Despite the fact that snow still hugs the ground, giddiness of the upcoming golf season consumes me. It’s a new year, a fresh start. My handicap is zero and I intend to keep it that way. At least until after my first round.

As I go out to the golf course and hit off the ever forgiving mats I try to work out the kinks. After my first couple hits off the hosel I know I need to make an adjustment. The swing feels unfamiliar. It’s hard to get used to, but I’ll get it sorted out. Perhaps I just need a few practice swings.

Yep that was it. I stripe the ball down the middle imagining the pin straight ahead. I’m able to work the ball from right to left, then left to right. My confidence is at an all-time high. I haven’t lost it at all over the past 5 months.

After my practice session is over I head to the first tee. I push my tee into the soft turf and prepare my ball for launch. Two practice swings later I’m ready. I take aim down the fairway. “Aim small, miss small,” right Mel. A branch hangs out in the distance, that’s my target.

Just remember what you did on the range, nice and easy. My club goes back with effortless beauty. It’s forced down to the ground. At impact I look towards the sky to see my ball in flight and…and nothing. I top the ball and it dribbles just past the ladies tee. So much for my confidence being at an all-time high.

I look towards my playing partners and give them a soft smile and ask, “Mulligan?”