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A bad shot isn’t the end of the world
Dee McLelland new

Taking a step back over the last few days to watch the Masters made me realize when I make a bad shot or miss a putt on the golf course, it really isn’t the end of the world.

Over Saturday and Sunday we saw some of the best golfers in the world fire shots into trees, lakes and creeks on a regular basis. I have only had the privilege to attend the Masters during a practice round, but Deb and I covered every square inch of the course multiple times, so when we watched the final two rounds this past weekend and other years, we could recall exactly where we were standing on that particular hole when a player made his way through.

The beauty of the course can only be truly realized in person and while television can give you some of the grandeur it really possesses.

In what was a dreary weather weekend at home filled with chores and projects, being able to stop for a while and take in the Masters was something I enjoyed, especially seeing the sunshine and blue skies cascade over the course late Sunday afternoon. The grass couldn’t have been more of an emerald green than the shiniest gem on a ring and the azaleas and sounds of the birds in the spring air was as familiar as it was beautiful.

Not being a person who enjoys seeing other golfers struggle, unless I’m playing against you or your name is Phil Mickelson, I now fully realize my limitations as a player after watching even eventual winner Hideki Matsuyama drive a shot into the water some 40 yards behind a hole.

I mention golf because of the special feeling I have for the Masters, but also realize we have many terrific courses all along Coastal Georgia and how lucky many of us who do play truly are. I have never been a fancy golf course lover and I have only been a member at a few courses where I feel at home.

I certainly found a home with Cherokee Rose Country Club in Hinesville. The course, the people, the atmosphere have made me feel welcome from the very first time I played. I wouldn’t want to mention the many friends I have made over the last year for fear I would leave some out, but suffice it to say, there are many.

I think every lover of golf can understand the beauty I described in my recalling of Augusta National, but it’s that “home” course where you love playing into the twilight or waking up early to see the course with a sheen of dew making the fairways sparkle. It’s enjoying that last shot before darkness completely sets in where you can’t actually see the ball, but you know where it’s heading because you felt it leave your club face. It’s your course where you remember every great shot you have made and also the shots which broke your heart so many times.

Not everyone plays golf and not everyone has the same passion for it that others do, but I do know golf is something I continue to rediscover my love for time and time again. The personal losses I have had over this past year also have brought the game into a different light for me and I can’t believe it, but I think it has become to mean even more to me now.

As I said, not everyone cares or plays golf, but if there’s something else out there that you have a passion for, it’s something you should pursue and something you should put your best effort into. 

I won’t ever play in the Masters, but my course and my friends make it something that may be even more special for me.

If you see me, say “Hey!”

Dee McLelland is Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.

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