Breaking Fifty

Conflict and PeacemakersAwesome Moments

It was early. I was still half asleep as I dressed and quickly ate a bowl of cereal.

My dad called up to me and I hopped down the stairs, pulling on my other shoe as I went. I opened the door to meet my dad and I immediately felt the morning Florida breeze. My brother, Alex, had made this countless times before and was already waiting for us in the golf cart.

We drove through the quiet streets, the wind hitting us on all sides in the open cart. Small bumps rose on my arms and legs and I reached for the sweatshirt that my mom had correctly warned me to bring. When we reached the golf course my two grandpas were waiting. We didn’t practice, and went straight to the tee. My dad and brother hit, then my grandpas. I was the last to tee off. My heart sunk and I felt a knot forming in my throat. Even though I was with my family I was still very nervous. I had never played with all of them at once. Usually it was just “the guys,” and that, on top of me being younger, meant that I was never invited to these early games. I had never been considered good enough to keep up with these older and better adults, and now, for the first time (with me playing from the ladies’ tees) my dad thought that I could do it.

I choked down the knot and took a practice swing. Then I hit the ball. It was solid and down the middle. I let the breath that I was holding go, and felt a smile form across my face. On that first hole I ended up shooting a bogie, which was the same as my brother and dad, and was better than both my grandpas. This was very exciting for me, and it lifted the pressure on the next hole.

For the rest of the round I ended up shooting no worse than a bogie, except on two of the holes. I looked down at my scorecard in my shaking hand; my heart pounding excitedly while my dad drove me over to my mom and grandma. I jumped out of the cart before my dad even stopped and ran to my mom to show her.

I had finished with a 46–the best round I had ever played for nine holes. I was so excited. It was the first time I had ever played with the “serious golfers” in my family, and I had shot the best round of my life.

My heart refused to cease its rapid and excited beating, and I was unable to form anything but a smile on my face.

This was by far the highlight of my trip to Florida.

Golf “Language”:

- The goal is to get the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible.

- Every hole has a par; it can be par 3, par 4, or par 5.

- Getting a par is good, however the number of strokes a par varies between holes depending on whether the hole is par 3, 4, or 5 (Ex: getting a par on a par 4 hole would be getting the ball into the hole in 4 strokes)

- A birdie is very good, and is one under par (Ex: getting a birdie on a par 4 hole would be getting the ball into the hole in 3 strokes)

- An eagle is the best and is two under par (Ex: getting an eagle on a par 4 hole would be getting the ball into the hole in 2 strokes; also, an eagle on a par 3 hole is a hole in 1)

- A bogie is still good, but is not great, and is one over par (Ex: getting a bogie on a par 4 hole would be getting the ball into the hole in 5 strokes)

- A double bogie is two over par (Ex: getting a bogie on a par 4 hole would be getting the ball into the hole in 6 strokes)

- A triple bogie is three over par. This continues.

Madison Friedman is a fifteen-year-old high school sophomore at Rye Country Day School in New York. She enjoys writing, hanging out with friends, and playing golf and plays for the Rye Country Day School varsity golf team.

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