Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Seven Iron

Nearly forty years ago, one of our closest friends was pregnant with her first child. Of all the things I should recall from that time, but one memory lingers. Her ability to hit a seven iron. She would play a full round of golf with virtually merely two clubs. The putter and that iron.

My daughter is beginning the third trimester of her pregnancy. The basketball in her belly is inflating quickly these days. And her golf game, almost non-existent before, has been in total hibernation.

Yesterday, my son in law and I were busy chasing glory and proV-1s around the course situated but a few drivers and a wedge or two from my residence. As tomorrow (now today) marks the first anniversary of my daughter's marriage, she agreed to meet her golf obsessed husband and me to play a few holes.

We planned to rendezvous at the eighth tee, located but a long putt from the clubhouse. Finishing up on seven, I hustled into the pro shop, announced my very pregnant daughter was joining us for a few swings, and paid the green fee and the cart rental. As I stepped outside, my son in law approached. "No cart", he said. "She's carrying her own bag." Now that impressed me.

So what if there were but two woods, four irons and a putter. My daughter, I thought to myself, was already lugging enough around with her. Her belly appeared similar to how I remembered my Uncle Alan's and I imagine he wouldn't even have trudged with his clubs from the car to the first tee.

Her swing looked much as I recalled. Very solid in parts, not so much at contact. The ball squirted off her club on the drive, and the first few shots were, to put it gently, unremarkable.

But then she took a swipe at the ball with a seven iron and suddenly the sun shined bright, the birds sang love songs, the air we breathed as crisp and clean as a perfect poem. My daughter let out a little whoop of delight, half yelled to her husband "did you see that" and bounded down the fairway, her step lightened even while carrying a load on her back and in her stomach.

And for the rest of the round, she channelled my friend from four decades earlier. Seven iron from the fairway, from the rough, from two hundred yards from the green or half that distance. Just her and her new best friend. Success not a constant companion but certainly a consistent one. Her smile as attached to my daughter as her child in waiting.

I can think of few images more likely to be forever seared in my brain than that of a well struck seven, a shout of joy, and my daughter trudging up the big hill at 18, lugging those extra packages with every step. It was the perfect anniversary gift not only for her spouse but her dad as well.


Gail said...

Really beautiful tale.

Robert said...

It's really too early to cry.


Anonymous said...

Tell Alex I remember it well.


Natalie said...

no more belly crunches for me and I'm taking out my 7 iron and cleaning it well