Brenda showed up for her golf date dressed like she was playing in a tournament. All in pink just like Paula Creamer, the sexy babe who won the US Open Champion. Even Brenda’s golf shoes had a pink strip on them. She was wearing a pink golf cap that had the LPGA logo on it. In fact she felt a bit like Paula Creamer.
She had met Charlie on golfmates.com. It was her girlfriend Campbell who had suggested that she take up golf as a means of meeting men.
“Golf’s a guys sport,” Campbell said. “Lots of men play golf. Just get out there.”
They were in Campbell’s bedroom where she was packing for a three-month retreat in an Ashram in India. That was one thing which Brenda couldn’t figure out. Why would anyone want to spend so much money to sit and do nothing when you could do that at home for free? But she wasn’t about to burst Campbell’s bubble. After all, Campbell was her best friend and if that’s what she wanted to do then Go Girl!
“Take my clubs. I won’t be using them,” Campbell said.
At home Brenda posted her profile. On the site you had to put in what your handicap was. She knew nothing about handicaps except for her grandmother’s handicap parking permit which she sometimes borrowed when she needed to go downtown. And so she called Campbell.
“I can’t talk to you now. The taxi’s waiting to take me to the airport.”
“Just tell me what your handicap is?”
“Twelve,” Campbell said and hung up.
Brenda figured since she was borrowing Campbell’s clubs, her bag and her LPGA cap why not borrow her handicap as well. So she wrote twelve in the box next to handicap in her profile. But wait a minute! Campbell was a really good golfer. She’d been playing since she was eleven. Brenda didn’t want to be dishonest. She deleted twelve and put in six figuring that she was surely at least half as good as Campbell.
When Charlie first laid eyes on her he nodded his head and his mouth formed an inverted smile of approval.
“Where’d you get the cap?” he asked.
“Oh, that thing,” she said. “It’s old.”
Wearing her brand new high-definition sunglasses which the salesperson had guaranteed she would be able to see the course with more precision than reality, she could make out every nick and pimple on Charlie’s face. She also noticed that his own sunglasses had a paperclip holding one of the arms to the frame.
When she took off the hood from her bag Charlie’s mouth again formed the inverted smile of approval.
“Nice clubs,” he said.
She could tell that he was impressed but she was not so impressed by him so far. He was wearing a bland beige golf shirt that snuggled at his beer belly and a pair of wide Bermudas that made him look like Sponge Bob. He looked better on his photo.
He took out a club from her bag.
“Nine wood,” he said. ‘I’d like to try this. I don’t have one in my bag.”
“Why not?” she asked.
“Regulation. I use my pitches more than I’d use a nine.”
She hadn’t a clue what he was talking about but she let it pass.
Charlie then placed a GPS in the golf cart. Oh, no, not another one, she thought. She remembered when she’d been with Hugh and his GPS had led them into heavy traffic. She knew that men weren’t good with directions but on a golf course! Who gets lost on a golf course?
Charlie set himself up at the blue tees and she watched him hit the ball. It went flying up in the air so far that even with her high-definition sunglasses she couldn’t see it.
“Where’d it go?” she asked.
“Two hundred and sixty yards. Straight down the fairway,” he beamed.
“Is that good?’ she asked.
He laughed. “You’re a riot,” he said.
It was now her turn to play and so she set her tee up. That much she knew.
“You playing from the blues?” he asked her.
She stared at him.
“Don’t make it difficult on yourself. Play the reds,” he said.
He drove her to the red tees where she set up her pink ball. With Campbell’s driver in her hand she took a swing. Her body did a pirouette. She looked down at her tee. The ball was still there.
She looked at Charlie who had lost all expression on his face. His inverted smile of approval had disappeared and his arms were folded tightly around his belly.
“Practice swing,” she said.
She swung again. This time the ball went about ten feet.
“How long you’ve been playing golf,” he asked her.
“This is my first time,” she said.
“Oh, my God!” Charlie exclaimed. He picked up her ball then told her to get in the cart.
“Lying about a handicap. That’s so dishonest,” he said. You would think that she had forged his signature on a check. Even her ex-husband had been more comprehensive when she’d done that.
Then he ranted on and on about how fed up he was dating women who lied about their age, that they were fifty pounds more than their pictures and that they still were living with boyfriends. Brenda found it unfair of him to blame her for these other women’s mistakes. She was about to tell him that his own photo wasn’t a very accurate representation of himself when he said something even crueller.
“From now on,” he said, “You’re only going to putt.”
She had spent all this money on her golf outfit and for what? They might as well have gone to a mini putt where she could have worn her old jeans. Then as if that wasn’t bad enough he said, “And you can put your glove away. Real golfers don’t use gloves to putt.”
She loved her glove. Tears began to splatter against the lens of her expensive sunglasses streaking them with salty stains. She could hardly see.
It was then that she decided she could not date a man who was capable of hurting her like he had.