Saturday, March 21, 2009


I still harbor hopes of a day on the slopes next weekend before my skis find their way into annual hibernation. Today, my thoughts are elsewhere. Golf and I begin our 51st year together at 12:10 PM.

Yesterday at this time I was reading of a special early season price this weekend for a round of golf. As I looked out the window, swirling snow was falling to the ground. Dream on.

24 hours later I am staring at the changing hues of a beautiful sunrise. Yet, while the snow is gone, the lingering cold can not be ignored. Dressed in a ski hat, ski gloves, a turtleneck, possibly thermal underwear and a windbreaker, I will be ready when the starter tells the 12:10 group to come to the first tee.

This is the time of year when I become closest to the Almighty. I am anything but a religious person yet I frequently find myself talking to Him/Her immediately after one of my shots does not follow its intended path. The one sided conversation is brief and ugly. I am not thinking happy thoughts as I raise my voice to the heavens. Sometimes this ritual includes my offering up my club as a sacrifice. Yet having seen the results it has just produced, the gift is always rejected by its intended recipient and returns to earth shortly after it has taken flight.

Like every mortal who has played the game, I carry hopes and dreams of greatness with me this morning. Let me, for once, be able to shout out in praise and thanks for permitting me to play a round, a hole, or even a shot, that meets my expectations. I think if He/She could get to know the real me in those moments, He/She would be surprised to learn that I am not that raving lunatic seen often over the past 50 years.

Unfortunately, if the past half century has taught me any lessons, it is that history does repeat itself. I fear that by about 12:30 or so this afternoon my playing partners will be ducking for cover as an identified flying object leaves my hands. Welcome to the wonderful world of golf.

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