Ah, I remember the fond memories of playing golf with my Navy buddies.
We were all lousy.
So on any given day each of us had an opportunity to win. Not that winning was much of an accomplishment, but the least bad of four is still number one.
Not any more. Nowadays I play golf with Bob. Bob is a 71 year old veteran and in the last five years I have never seen him lose.
A couple of years ago he showed up to play after visiting his eye doctor. He had had his eyes dilated and was wearing those big plastic sunglasses to protect his eyes. He told us, “You may have to help me find my golf balls after I hit.”
We had him. What better opportunity could we have to win than playing Bob while he was semi-blind? As the game went on he would hit, we would lead him to the ball, give him approximate yardage to the flag, point him in the right direction, and he would hit again. Somehow he got through eighteen holes of golf.
And beat us.
All of us.
A couple of months ago Bob fractured a bone in his back, and just last week got clearance to play a round of golf. He was in constant pain and the exercise wore him out, but he still beat us.
All of us.
We can’t beat him when he can’t see. We can’t beat him with a broken back.
So we came to the inevitable conclusion that a person arrives at when confronted with his own inadequacies.
We have to hurt Bob really bad.
I’m thinking we could cut the brake lines on the golf cart. Or maybe “accidentally” trip him when he lines up for a shot. The consensus is that we have to injure at least two limbs for us to have a fighting chance. I would try to hit him with an errant golf shot, but I would probably miss him and all I would get out of the attempt would be a lost ball. And I think that’s a penalty stroke.
Unless we can come up with something fast, Bob is going to be back to full strength soon and the window of opportunity will be lost. We will once again be relegated to the “high handicap” guys who never win. We’ll be the Washington Generals of golf, and Bob will be the Harlem Globetrotters.
You have to admire the guy, though, fighting through blurred vision and constant pain to play the game he loves. Plus he is so doggone friendly. And humble. And gracious in victory.
And easy to trip.