By Bruce Braun
“I'm getting better at golf now because I'm hitting fewer spectators”. – Gerald Ford.
With questionable weather in today’s forecast 64 senior men’s league members with 8 guests still optimistically showed up for their Tuesday opportunity. Depending on your perspective, it might be fair to say that the weather did remarkably well. It did rain off and on lightly for a few holes. “I feel damp,” summarized one member after their round. Well, that’s better than feeling soaked! As a result, a few scores were not overly impressive, but there were still plenty of smiles and laughter.
It is hard to believe that we are into our second week of August already. Later this month we will be beginning our season end championships. As a reminder the club championship rounds will take place August 29 and September 5. Our closing round and meal will be on September 12.
Once again, I am requesting your submissions, be they stories, pictures, or anecdotes. Certainly many of you must have a funny story to share about golf. I am waiting for your contribution! Since I didn’t receive anything this past week I feel compelled to talk about myself once again. Brace yourselves…
“Out you go.” In my early years I heard those three words almost every day in the summer. My mom would gather me by the back door, bend down and first thing is she would do is retie my shoe laces. My finesse in this area was sorely lacking. She also double-tied them. Then, standing up, she would place one hand on each of my shoulders and give me a 180° turn. Then, with her right hand, she would push the screen door open and with the left hand she would pat me on the rear end, firmly enough to advance me, whilst saying, “Out you go.” From very early on I was encouraged to be independent. My sister, nine years older, was living her own life and my brother, 14 years older than I, had already moved out.
My life was not bubble wrapped. I was not hovered over. And my shoes were nearly unremovable. The world was my oyster. By age seven I had taken to the game of golf, but I also filled my time on my bicycle, which I would use to transport me to a nearby golf course where I would wait. I was waiting for golf balls to come over a chain-link fence. It was the sixth hole at Crescent Drive Park in Fort Garry, a nine hole par three course. I would lean my bike against one tree, and I would sit with my back against another tree, watching the golfers going by and the frequent errant shot sailing over the fence. This was in the 1960s and brands like Star-flight, Kro-flight, Canada Cup, Acushnet, Club Special, Slazenger, Spalding, Dot, Dunlop 65, and George Knutson were some of the finds of the time. On a good day I could make a quarter for every transaction. I did this for about five summers, but I was not the only boy who enjoyed this pastime. Sometimes there were four or five of us in the competition for an errant golf ball. It was a sight to behold… a handful of boys charging through tall grass and brush, tripping endlessly, reaching the estimated location, then searching frantically. It wasn’t always the first boy who got there that found the ball. I wasn’t keen on the ball chase. I had wiped out once too many times! On busy summer mornings it was usually the kid who arrived there first thing in the morning that had the advantage of scouring the tall grass and brush. Others would bring a bag or an egg carton full of balls to peddle. I would save a few of my favorites for my own game. Even on cool and rainy days a few boys would always gather. There was always something to talk about. It was where I learned to swear. It was useful language that I gained not only from the other boys, but also from golfers, particularly those who I had their golf ball in my hand. One time, an angry golfer insisted that I return his golf ball. For my effort, I had expected a small pittance, but none was being offered. The golfer was a youngish man, and he did look particularly imposing. Long hair, tattoos, cigarette, muscle shirt. These were all signs that I could be in trouble. He made one last angry request with an expletive and then, in a surge of rage, began to scale the fence. Meanwhile, this was being witnessed by the other boys, wide-eyed at this point, on my side of the fence. We all scattered quickly. If it wasn’t for the fact that my bike was close by, I may not be writing these stories today! I arrived at home earlier than usual that day. My mom looked at me, looked at the clock on the wall, then asked, “Are you OK?” I may have still been breathing hard as I had pedaled home as quickly as I could, hoping to hide in the basement. “Fine,” I said, and proceeded calmly downstairs. I had six golf balls in my pocket and $3.25 in change. Not a bad day at the office. It helped that I did not go to the corner store to spend my money on candy.
Results for the league on August 8 is as follows:
Back nine scramble winners were Mel Locken, Jamie Turner, and Lorne McCool, with a -3 score of 32. Congratulations!
Closest to the cup on number 1: Randy “I should’ve hit it 3 feet harder” Baird.
Longest drive on number 3: Nelson “Look at My Pipes” Rozon.
Longest putt on number 5: Jaimie “Slam Dunk” Turner.
Longest putt on number 8: Dennis “Cross-Country” O’Sullivan.
Closest to the cup second shot on number 9: Brian “I’m Awesome” Towes.
August 8 front nine flight winners:
Flight 1: John Zilinski, 37.
Flight 2: John Bowiec, 42. Won on a countback.
Flight 3: Larrie Davies, 42.
Flight 4: Brad Edie, 45. Won the on a countback.
Flight 5: Orlo Mejia, 48.
See you next week!