I bought some new golf clubs a couple weeks ago.  And by new I mean a full set.  The whole shebang.  Figured the lavender Spaldings had seen better days.  Just to say Spalding and golf in the same sentence must surely be offensive to those who know what they’re doing out on the links.

Actually, I’m not that bad.  My very first job was at Great Trail Golf Course.  I really loved it.  You drove up this “back road” hill to get there.  First, you went by the corner cemetery with the old-fashioned red water pump that we drank out of mercilessly after riding bikes or playing ball, and THEN you drove on past hottie hot hot Fred Bay’s house. 

(It’s ok that you don’t remember dating me, Freddy.  You were a Senior when I was a Freshman.  I just wanted your picture and football jersey to show Chels.  And clearly, since your Dad was a Reverend and I liked rock n roll, I was never going to be able to call you Ren so we were doomed from the start.)

Anyway, at the top of that back road hill was a fork.  Left was the route we ran for cross country practice.  Right, and you wove around pretty trees and cool houses as you looked at the tee boxes which always needed watering.  Finally the club house appeared and out I would jump from my parent’s car ready to begin the grueling work day as a cook, cashier, maid, golf starter and pretend golf “pro.”  Something about being in that musty club house peering through the huge rectangular smoke-stained picture window at all the guys in their clashing plaid attire made me want to be out there.  They were always laughing, always drinking beer, and always swinging clubs.  How bad could a game like that be?

My parents would occasionally take my sister and me out on the course.  I think they thought we just liked to ride along in the carts (which, we did) but I always wanted to play.  Come on – there was a score involved and someone won. 

Can I hit one, Dad?  I can’t really remember the first time I actually swung a club but I do remember the first time my ball went OVER the water on that par 3.  And landed on the green.  Hook.  Line.  Sinker (not literally obviously, I birdied that hole as I got better).  I can still picture that whole scene like I played the course yesterday.

I DID play Sunday afternoon!  18 holes at Brookwood.  Supposed to be a foursome but turned into a twosome.  It was the most fun I’ve had golfing maybe ever.  No matter that his Uncle used to own the course (divulged to me at hole #4ish).  No matter that he plays in the City tournament every year (divulged to me at hole #12ish).  No matter that there wasn’t a person within a 6 mile radius that didn’t call him by name the entire day.  And no matter that he stole my thunder on the back nine after it was all just starting to come back to me.  

I had three or four 4’s on the back nine.  Respectable.  I out drove him at least three times (What?  Blue and Red tees you say?  Did we not play in America?  Interchangeable.)  But it was that stealing of thunder thing that really did me in. 

Par 4, laying 3 on the green, 25 or so feet from the cup.  I listened intently as he read the green, told me the break, pointed at where to aim.  Got it.  Lined up…for par…back goes the new putter…looks good…looks good…and it’s in!  Woo-hoo!  I danced around like I was back at Great Trail after just hitting the ball over that ginormous pond!  I LOVE THIS GAME!

And 5.6 seconds later he sank his 23 foot putt for birdie.  Like it was as usual as breathing.  Good thing we’re partners when those other two show up next time.

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