Opening Day for Golf

By Beacon Staff

What a difference a month can make in the weather! No driving rain or snow racing horizontal at 60 miles an hour. It is spring on our island and today was the time to unlimber the golf clubs and hopefully the body.

I meet with my substitute eyes on the golf ball, Lynn Richards. He is almost as old as I am and still has eyes like an eagle. His hearing is usually OK but sometimes the batteries on his hearing aids run down in the middle of a round. In short, we are definitely the odd couple.

Golf in the spring is a sight not to behold when players start out a round in a pair of shorts for the first time in the season. Everywhere are alabaster-white legs sticking out from the bottom of a pair of new short pants.

For our opening round of golf, I brought along about a dozen balls and running out of them is only one of the reasons we only finished seven holes. The first two holes are the two most difficult on the course. Whenever I can get to hole No. 3 in less than 15 strokes I’m usually pretty proud of myself. The only problem with the whole deal is that my age is staying ahead of my athletic ability to improve anything I do, except maybe be the quickest guy in the neighborhood with our TV clicker.

As I approached each green with a chip shot necessary to get there I did not have the slightest idea of how hard to hit the ball with my pitching wedge. I don’t know very much about the game except that golf is as dumb as skiing except you wear fewer clothes and lighter shoes. The only definitive thing I know about golf is that “life is too short to learn how to play it.”

Back to hole No. 2, where there is a miniature lake halfway between the tee box and the hole. You have to try and get it over a small creek with a steep hill to the right. If you are a good golfer you can bounce it off of the hill to the right and it will dribble right down onto the green. I have seen this done by some good golfers but in my case it is five or six strokes just to get up alongside the pond and not into it.

By the time we got to the fifth hole I was getting low on my 12 golf balls that had been blasted far out into the rough pucker-brush. In the spring there are a significant number of just-born garden snakes of varying parentage but so far no rattlesnakes can weather the tremendous rain storms we get here at the local golf course.

By the time I four-putted on the sixth green I still had two golf balls left which would not get me to the next hole. I had already contributed 10 more golf balls that are among the 350 million golf balls lost every year in America. So I called it quits while I was still in possession of some golf balls.

Will I return to try again another day? You bet, but tomorrow is taken because I get to go shrimping with my old friend Bruce Barr. He knows where all of the shrimp live within 10 miles of our island and has become an amazing shrimp gatherer and also a good golfer. He is also eight years into his bout with Parkinson’s. He has built a cabin on a pile of floating logs in Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Bruce and I play an occasional game of golf together. We have a blast whether we are playing golf, catching shrimp or catching fish together.

My only real connection with golf is putting the finishing touches on my cartoon book about golf. So far I have completed about 75 cartoons and someday I’ll publish my jokes about golf similar to the funny comedy I once used in my ski movies.

For more of Warren’s wanderings go to www.warrenmiller.net or visit him on his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/warrenmiller. For information on his Foundation, please visit the Warren Miller Freedom Foundation, at www.warrenmiller.org.

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