By: Reid Mathews
The first time I ever played golf was the summer before my 8th grade school year when I went to visit my cousins in Indiana for a week. My uncle was really into golf, and my cousins all played; so, they took me out on the course for an introduction to the game. Even though I was chunking, topping, hooking, slicing and even MISSING the ball sometimes, I immediately fell in love with golf. I became obsessed (to say the least) and when I came home, I begged my parents for some clubs and began taking lessons. I played for a few months that fall, and then baseball started up again in the spring; so, I put down my golf clubs. I ended up giving up golf and focusing on baseball for the next few years.
I got drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 35th round of the Major League Baseball draft after my senior year of high school. Instead of accepting the offer, I went to a two-year school named Walters State in Tennessee and then received a scholarship to play ball for Coastal Carolina. After 4 wrist surgeries there, I was forced to hang up my cleats and began the next chapter of my life here at Berry Financial. I played golf a little bit here and there for a few years after college and fell back in love, and obsession (just ask my wife) with the game all over again in February of 2020.
Over the last year and a half, Mr. Berry and I and my brother-in-law Jordan, have played numerous rounds. We have played just about every week during that time. My handicap has gone from probably a 35 to around a 10. I have taken lessons, watched videos, filmed my swing countless times, got new golf clubs, and we all joined Grande Dunes Members Club in May of 2021. I watch golf on TV and hope to play for a lifetime.
To me, golf is the greatest game ever created. There was a great article by CNN on August 23 this year about how golf can help you live longer! I think that is provided you don’t shank the ball because that may be a quick death if you keep doing that! They went on to provide all the physical benefits of the game, especially if you walk holes. It can be a social game if you like or very isolated and peaceful if you enjoy playing by yourself. There are so many beautiful courses in the Grand Strand to experience!
Golf has gained tremendous popularity throughout COVID-19. It can be a great outdoor activity that can keep you healthy and active and striving for perfection in a game that can never be perfected. Golf is a funny game. You swing down to make the ball go up. You swing left to make the ball go right. You swing right to make the ball go left. The lowest score wins. The winner buys the drinks. Sometimes you get good breaks on bad shots, and sometimes you get bad breaks on good shots.
“Golf is a game in which you yell fore, shoot six, and write down five.” – Paul Harvey
“I have a tip that can take off five strokes of anyone’s golf game. It’s called an eraser.” – Arnold Palmer