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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Come On! Let's Just Get In A Quick One!

Wes has dropped in for a quick Christmas visit, tucking me in between a stop in Florida and his Virginia holiday blowout.  I had a short list of chores only a son can complete ready for him, and he had a short list of things I needed to help with, including a particularly delicate shopping assignment, but then the sun peeked out.  You know what happened!

I heard him coming down the stairway with the set of clubs he keeps in my guest bedroom -- we long ago gave up schlepping golf clubs back and forth across the country.  It had to be a quickie -- there were just too many other demands on our time swirling in the holiday atmosphere.

We were both delusional.  On the Sunday before Christmas there's no such thing as a quick round of golf.

Wes and I weren't the only ones who were drawn to the golf course as Santa circled overhead.  It was bedlam out there.  We watched in wonder as a foursome of young guys teed off in front of us, clearly delighted to be golfing together, brothers or cousins or buddies reunited in this seasonal moment when we all seem to reconnect, not really golfers, just four guys who were going to enjoy some time with each other on the golf course.

We were all starting on the first tee but in a heartbeat they ended up on the 9th fairway.  Somehow two of their balls had managed to penetrate a thick stand of trees that separate the first and ninth fairways.
Wes sighed, Let's start on number 2.
As the boys peered through the trees and pondered possible solutions to their problem we skipped past them, smiling and waving.

The merry pranksters trailed along behind us through most of the front nine, although they also popped up in front of us a couple of times, perhaps playing their way through wrong fairways or confusing the tee box order (although they really are plainly marked and I don't quite see how anybody could get that confused).

My game was terrific, for a while -- bogeys and pars -- despite the strange traffic pattern.  Not so much for Wes.  Then I mishit my tee shot on the simple little par-3 7th hole and followed that up by apparently forgetting that in order to get over the bunker and onto the green I needed to make a full swing with my lob wedge.  Further complicating matters, I was seized by an attack of sloth and decided to use my lob to get out of the sand rather than walk back to the cart and get my sand wedge.  And then, just to complete my masterpiece of incompetence, I wrapped up the hole up with four putts.  Good grief,  And so I made the turn shaking off a 50 when I'd been thinking I might be edging down into the mid-to-low forties.

I was two up for the match but my score was in the toilet.

Traffic got heavier after the turn.  Apparently the recreational I'd-rather-golf-than-sit-around-visiting-with-the-relatives golfers were on the the front nine and the regular It's-Sunday-and-I'm-golfing players were stacked up like jets awaiting departure at Atlanta on the back nine.  We settled into our rhythm, chatted and played, covered some issues that we'd both been saving for our next round together, complemented each other's good shots, moaned about the narrowly missed putts, his and mine, laughed about the fickle nature of the game, and enjoyed our time together apart from the pressures of the holiday and the demands of other people.

It was a brief respite, a quick four hours together without any distractions, the best Christmas present any mom can receive.