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A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

I had plans to write something insightful, informative, and even creative this week, but a funny thing happened on my way to the computer. On a beautiful spring afternoon, playing with the Raintree Rascals at Raintree Golf Club on Monday (March 15, 2021), I shot a 70!


Can you imagine? I have not shot under par in 25 years. This was two under par - four birdies and two bogies. I am now thinking that maybe I should sign up for senior “Q” school and try the senior tour. Just kidding. As you can tell, I am very pleased with myself - a remarkable personal achievement.


I will be 78 years old this coming July so just shooting my age would have been an accomplishment. This was eight shots better. And that included missing three putts shorter than five feet. It could have been a 68! (Golfers always think this way. But I should have also missed several long ones that found the bottom of the cup). The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.


In addition to my 38 points, my teammates (Billy Stringer, Bill Cook, and Johnny Davis) all made their points with the Stableford Scoring System we use (bogies=1, pars=2, birdies=3, and eagles=4) for a total team score of plus 27! A record for our club. In the old days when birdies were four points, I would have made 42 points! I don’t expect to repeat that performance ever again in the few years I have left. I give credit to swimming for an hour each day. I am feeling very fit (for my age). This could be the fountain of youth.

Golf is a remarkable game. The memory of my fabulous round is indelibly imprinted in my fond memories. It was a thing of beauty. Here is what Allan Berman wrote about our game:

ODE TO GOLF

In my hand I hold a ball. White And Dimpled, Rather Small.


Oh, How Bland It Does Appear. This Harmless Looking Little Sphere.


By Its Size I Could Not Guess, The Awesome Strength It Does Possess.


But Since I Fell Beneath Its Spell, I've Wandered Through the Fires of Hell.


My Life Has Not Been Quite the Same, Since I Chose to Play This Stupid Game.


It Rules My Mind for Hours on End, A Fortune It Has Made Me Spend.


It Has Made Me Yell, Curse and Cry, I Hate Myself and Want to Die.


It Promises A Thing Called Par, If I Can Hit It Straight And Far.


To Master Such A Tiny Ball, Should Not Be Very Hard At All.


But My Desires The Ball Refuses, And Does Exactly As It Chooses.


It Hooks And Slices, Dribbles And Dies, And Even Disappears Before My Eyes.

Often It Will Have A Whim, To Hit A Tree Or Take A Swim.


With Miles Of Grass On Which To Land, It Finds A Tiny Patch Of Sand.


Then Has Me Offering Up My Soul, If Only It Would Find The Hole.


It's Made Me Whimper Like A Pup, And Swear That I Will Give It Up.


And Take To Drink To Ease My Sorrow, But The Ball Knows ... I'll Be Back Tomorrow.


Please come out and play the greatest game that was ever conceived. Little children play it. Very old people play it. Blind people play it. One handed people play it. You too can enjoy it.


You know how good it feels when it’s your birthday and family and friends gather around to sing the birthday song? In golf, when it’s your turn to hit the ball, you are the focus of everyone’s attention and if the shot is good, you are applauded and if it’s bad, your playing partners commiserate and help you find your wayward balls.


It’s a game like no other. I really enjoy the camaraderie, the sunshine, the acres of green grass, the birds singing, the trees blooming, the reflection of the sky and clouds in the lakes, the exercise and occasionally, a really memorable round. What else could you be doing that offers so much?


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