I’d like to remind you that what I lack in skill I more than make up for in attitude … and snacks!
Be well, Chenango.