The Saturday Solution


She wanted to break par, not the Sabbath. But was there a fair way out of the situation?

My high school had always had a boys’ golf team, and traditionally they did quite well. But for some reason there weren’t many girls in our town who liked to golf so there had never been a girls’ team.

During my sophomore year school officials decided the lack of a girls’ team was a violation of equal opportunity rules, and the golf coach was told to get a girls’ team together. That’s how my friends and I made the team—not because we were any good, but because we were needed.

The boys on the varsity squad promised not to laugh at us while we were learning how to play the game, but that turned out to be a difficult promise for them to keep. One of us missed hitting the ball off the tee four times in a row. We took out huge divots with each swing. When the season started we were still not very good. In fact, the photographer from the local paper tried to get a good shot of our game for the sports section. He followed us around the course for nine holes, but there just wasn’t a good shot to get.

We had a fun although occasionally embarrassing season, and near the end we all could say our golf games had improved immensely.

Our district tournament was to be held at a course we had never played before. A few days before the Monday tournament the coach called us together and announced a special team practice at the course so everyone could become familiar with the terrain. The practice would be on Sunday afternoon.

I was sick about the announcement. I was the only LDS girl on the team, and I didn’t want to practice on Sunday. I thought about telling the coach I was sick (after all, I wasn’t that sure I wanted to embarrass myself in front of the best golfers in the district). I thought about going to my morning church meetings and then to the course. I thought about a lot of things, but I knew I was going to somehow tell my coach I wouldn’t be at that Sunday practice.

At home I talked to my mom. I told her how I felt, but added I didn’t want to disappoint the coach and team by not practicing. Even LDS golfers need to practice. My mother had a great solution. We would go and play the course on Saturday.

The next morning I had a hard time getting enough nerve to talk to my coach. Finally I just blurted it out. To my surprise he didn’t get mad or roll his eyes and think I was a religious fanatic. He said it would be fine for me to go on Saturday. Later that day, to my surprise, he handed me a check to cover our greens fees which my mother and I were prepared to pay ourselves.

My mom and I had a wonderful time on Saturday, and I played the best golf of my life at district on Monday. Even though I did not place high in the tournament, I felt good about the season. I had made a good choice and had been able to not let my team down.

[illustration] Illustrated by Rob Colvin