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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEE

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No, I’m not rewriting Hemingway incorrectly, just a brief description of what happens to me!

Years ago, I would go out and play golf with a few friends after work in Port Washington. Now golf is a civilized game of one-way fetch. No dog is needed to retrieve: you do it yourself. It has a simple logic, which is to hit the ball and follow it until you can knock it into a hole. You do this for at least 9 holes, sometimes 18 and if you are not talking to your wife, 36. After a rather ordinary day on the golf course of 36 holes, I come home and have to play another 36!

From what I hear, there is a certain amount of skill involved in the game, however I have never employed such a thing. It is my lack of skill that keeps me alive, or as they say in the broadcast booth during a baseball game, that’s a swing and a miss! Or, there’s a dribble, or FOUL! I after my swing, untangle my body from club and must now begin the journey of looking for the ball and swinging again. My balls (literally) have been in all sorts of terrain, from sand to high grass and even rocky shores.

But the one thing that really kills me and my game is when I connect, say with a #1 wood and send that sucker far and of course, wide, that I completely miss the flight of the white sphere as it heads into the great beyond. I may even have lost a ball or two putting. Now I develop the skill of search and find, it is not a ritual so much as a routine.
My Golf Cart

The first time I ever played the game was in Sayville, NY. I teed off and hit a shot that was so perfect, so true and so accurate that I have been trying ever since the last time I played to replicate it and never have! I have had good days though, shooting a 72 on the first hole, and decided that one hole was enough, it was getting dark and the course was a par 72!.

Speaking about dark, many a golfer has a dark side. Temptation can join him along the course or links, and urge him to shall we say, lessen his strokes, shave it so to speak, a practice that I entertained once, but realized the strokes I already had so overpowered the score card that no one cared anymore.

A golfer, who is on in his game, will sometimes ‘practice’ his stroke with an imaginary club, giving a poetic but graceful twist of his body as the club meets the ball, all done in pantomime. He will then proceed to spread his legs about the width of his shoulders, hunch down and putt his ‘ball’, thus getting another round of practice in while conversing with you about an unrelated topic. I did that once, took the imaginary swing, and missed.

That’s the way this old man sees it.

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