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Good Vibes Series

This summer the Progress is doing a series we’re calling Good Vibes. Our reporters are seeking out people with interesting hobbies and finding out why they love participating in them. From golfing and painting to thrift store junkies, homebrewers, BBQers and readers, if you have a hobby you love, let us know about it. We would love to interview you. Email us at articles@pickensprogress.com.  

Will golf for snacks and sun

By Melissa Lowrie

            I took my first golf lesson when I was 15. My dad played, so he bought me a cheap set of ladies clubs and I learned the basics. It was the beginning of a lifelong hobby.

            There are two things that stick out from my early golf days. The best was getting out of school early for golf team practice; I went to a small school, so if a student had a pulse and clubs, they made the team. The kids who played varsity sports had the last hour of the school day to practice. The football players went to the field on campus, and the golf team went to our parents’ country clubs. I have fond memories of charging Cokes and peanut butter crackers to my friend Julie’s parents’ account. We had a radio with us and played a lot of Prince while hacking our way around the course.

            The other memory: shooting a 116 at the state high school tournament in Cushing, Okla. I think the temperature matched my score that day. That may have been when I realized tournament competition was not my bag. However, the tournament got me out of class, a clear win.

            My family moved when I was a junior in high school and I let the clubs collect dust for several years. Fast-forward to college when I met a guy who played golf. “Oh, I play!” I said as I drove back to my parent’s house and located my faded blue Ping bag. I played a bit in college and even more after. I married the golfer, so the game became a part of our lives together.

            A job in sales helped me get on-course time during the week. “Networking,” they called it, but mostly it was me and a friend on Fox Creek in Smyrna because it was cheap and close to the office.

            In another few years, my husband and I had kids and the clubs languished in the garage; I traded free time for diapers and bottles. When our kids were old enough for lessons, they went and so did I. Three decades after my first lesson, I was back again. Hopefully the stop/start nature of my game is over.

Warm weather vacations find the Lowries – Melissa and Parish – on the links. The two are shown here in the summer of 2021 on Kiawah Island.

            I’ve realized some things about golf and myself. Golf is hard and practice makes me better, but I’m not into that. This makes it easier—keeping expectations and stress levels low.

            Golf is a great way to be active while enjoying the outdoors. Yay for vitamin D and sock tans.

            A long golf cart ride is a perfect time to catch up with friends.

            Golf can be fun and frustrating at the same time. Kinda like life. Even if the score rises, it’s okay … friends, sun and snacks make for a fantastic day.

            And I still enjoy charging crackers on the account.

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