Rookie golfer takes his hacks at Mascoutin Golf Club

WALKING ON THE green to finish off a hole at Mascoutin Golf Club in Berlin are, from left, Jack Tierney, Nick Wielgosz and Braden Perman. Joe Schulz photo

by Joe Schulz

I will never make fun of golf again.

Mascoutin Golf Club in Berlin was the site of my first ever golf outing. A few friends came with me to golf nine holes on a Tuesday afternoon earlier this month.

After stopping to check in and get our golf carts, we were off to the White nine-hole course by about 3:30 p.m. It was a beautiful day; the sun was out and the greens looked impressive.

Before the outing, my main exposure to golf came in the form of the Adam Sandler comedy, “Happy Gilmore.”

I had always considered golf a lesser sport to the likes of baseball, football and basketball.

My perception of golf changed the first time I was up to swing. It took me about three tries to even hit the ball, my friends joked that I looked like I was holding the golf club like a baseball bat.

My troubles were especially embarrassing because Mascoutin is a top-notch golf club, featuring 27 holes and an indoor bar and restaurant.

After none of us were able to come anywhere near par, we decided to get rid of the scorecards. There was a bit of debate from some of my friends about abandoning the plan, but I told them to finish the course and enjoy the weather and amenities.

On hole No. 2, a fellow golfer rode up to us on his cart and politely suggested we begin shooting from the easiest tee on each course.

“This is a professional grade course,” he said before he rode away.

We took his advice and began hitting from the closest tee on each hole, which made the game a bit easier.

GREEN LAKER REPORTER Joe Schulz prepares to take a swing at Mascoutin Golf Club during a round with friends. submitted photo 

Each hole became easier than the last as I started to get a bit more of a grasp on the game. As I got better, so did my friends — causing each hole to become a bit more competitive than the last.

When we got to about holes seven to nine, a group behind us started to catch up.

This caused us to try to pick up the pace, as not to get in anyone’s way.

We were able to stay out of the following group’s way until hole nine, which gave each of us some trouble.

As we drove back to the clubhouse, we joked about how foolish we must have looked to golf enthusiasts at the club that day.

We returned our carts and paid our tab from the refreshment cart. As we loaded our clubs into the car, I realized that I under-appreciated golf before that day.

There’s a lot more skill and strategy involved in successfully golfing than your average SportsCenter Top 10 would lead you to believe.

The highlights make you think golf is a game about simply hitting a ball with a club, sometimes hard for distance and sometimes soft for precision.

There’s a lot more switching clubs for specific situations than I had previously thought, and thank goodness my friend Jack came along for the trip to explain that to me.

Golfers of any skill level can enjoy Mascoutin: I went nine holes barely knowing my putter from my driver and still had a good time.

I would definitely come back to Mascoutin … after maybe taking some golf lessons to ensure I’m not seven-over-par every hole.