Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

I Have a Putter Named Jesus This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

My hands are shaking as my fingers close around the grip. My heart is beating loudly in my ears and I can feel my pulse pounding in my head. I'm standing over a six-foot putt – a distance I am expected to make, though people miss six-footers all the time. This putt will determine who wins the tournament, but I don't know that yet. I won't find out how close I was to the win until all the scores are added.

My putter swings back and I follow through. The ball hits a dent in the face of my five-year-old putter and sprays off to the right, making an otherwise easy putt completely miss the hole. My first putter, which has been at my side for more than five years, just lost me the tournament.

But I'm stubborn. I'll play with that same cheap over-loved putter for three more tournaments before storing it away in the garage.

It's a cheap putter. There's no doubt about that. But I love it. I got it for $20 at the Redlands Country Club pro shop. I'm pretty sure I only picked it because of its shiny silver paint and gold cork face. As a beginning golfer, I didn't know how a good putter was supposed to look or feel. The grip is old, worn, and hard to hold. And yet, I love the thing. I could never get rid of it.

It has a name. Actually, it has multiple names: Guadalupe, Freddie, and finally, Jesus. Jesus was the one that stuck. Whenever I faced a putt that looked nearly impossible, someone would always say, “You'll need a miracle to make that one,” and I'd respond, “Don't worry. Jesus is with me.”

They don't even make putters like this anymore. It's not ancient in a good way; it's ancient in a bad way. This putter was never amazing. It was never a club that people would look at and say, “Wow, I want that.” Most people were amazed I could even play with it. But after practicing with Jesus for so long, I got used to its weight and aesthetics, the worn grip under my fingers; it became like an extension of my arm. I could make any putt with it. Something as miraculous as a lousy putter that could sink any putt had to be named Jesus.

Now the putter sits in my garage. It's all alone and hidden. Even if it's not usable anymore, I can't bring myself to get rid of it. Basically, it's hiding from my dad. He would throw Jesus away without a second thought. In fact, he thinks I already threw it away. So it's hidden. It's in a place where it will be safe until I can bear to part with it. It's hidden in a place that only I know, but I'll tell you: I move it every season. In summer, Jesus is hidden in the very last place one would think to look for a putter: a cabinet behind the water heater, next to the snow shovels. In winter, I hide it with our Halloween decorations.

Once in a while, I hold the worn grip and stare at the chipped silver paint. I trace the dents with my finger and remember all that Jesus and I have been through. I remember the 40-foot putt I made for my first par, my first birdie, the first time I broke 90 by sinking putts that most people could only dream of making, and back in freshman year, when I had a 30-putt average for 18 holes. My putting average hasn't come close to that since I got my new putter.

Sometimes, when I lose faith in my game, I pull that putter from its hiding spot and put in my bag. I usually don't use it, but it's reassuring to know that I have Jesus in my golf bag.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





Join the Discussion


This article has 1 comment. Post your own!

gail said...
Mar. 26, 2012 at 8:20 am:
What a wonderful, thoughtful, and insightful article! You are a very mature young lady! Continued low scores in golf!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback