Note from the Editor: Lin Clark came my way via a heartfelt and funny email after she discovered GottaGoGolf.com. I think we’ll enjoy hearing what she has to say as she embarks on her Tee Travels.
I am a self-confessed adrenaline junkie. I have been scuba diving with sharks, motorcycle riding across the country, bungee jumping, parachuting and I climbed Mt. Rainier. So, when I got married in my early 30’s and my husband wanted me to play the game he loved – golf – I rolled my eyes and told him going for a walk in the woods for 4+ hours was not my idea of a good time.
He didn’t stop doing what he loved, playing golf; and I didn’t stop doing what I loved, pushing the limits. We did travel together to wonderful locations where he golfed, and I went scuba diving or rented a scooter to explore whatever island we were on. I told him I would play golf when I ran out of other things to do. He even bought me a set of clubs for that time when I was ready.
He never saw that time. My husband died of lung cancer 10 years after we were married. We had a beautiful 1½-year-old daughter. I do not think I had time to go through all the stages of loss, I mostly bounced between anger and sadness. However, with an active child to care for I knew I needed to grab life as I had always done and take care of my daughter.
Fast forward – when my daughter went off to college, I had a bit more time on my hands. I kept looking at the golf clubs wondering if I had finally run out of other things to do. Yet I admit, as much as I wanted to try the game my husband loved so much it was daunting because of the memories of time not spent with him while he golfed.
One day the pull was just too much, I called a local course to set up a golf lesson. My instructor was a young man who looked at my clubs and said, “You’ve had these for a while.” More of a statement than a question. I was feeling nervous and a bit shaky; not anxious about hitting the golf ball, but more about the emotions of the loss of my husband. So, I told the young man about my emotional connection to this set of clubs and the game of golf.
He listened to me politely and just asked, “Was your husband a smoker?” I replied, “Yes and he was 48 years old when he died of lung cancer.”
The young instructor excused himself saying he needed to go get some equipment and I should hit some balls. When he returned without any equipment, he told me he just called his wife to tell her he was not going to smoke another cigarette – he had quit. He told me they had just had a baby girl and his wife was nagging him to quit smoking.
I knew I would break down in tears if I didn’t do something, so I looked at him and said, “OK, now teach me how to hit this little white ball!”
I have been playing for three years now and absolutely love the game. It is everything my husband used to tell me it was to him: challenging, frustrating, exhilarating and a wonderful walk in the woods.
Now my goal is to play golf in every state. So, check in with me at GottaGoGolf.com and follow my journey.
Walking on single in 50 states… golf that is.
Lin Clark is a mostly retired art dealer living in Denver. She continues to advise artists on marketing, and handles the details for Stapleton Open Studios each fall.