Lesson One: Always drop in the shade.
When my young, athletic son called me on Friday morning to ask if I wanted to be the “fourth” early Saturday morning I gave him pretty much the same answer I always do. “Why don’t you call Uncle Beeper. If he can’t make it, I’ll do it.”
That was a pretty safe bet. My brother, the doctor/lawyer, loves to get on the greens, and will jump at just about any opportunity that is presented to do so. With golf being near the top of the list of sports for which I have no apparent ability – such as basketball, football, baseball, ice hockey, tennis, volleyball, motocross, fishing, hunting, jogging, hiking, climbing, camping, wrestling, boxing, curling, bobsledding, billiards and Twister – and considering the fact that the heat index on Saturday was supposed to be something like 180 degrees, I felt comfortable that Beeper would jump at the chance, leaving me to sleep until noon in air-conditioned comfort.
Not the case.
It wasn’t that l’il brother didn’t want to do it. It was just that, like most doctor/lawyers, he didn’t answer his phone, and didn’t get the voice mail until after tee time on Saturday. So, late Friday night, I get the call instructing me to be at The Creeks by 8:45 am.
It’s an odd affliction, but I’m one of those who can’t get to sleep at night if I know I have to get up early in the morning. Five or six hours just seems like such a waste of effort. I dozed off sometime around 3 am. Then, I didn’t go back to bed Saturday morning after my 6 o’clock visit to the little office off the bedroom. There was work to be done.
That started with me digging through unidentifiable rubble in the garage in a frantic search for my clubs. I knew they were in there somewhere, and in about half an hour I found them, on top of one of those broken lawn mowers, underneath the giant orange plastic jack-o-lantern. So I drug the bag out the garage door and took another half hour rolling the cat hair off it with one of those sticky rollers. I’m pretty good at that, at least. Then, I rolled up my tee shirt sleeves and waded back through the junk to find a useable cooler, which took about the same amount of time to locate and clean up.
By the time I had everything loaded up into the car, with it already about 90 degrees, I was exhausted, and sweat was dripping off the end of my nose. But I still had to stop at McAdoodles for gas and ice, so I had to hurry.
I arrived at The Creeks right at 8:39 to find the parking lot full, with the only place to park being in the “overflow” section, down in the gravel lot, facing the first tee box. James and the boys weren’t there yet, but it looked like everybody else in northwest Arkansas was. Great. I love it when I have an audience. It’s so much fun to see them ducking and running for cover.
The boys, all of whom are good golfers, showed up a few minutes before our 9:15. James, being the gentleman he is, took me so neither Brad nor Bennie would have to fight with people playing behind us – or adjacent to us on other fairways. It was about 98 degrees when we teed off.
I’m pleased to report that nobody was killed on the front nine. And I still had a few balls left in my bag. Lesson One was learned by the fifth hole, and, when we went to the club house for some much-needed sustenance before the back nine, I was taking the first step in learning Lesson Two: Beer & Brats for breakfast – not a good idea when the temperature is about the same as my golf score.
Lesson Three: When you have a “thing” about hitting into water traps, don’t play at a place called “The Creeks”.
One week and one day later, I’m finally physically able to type this column.
Want to be a PUBLISHED WRITER? Ol’ Uncle Rick is starting up a Publishing Company – “TigerEye Publications.” Catchy, huh? We’re taking submissions for eBooks now. Check my website for details: http://www.rickbaber.com . Please take a look.
Late note: Our dear old friend, Ed Huddleston, the Keith Richards of the insurance claims business, formerly of Batesville, passed away this morning (8/8) in Fayetteville. There’ll never be another one like him. May he rest in peace.