My Darling Niece, a sophomore at UW, arrived for a spring break visit on Saturday afternoon. Sunday she saw my golf clubs in the garage and asked about learning to play. I threw a handful of golf balls out onto the lawn and showed her how to grip a club. She practiced hitting the balls out towards the wooded area, but soon tired of retrieving them.

On Monday morning I told her I knew how to solve her ball-retrieving problem, and took her to the Surfside Golf Course’s driving range. We “shared” a big bucket of balls, and soon she could tee off pretty well, but developed quite a wicked slice.

Monday afternoon I took her to the Peninsula Golf Course, where they have a great multi-holed putting green. While she practiced, I went in to visit with my friends Frankie and Sondra. When I went back out, MDN said she wanted to try playing a round of golf.

Well, okay, she’s my niece, My Darling Niece, so I didn’t bother to mention she’d only had a club in her hands for less than 24 hours. I went back in and Frankie set us up with an immediate tee time.

To make a long story short, MDN bogied the fourth hole, just missing par by a couple inches. On the fifth tee, she sliced it right into some trees, got a very strong rebound bounce and roll, then used the three wood on her second shot to smack it right up onto the green. It took two putts to sink it, but it’s a par four hole, so there it was—her first par! Naturally, we did the par dance together, whopping it up, celebrating her success.

We played out the round rather uneventfully, both of us hitting just enough of those miracle shots that will keep us coming back for more. I admit that MDN got the only par that day, but it certainly validates the fact that I really am a wonderful teacher!